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.
Big Brother Aus is back! ALSO: New Sesame St deal. AND: Bonsoir Elliot!
Always Be Watching is written by master hacker Dan Barrett
Big Brother is coming back to Australia for what will be its third incarnation. Promised is a new gameplay style. It is likely to air on Channel 7, but rival Channel 9 still have a few more weeks to refuse purchasing the format (having produced a series back in 2014).
The final season of Mr Robot debuts this Sunday in the US. It’s a fascinating show for several reasons. First, the show itself is pretty incredible. It is bold, twisty, and complicated with themes about corporate greed and the role of technology in the world that have become very mainstream since the series launched. But it is also interesting how the show skirted on being on the edge of a cultural phenomenon, but then fell off the radar for a lot of viewers.
I think it is a safe statement to make that a minor creative misstep with the first 4 episodes of season 2 (and a weekly release schedule dragging that out) killed any momentum the show had.
Alan Sepinwall takes a look at the final season:
The series’ entire arc has taken place over a very compressed timeline, meaning that it’s only December of 2015 when the final season begins. So what was once as au courant as TV gets quickly turned into a period piece, even as the actions of Elliot, Whiterose, and E Corp boss Phillip Price (Michael Cristofer) have radically diverged the show’s reality from the tail end of the Obama era. (Esmail tried last season to tie the series to current events by suggesting that Whiterose was encouraging Donald Trump’s presidential campaign; it played as clumsily as it sounds.) In one of this season’s episodes, an exasperated Darlene tells Elliot, “Nothing’s ever going to change with you, is it?” The world has changed a lot since 2015; Mr. Robot mostly hasn’t.
You know what has been missing from all the talk about new live-action Star Wars series The Mandalorian? Toys. Expect a whole bunch of merchandise to be released in line with the series. It begins with this collectible figure:
A new Netflix horror film starts with a boy suffering auto-immune issues and has to be moved into a bubble. Boy!
The film begins with a family making a last resort effort to cure their son’s auto-immune disorder. To do this they move into a sterile manor during his treatments. The boy is soon tormented by terrifying visions, deemed hallucinations, even as something sinister may lurk within these walls.
Sylvester Stallone will produce a new show starring Dolph Lundgren. So far it is only at the pilot stage.
Titled “The International,” Lundgren would star as Anders Soto, described as a one-man covert black-ops team working for the U.N., who is called in to find asymmetrical solutions to the world’s most delicate and complex problems. He is part negotiator and part international spy.
Sesame Street will move in the US from HBO to HBO Max. The deal includes:
New annual Sesame Street specials, kicking off with The Monster at the End of This Show, an animated version of the acclaimed The Monster at the End of this Book
A family-centric live-action take on a late-night talk show, The Not Too Late Show with Elmo—featuring Sesame Street’s celebrity friends
A new season of the award-winning animated Esme & Roy, as well as the previous season, which was produced for HBO
Two new animated series, the first a spinoff of Sesame Street called Mecha Builders (working title), featuring favorite Sesame Street characters as heroes in a robot-animation style; and the second series to be announced at a later date
A new docuseries that will explore key issues for kids and families, building off Sesame Workshop’s expertise in tackling difficult issues from a child’s perspective