You have questions. I have some answers.
Q: On “The Resident,” Jenna Dewan was playing the representative of a medical company and starting to have a relationship with one of the doctors. She was run off the road by some thugs and we have not seen her since. Did she die or will she be back on the show?
A: Actress-dancer Dewan will be back in the Fox drama’s March 25 episode. Fox says Devon (Manish Dayal), who had become attracted to Dewan’s character, Julian Booth, will finally discover the truth about what happened to her. But we don’t know if she is alive or dead, and Fox is keeping mum about that.
At the same time, if you want to see more of Dewan, she still makes occasional appearances on NBC’s “World of Dance” (though she no longer hosts the show), is in the current movie anthology “Berlin, I Love You,” and has a new series, “Mixtape,” coming to Netflix. You can also find her as @jennadewan on Twitter and Instagram.
Q: Recently the name Ferrante appeared in literature and television as the author of a very popular book. She claims to be a woman from Naples, Italy. But the personal details describing the characters, especially the men, make it obvious (to me) that the author is male, not female. Surely there must be others who have come forward with the same surmise.
A: There are. Elena Ferrante has written four connected, best-selling novels starting with “My Brilliant Friend,” which inspired an HBO series. Because Ferrante writes under a pseudonym and shuns face-to-face interviews, there have been attempts to guess her real name and speculation about her gender.
A New York Times story in 2014 noted rumors “regularly recycled in the Italian press that she is the Italian novelist Domenico Starnone,” which Starnone himself called a “groundless hypothesis.” In written answers to interviewers’ questions, Ferrante maintained she is female. She told Vanity Fair in 2015 that she stays out of the public eye “to liberate myself from the anxiety of notoriety.”
Talking about claims that women writing certain kinds of stories must in fact be men, Ferrante said that women “know how to think, we know how to tell stories, we know how to write them as well as, if not better, than men.” Still, guessing games went on. In 2016, the Times reported on new talk about an Italian professor possibly being Ferrante; denials followed. But at least the professor was a woman.
Q: Back in 2016, there was a short series about an alien invasion that primarily affected members of Congress. It was called “Braindead,” starred Tony Shalhoub among others and was, at times, hilarious.
Are there any plans to replay it any time soon? In view of the craziness that is currently surrounding our government, the timing would be very interesting.
A: “Braindead” indeed aired for 13 episodes on CBS from June to September 2016. I do not know of any plans for a repeat on the network. You can still find the episodes on the CBS All Access subscription streaming service, on Amazon Prime Video and on DVD.
Q: On reruns of “Perry Mason” I saw a series of episodes where Perry was in the hospital and guest stars took his place — Barry Sullivan and Bette Davis among them. Was Raymond Burr, who played Perry, sick for real?
A: Yes. Burr was quite outspoken about the strain of doing the series, and there were times during its run when he had health problems. Surgery (sources vary about what kind) and illness were responsible for fill-ins in several episodes, among them the ones you remember with Sullivan and Davis.
Rich Heldenfels has retired from the Beacon Journal but continues to answer your questions about entertainment past, present and future. Write to Rich Heldenfels, P.O. Box 417, Mogadore, OH 44260, or email@example.com. Letters may be edited. Individual replies are not guaranteed.