Behind the Scenes Scoop
It seems that behind the scenes is the best place to be for at least a few of this month’s favorite habitués.
Mc Enroe Raises His Voice
First up is sometime Southampton resident John McEnroe, who absolutely slays as the narrator on Never Have I Ever.
Back for season two of the Netflix-produced coming-of-age comedy, the former bad boy of tennis and seven-time Grand Slam champion seems to have finally met his match as the offscreen voice of series lead Devi Vishwakumar, played by Maitreyi Ramakrishnan. It’s a super strange choice to cast a 62-year-old professional tennis player white guy to tell the story of a nerdy Indian American teenage girl but man does it ever work. Brilliantly.
Be sure to tune in if you haven’t seen this fresh series, executive produced by Mindy Kaling. You’ll be glad you did.
‘Years’ Ages Nicely
Another standout show featuring the offscreen talents of one of our East End regulars is The Wonder Years reboot. Produced by original series star Fred Savage, the Walt Disney / ABC update is supremely good.
This new take on the 1988 classic stars Elisha “EJ” Williams as Dean Williams as the primary character, plus Dulé Hill, Saycon Sengbloh, Laura Kariuki as dad, mom, and sister, with Don Cheadle serving up as the narrator. Set in Montgomery, Alabama in the late 1960s, these Wonder Years tell the tale of growing up from the perspective of a black middle-class American family.
A huge round of applause on this one. Bravo all, including Savage, who shares executive producer duties with Saladin K. Patterson, Lee Daniels, and Marc Velez, as well as the cast, crew, writers, etc. Well done!
Serving Up Greatness
Then there’s All In: An Autobiography by Billie Jean King with Johnette Howard and Maryanne Vollers. This book, which utilizes the talents of Bridgehampton resident and The Rivals author Johnette Howard, is capital R riveting! This autobiography of the tennis legend blows the barn doors off their hinges. Wow!
For those who might not be as familiar with Howard, she’s worked as a national columnist and commentator for ESPN, and as a long-form writer for Sports Illustrated, The Washington Post, and The National. The work she’s done on this book, obviously along with King herself and co-writer Vollers, is extraordinary.
The intimate and inspiring book showcases the world’s former number one tennis player’s incredible career, personal relationships, fight for social justice and commitment to equality. It’s a humdinger of a great story.
A couple of other books by East Enders that are worth mentioning are Katie Lee’s latest cookbook, It’s Not Complicated: Simple Recipes for Every Day and Erica Abeel’s The Commune. Both books came out this year and are worth picking up.
Lee’s cookbook is all about settling down and simplicity. Remarried a few years back and now a first-time mom to a one-year-old daughter, Iris, her newest is written for the everyday cook. In it she shares 100 of her favorite down-home and delicious recipes.
As for Sagaponack-based Abeel, her latest novel, published in July, is a comic satire and roman a clef about the Hamptons, but based in the fictional town of Ilesfordd. Set during the early 70s against the backdrop of the fight for female equality, The Commune is about “a little group of extremely flawed, self-seeking and hyper-ambitious individuals in a group house in the Hamptons who launched an event that transformed the world,” according to the author. To us, that sounds pretty much like a typical Tuesday out East. LOL.
Rumors are swirling that Sag Harbor’s own Amanda Fairbanks’s book, The Lost Boys of Montauk, is about to get its closeup. Apparently, there’s a six-episode series in the works, with names such as Frances McDormand and Timothée Chalamet being bandied about. This based-on-true tale of locals lost at sea, aboard the Wind Blown in 1984, is sure to hit home here and beyond.
Lastly, let’s bring our glasses together for the folks at Foster Farm in Sagaponack, whose Sagaponack Farm Distillery has been earning high marks and winning awards all over the place. Of note, the Distillery won the 21st annual Finger Lakes Competition in June and the American Distilling Institute’s Craft Spirits Awards in August. Cheers to that.