A daily newsletter guide to what is happening on your screens - TV, streaming, movies, games, VR, AR
Dan Barrett is an industry commentator & TV critic. He does radio - 4BC & ABC GC and co-hosts the Screen Watching podcast. He's a former Mediaweek deputy editor and content creator for SBS.
Always Be Streaming - 16 October 2020
If you don't like Aaron Sorkin... oh boy... I don't know...
I appreciate that The West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin is a divisive figure, but if you’re a fan this is one heck of a weekend.
Everyone should check out his film The Trial of The Chicago 7. Written and directed by Sorkin, it shows a confidence and ability that I don’t think was there for his first film, 2017’s Molly’s Game. Chicago 7 plays like gangbusters for two key reasons:
It’s a great old-fashioned Hollywood courtroom drama. The bulk of it happens in a court room with big splashy moments that will make you want to stand and cheer along with the rowdy audience in the gallery.
Despite the fact the film is a period drama set in 1968, it plays very well like a film speaking to our current moment. This is a film celebrating the idea of protest - citizens standing up for their democratic rights, even when a system has been built up to keep dissenting voices quiet. The actions of the police and government agents are similar to Black Lives Matter demonstrations on the streets this year (both in the US and at international protests).
The movie debuts on Netflix this weekend. If you’d like to see it on the big screen, it is playing in some cinemas. Check your local listings (here in Sydney, Australia it was playing at the Ritz cinema in Randwick).
Fans of Aaron Sorkin’s The West Wing will want to watch the HBO Max special clunkily entitled A West Wing Special To Benefit When We Vote. The episode is a stage performance of the season 3 episode Hartfield’s Landing.
If you’ve never watched The West Wing before, this special is probably a rather good introduction to the show. Hartfield’s Landing is a solid episode and should translate to the stage nicely.
Stars: Brittany Adebumola, Odessa A’zion, Amir Bageria The drama series tells the story of five high school students as they struggle with sexual, racial and economic politics and fight to succeed and become somebody.
Stars: Fin Argus, Sabrina Carpenter, Madison Iseman Young musician Zach Sobiech discovers his cancer has spread, leaving him just a few months to live. With limited time, he follows his dream and makes an album, unaware that it will soon be a viral music phenomenon.
Helstrom - Hulu
Stars: Tarun Keram, Kyle Warren, Leo Chiang Daimon and Ana Helstrom are the son and daughter of a mysterious and powerful serial killer. The siblings have a complicated dynamic as they track down the terrorizing worst of humanity - each with their attitude and skills.
Stars: Heidi Schreck, Mike Iveson, Rosdely Ciprian Live Broadway cast production of Heidi Schreck's play presenting multiple facets, historical perspectives and personal experiences with the U.S. Constitution.
That’s it for this week. Let’s be careful out there.
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