Compared to the past 6-8 weeks, it is a fairly low-volume week for releases. But the couple of shows that are launching are absolute monster titles. This weekend of TV, to me, feels like streaming TV is having its first ever BLOCKBUSTER weekend.
On Disney+ we have Obi-Wan Kenobi, a show that brings back Ewan McGregor as the titular Jedi alongside prequel Darth Vader Hayden Christensen. Before you dismiss how big this show can get, keep in mind that this isn't just a regular ol' Star Wars show. This is an OG character who even my mum knows. That is to say, this show has generational appeal that stretches beyond fanboys (and fangals).
Then on Netflix you have that streamers one true zeitgeist-y hit returning. Sure, the viewing numbers for shows like Squid Game were considerably higher, but the streamer had a lot more subscribers by the time that came around. Stranger Things is one of the few shows where a not-insignificant number of people on the street can tell you who characters are and will even remember enough to say they miss Barb. For Netflix Stranger Things is a big deal. The biggest of deals.
These shows are going to have massive viewership and generate immediate cultural conversation. And like the biggest of box office movie releases, there are very few competitors who are putting new releases up against them. Who can compete with that level of noise?
But not only do you have two massive TV shows going head-to-head against each other at home, but there's also the new Top Gun Maverick movie in cinemas. This is a film with a very large audience of dads the world over who have been patiently waiting two years for its release.
I haven't been able to get screener access for either Obi-Wan or Stranger Things. But I did go to a public preview screening on Wednesday night for Top Gun and there was a very large, very enthused audience for the film. I haven't felt a cinema audience with that much energy in years outside of a handful of Marvel films (the most recent Spidey flick and the Endgame Avengers 2-parter). I'm no fan of the original Top Gun film (it's pretty dumb), but had a blast with the new film. Which isn't to suggest it isn't dumb...
Word of mouth on that film is going to be very good. If people can be convinced to get off the couch.
Stranger Things (s04), Silent Witness (s25), Ghost In The Shell: SAC_2045 (s02), Somebody Feed Phil (s05), Good Trouble (s04), The Last Kingdom (s05), Grantchester (s07)
Obi-Wan Kenobi - Disney+
Stars: Ewan McGregor, Hayden Christensen, Moses Ingram
The Jedi Master contends with the consequences of his greatest defeat -- the downfall and corruption of his one-time friend and apprentice, Anakin Skywalker, who turned to the dark side as evil Sith Lord Darth Vader.
Shoresy - Hulu*
Stars: Jared Keeso, Tasya Teles
Shoresy moves to Sudbury, Canada, to join a senior AAA hockey team in his quest to never lose again.
*Sorry Aussie ABW readers, I don't know where this will land down under - I'm guessing there may be a deal for it outside North America for it to be on Disney+/Star...
Godspeed - Netflix [Movie]
Stars: Engin Akyürek, Ömer Demir
An ex-army captain travels to Dalyan to stop his friend’s beloved from marrying another man, but grief and trauma from a combat tragedy mar his journey.
With those extended Stranger Things run-times for every episode, make sure you're staying hydrated.