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 Watching - 2 October 2018
Always Be Watching is written by Dan Barrett
It seems like the business model for niche US SVOD services is to invest in original series to drive subscriptions, but to distribute the shows internationally via Netflix and get the streaming giant to pick up the bill for the show. CBS All Access did it with Star Trek: Discovery, now the new DC Universe subscription service is doing the same with its new Teen Titans live-action show. That’s the one already infamous for having Robin say “F**k Batman” in the trailer.
Teen Titans will be available to stream internationally on Netflix. Which is good news for all those fans wondering how they were going to see the new show.
It’s a smart move for launching the service, but could hinder eventual international expansion when the time comes to scale up.
A sitcom I am looking forward to checking out is Happy Together. The premise has a pop star hiding from the world by living with an everyday couple. It’s a silly, hacky premise, but the show stars Damon Wayans Jr (Happy Endings) and Amber Stevens West (The Carmichael Show) and that feels like really good casting. A good cast can take even a mediocre show a long way, so I’m interested in seeing how it plays out.
Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner was accused of sexual misconduct by one of his writers and now that he has a new show about to launch on Amazon, The Romanoffs, he’s going to have to comment on it. And he did. To Vanity Fair:
“I can’t see a scenario where I would say that,” he continues, returning to Gordon’s allegation. “What I can see is, it was 10 years ago and I don’t remember saying it. When someone says you said something, like the experience we just had right now—I don’t remember saying that.”
He continues more definitively, “I never felt that way and I never acted that way towards Kater.”
Here’s a classic Humphries sketch where he got acted off the screen by a promising young ingenue.
When The Late Show with Stephen Colbert was struggling to find a voice (and viewers), it made the canny move to go live during a number of key moments in the US presidential campaign. They haven’t done it since, but will again go live on the night of the US midterms. I like live TV.
Netflix are innovating again. Buttons on its screens are usually used for people to press play on shows and to skip the opening credits. Soon they will be used for a Choose Your Own Adventure-style episode of Black Mirror.
It’s not actually being that innovative as they’ve already done it on some of the Netflix kids shows. BUT… this will be more sophisticated in its storytelling.
The stories that branch off from the main narrative of “Black Mirror” will be more complex than the options in the kids’ programming, though it remains to be seen just how complicated the show will be. Consumer experience is paramount at Netflix, which employs executives who test everything from the quality of mobile networks in Mumbai to Brazilians’ preferences for subtitles versus dubbing.
Finally, how do you watch your TV? If it is via Chromecast, there’s good news: Not only is there a new Chromecast model set to be released, but ahead of its official announcement, some have made their way into stores already.
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