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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 - 28 September 2018
Always Be Watching is by Dan Barrett who is less interested in beer today than ever before
In yesterday’s newsletter I quoted a favorable Murphy Brown review from Indiewire. The thing I had trouble marrying up in my mind is how positive the review was versus how facile I found the political comedy (and comedy broadly) in the original version of the show. This Uproxx review sounds more on the money:
It’s hard to fault the show for how on-the-nose it is — calling Trump “orange,” a joke about Ivanka Trump’s fashion line — because it mostly feels like Murphy Brown is playing catch-up, as if creator Diane English and her writers room have been sitting on these jokes for years and have to rapidly get them out of their system before they can move on. It’s understandable, but it’s also exhausting. By the time Murphy ends up in an on-air Twitter fight with Trump (who nicknames her “Old Murphy”), I’m ready for a nap. But it’s not even a problem faced solely by Murphy Brown. More than anything, it reiterates my theory that scripted television isn’t well-equipped to deal with reflecting and reacting to our current world and its messy politics. It’s at once too early and too late. This isn’t to say that series shouldn’t try but, more often than not, the results feel too desperate or even embarrassing.
There was a shocking revelation on The Late Show w/ Stephen Colbert yesterday with Murphy Brown star Candice Bergen admitting she once went on a date with Donald Trump:
The Miseducation of Cameron Post director Desiree Akhavan has written, directed, and stars in a new UK series for Channel 4 called The Bisexual. She plays a New York transplant adjusting to life in London while also navigating her complex sexuality. Her attempts to understand her sexuality are hindered by skeptics and friends — but mostly by her own neuroses. The first trailer has just gone live: