It's a sad day to note the passing today of Phillip Baker Hall. He's a character actor that you have seen on screen more times than you will remember. Today you will see a lot of people reposting a clip of his appearance on Seinfeld where he played a library cop, Lt Bookman. Like many people, it was the first time that I had noticed Hall on screen and it is such a delightfully nutty appearance that it is one of those all-time guest roles nobody ever forgets. Amusingly, that episode of Seinfeld is based around the idea of memory burns - and that is exactly what Hall's performance did in that episode.

Since then Hall has been in pretty much everything. He has over 200 guest appearances on his filmography - impressive. My favourite performance of his probably being his turn as TV game show host Jimmy Gator in Magnolia.

Hall passed away at age 90. Ultimately, a great run with a fantastic body of work left behind. It's a career well lived.

Philip Baker Hall, Consummate Character Actor from ‘Boogie Nights’ to ‘Modern Family,’ Dies at 90
Philip Baker Hall, the prolific character actor known for his roles in films like “Boogie Nights” and “Magnolia” and shows such as “Seinfeld” and “Modern F…

For All Mankind is free from the shackles of the paywall

Good news: For All Mankind, a rather excellent Apple TV+ drama series that I have been banging on about for years, is available to watch for free on Apple TV+. Open up the app and you can watch the entire first season at no cost.

The quick sell I'll give: It's a NASA space travel alternative history soapy drama about the men and women that are involved in the space program. It asks what would the world look like if Russia was first to put a man on the moon - examining the cultural and political differences impacting the world in the decades that follow.

If you are a fan of Halt & Catch Fire especially, I reckon this one is exactly what you're looking for.

The full Hanks

I love Tom Hanks. Look, I get that isn't a controversial statement to make, but I really do. And it's not necessary the on-screen movie star Tom Hanks that I adore (but, I like that guy too). It's the quasi-real Tom Hanks that I read interviewed and see on TV. He strikes me as a highly authentic, smart, funny, and grounded creative guy.

I was tickled by his New York Times deep dive interview that you may see doing the rounds today where he talks about the creative decisions and his willingness to be seen snorting cocaine on screen, killing people as Forrest Gump, and appearing in three Robert Langdon films (opening the door to an interesting chat about art vs commerce through the lens of those Dan Brown book adaptations). It's a really good read.

Tom Hanks Explains It All
The iconic actor on his wild new Elvis movie, his faith in America, and why his Oscar-winning movies might not get made today.
  • Neil Patrick Harris is joining the cast of popular Brit youth drama Doctor Who as a character that may or may not be The Master (whoever that is). Read: The AV Club
  • Seth Green has been reunited with his NFT Ape / marketing ploy. Read: BuzzFeed
  • Pluto TV in the US now has a dedicated Transformers channel playing nothing but 24/7 episodes from Transformers: Prime, Transformers: Robots in Disguise, and Transformers: Bumblebee Cyberverse Adventures. Read: Screencrush
  • 200 screen professionals including J.J. Abrams, Mark Ruffalo, and Shonda Rhimes have signed an open letter demanding Hollywood reconsider how guns are depicted on screen. #slacktivism Read: Rolling Stone
  • The Handmaid's Tale will return Sept 14 with two episodes. Read: thefutoncritic
  • The very charming Starstruck has been renewed for a third season. Read: thefutoncritic
  • Ride is a new rodeo-themed drama greenlit by Hallmark, also in the hunt for their own Yellowstone. Read: thefutoncritic
  • The Netflix Knives Out movie now has a name: Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery. Do you suppose that film series detective Benoit Blanc could one day team up with Detective Handsome, Netflix's previous house detective? Read: Polygon

Rap Sh!t debuts July 21 on HBO Max.

Vox documentary show The Future Of debuts on Netflix June 21.

Boo Bitch debuts July 8 on Netflix.

Over the course of one night, a high school senior, who's lived her life safely under the radar, seizes the opportunity to change her narrative and start living an epic life, only to find out the next morning... she's a motherf*%king ghost.

That's it for today. Tomorrow... Even more newsletter.