Overrated/Underrated: Can Benioff and Weiss up their game for ‘Star Wars’?

D. B. Weiss, David Benioff
David Benioff, left, and D.B. Weiss attend HBO’s “Game of Thrones” final season premiere at Radio City Music Hall in New York.
(Evan Agostini / Invision)


Tim Conway: For those of a certain age, Tim Conway was our Chaplin, a master comic mind who died at 85 this week. Best known for timeless work on “The Carol Burnett Show,” — as well as kid-friendly movies like “The Apple Dumpling Gang” and his 1980 pairing with Don Knotts, “Private Eyes” — Conway could navigate the silliest scenes and situations with a blank, deadpan innocence while at the same time being an assassin-like improvisor. To properly celebrate his life’s work, take a look at his “Dentist” sketch with Harvey Korman or his “Elephant Story” outtake, which lives on as among the funniest TV moments of the past 40 years.

Jamila Woods’ ‘Legacy! Legacy!’: Sprinkled at various points with elements of hip-hop, anthemic house music and smoldering soul, the new album from this Chicago singer-songwriter, educator and poet resists landing in any one category as much as its singular central voice. With song titles that pay homage to influential figures across black art, including Octavia Butler, Miles Davis, Muddy Waters and James Baldwin, Woods builds on the success of her breakthrough 2016 album “HEAVN” and extends her already considerable reach with loping melodies and lyrics of self-empowerment like “My wings are greater than walls” from the track “Sun Ra.”



YouTube: A lot of space has been given to Twitter and Facebook’s contribution to the downfall of, well, everything, but proving that competition remains the lifeblood of Silicon Valley, YouTube is racing up the charts too. Once a seemingly innocuous hub of weird home videos and VHS rips of “WKRP in Cincinnati,” YouTube’s lucrative policy of rewarding the clicks that come with broadcasting outrageousness has spawned 14-year-old hatemongers, “pranksters” who dress up to fire people from department stores and whatever PewDiePie is. YouTube has shined a light on a lot of underrecognized talent, but maybe none was as valuable as old-fashioned entertainment gatekeepers.

David Benioff and D.B. Weiss moving to ‘Star Wars’: In an announcement that hopes to bring together fans of the biggest fantasy series of all time with the biggest sci-fi franchise, the showrunners for “Game of Thrones” will transition to a galaxy far, far away once Disney gets back to releasing new “Star Wars” movies. Assuming the world doesn’t end before the first arrives in 2022, Benioff and Weiss have shown gifts for compression and spectacle in adapting George R.R. Martin’s sprawling novels, but the past few seasons have revealed some big holes in their storytelling game. Maybe there’s a “Star Wars” book someone can write first?


Follow me over here @chrisbarton.

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