Actor-director Mario Van Peebles is hoping to change the landscape of horror with “Superstition,” a new series premiering Oct. 20 on the SyFy network. In the high concept show, he stars as Isaac Hastings, the black funeral parlor owner whose family serves as supernatural protectors and guardians of the fictional town of La Rochelle.
“We thought this is a very exciting diverse America that we wanted to show,” he said of the series that also features Robinne Lee, Demetria McKinney, Brad James and his daughter, Morgana Van Peebles. “Part of the other thing we kicked around was this notion that, you know, what would the Obamas really be like when the cameras go off?”
Van Peeples is also guaranteeing to keep the BS meter on.
“They’re not doing stupid things,” he explained of the characters. “Sometimes in horror movies people do stuff you would never do. My character would never go back in that haunted house looking for the kitten. He’d be, like, ‘I’ll come back tomorrow.’”
For the director of “New Jack City,” “Panther” and “Posse,” filmmaking is all part of the zen. The son of indie film veteran Melvin Van Peebles (“Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song”) says his family is “kind of like the Jacksons without the talent. You know, we just get in there and we’re scrappy. And we make it happen.
“I grew up seeing my dad do a lot of this,” he added. “I learned what to do and what not to do. He has a great sense of humor and has never been bitter. I mean, this is the cat who started directing when there were no black directors. And he went to Columbia Pictures and said I want to direct movies. And they said we don’t need elevator operators.
“He said to me, ‘Son, there’s three kinds of people in the world. There’s people that watch stuff happen. There’s people that complain about what happens. And there’s people that make things happen.’
“And the Van Peebles, we get out there and make it happen. You might not like the show. You might not like the movie, but rather than just complaining about what’s on TV or what’s not on TV, get out there and put it on TV. And hopefully, if you build it, they will come.”
SyFy is apparently a believer as they have already renewed “Superstition” for a second season in advance of its debut.
Outside of prying that Jasmine Guy and comedian Bruce Bruce will guest star in future episodes, Van Peebles was mum on what to expect.
“I think I’ll have to do like our president does and just say something big is going to happen and you’ll see when,” he joked. “And Mexico is going to pay for it.”
CLIPPETTES: The GLSEN Respect Awards, showcasing those who have made a significant impact on LGBTQ youth, will honor Kerry Washington, Zendaya and Bruce Bozzi.on Oct. 20 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. Also that evening, George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic are busting grooves at Union …
“Girls Trip,” the year’s biggest R-rated comedy, is now available on Blu-ray, DVD and On Demand from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment with over an hour of exclusive unrated bonus material for your funny bone …
Jason Derulo headlines the official Maxim Halloween Party Oct. 21 at Los Angeles Center Studios. Purple Reign’s Prince Tribute Show and sets by DJ Drew, DJCJ, Pravin Shaw and Eva Kane also will be featured …
BET has pulled the plug on another season of “Being Mary Jane” but will order a 2018 two-hour movie to wrap things up. In the meantime, the show’s star Gabrielle Union will sign copies of her new book “We’re Going To Need More Wine” at 7 p.m. Oct. 23 with ESPN’s Cari Champion moderating at the Barnes & Noble at The Grove at Farmers Market …
The Wallis announced a second extension of the West Coast premiere of Joe Morton as comic/activist Dick Gregory in the Off-Broadway hit “Turn Me Loose” to Nov. 19 …
A$AP Mob featuring A$AP Rocky, A$AP Ferg, A$AP Twelvyy, A$AP Nast and A$AP Ant with Playboi Carti, Keys! and Cozy Boys have the Shrine Expo Hall on lock Oct. 24.
TC ON TV: Oct. 20 – “The Day I Met El Chapo: The Kate Castillo Story” (Netflix): Because we just can’t get enough of the drug lord! “1922” (Netflix): And we can’t get enough Stephen King either! “The View” (ABC): Sheila E, Rep. Nancy Pelosi
Oct. 21 – “George Michael: Freedom” (SHO): The Grammy award winner narrated this documentary before his untimely passing.
Oct. 22 – “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown” (CNN): Pittsburgh “The Walking Dead” (AMC): It’s war as the eighth season premieres. “Unsung Hollywood (TV1): “The Jeffersons” “Michel’le: Still Standing” (Lifetime): Wendy Williams hosts this interview catching up with the singer after the re-airing of her biopic.
Oct. 23 – “Scared Famous” (VH1): Eva Marcille, Tiffany Pollard and Yung Joc are among the competitors in this haunted house challenge series hosted by Redman. “The Untitled Action Bronson Show” (Viceland): The rapper/chef breaks bread with his celebrity guests in this new late-night offering.
Oct. 24 – “Finding Your Roots” (PBS): Ta-Nehisi Coates, Ava DuVernay and Janet Mock get their backstories. “Drop The Mic” (TBS): Method Man and Haley Baldwin host this celebrity rap battle contest based on one of James Corden’s popular segments of “The Late Late Show.”
TASTY QUIP: “I want to say this to every kid: you don’t have to wait for the phone call. Just know who you are, because you gotta be real about this; this [is] all business. I’ma say to all you young folks out there, you’re doing a hell of a job keeping hip-hop alive. Because everything you do is about these kids. Go back to your home. Do something in your community. Be somebody. It ain’t difficult to inspire others. You can do whatever you want to do.” – LUTHER “UNCLE LUKE” CAMPBELL during the 2017 BET Hip Hop Awards
As featured in the Los Angeles Wave and Independent, Tasty Clips is one of the leading entertainment newspaper columns on the West Coast, serving nearly one million weekly readers. To reach Bill Vaughan, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @tastyclips.