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.
Breaking Bad movie details! Conan's coming to Australia! And goodbye Catastrophe!
Always Be Watching is curated by Dan Barrett - the world's biggest romantic.
Remember those rumours about a Breaking Bad movie filming in New Mexico? We now have a far clearer idea now of what it is. As expected, this is a follow-up to the series, revealing what happened to Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) after the events of the show. Here’s what no one expected: AMC, which originally aired the show in the US, will air the movie. BUT ONLY AFTER IT IS AVAILABLE ON NETFLIX.
That’s right, it’ll debut on Netflix, presumably globally. There is no official word on it yet, but with The Hollywood Reporter publishing this as fact, it sounds certain.
Why is Mexico a priority for Netflix? It is where the company first started producing non-English original programming when it expanded internationally to Latin America in 2011, and the country is the furthest along in the region with respect to production and viewership.
Next week Conan O’Brien is in Australia to do one single show at the State Theatre in Sydney. My assumption was that the show would serve as an anchor for Conan to record one of the Without Borders specials they’ve been producing for TBS, which has Conan visiting other countries. Yesterday, the late night host confirmed that he will indeed be shooting a special here. Clips from his visit will start populating the Team Coco social channels from Friday/Saturday when he lands and starts filming.
There is a companion podcast for the new TNT mini-series I Am The Night called Root of Evil. Tyler Moody, the VP of the Turner Podcast Network is producing the series and spoke with Podnews about it and why the podcast exists.
As someone who has produced a couple of companion podcasts for Australian broadcaster SBS around its acquired US dramas The Handmaid’s Tale, The Good Fight, Batman 1966, and currently The Orville, this caught my attention.
He actually touches upon the why of it fairly nicely with this point:
I Am The Night on TNT is a major priority for Turner and part of our strategy is to engage with fans at every touchpoint. So, it was important and strategic to find ways to connect with the show outside of linear viewing. This is just another example of how Turner continues to ramp up efforts in the podcast space and how we are addressing digital audio and engaging fans with our new and original content.
[Because I’m a free agent now I need to hustle a bit more. So…] If there are any companies who do want to talk with me about engaging fans/audiences through content driven marketing, drop me an email.
As I write this newsletter, it is Thursday morning 14 February - Valentines Day. It got me thinking about romance on TV and how TV, as a medium, isn’t really suited to it that well. There are shows about the search for love. There are shows with a will they/won’t they sexual tension. But there are very few about romance in the same way there are PLENTY of romantic movies.
TV, being a long form, chapter-driven medium, lends itself better to stories about romantic commitment rather than romance itself. A movie can have the big sweeping moments and excitement about a budding romance. But for TV, it has to deal with what comes after that big speech.
Probably the best show about a long-term relationship commitment has been the UK comedy Catastrophe, which just wrapped up its run yesterday on Channel 4. (The final season is set to debut in the US on Amazon Prime on 15 March. It’ll air here in Australia on the ABC at a point yet to be known).
*** VERY VERY VERY MILD SPOILER TIME ***
One of the lingering questions with the show has always been whether Rob and Sharon have a relationship based on romance, or if it is just commitment based on raising a family together after an unplanned pregnancy. The final episode gives us a very clear answer on that, which is actually incredibly fulfilling in a way I hadn’t expected.
*** NO MORE SPOILERS, BUT READ THIS BIT CAREFULLY ***
I don’t want to talk about how it ends exactly, but I did want to warn people going into it not to read any of the articles about the finale. It does raise a question of sorts, which has already prompted people to ask a very big question about it. I think it is very clear what is happening at the end and the question is actually pretty irrelevant, but please, if you see me on the street ask me about it - this is actually THE ONLY thing I want to talk about today.
If you’ve never seen Catastrophe before, please find a way to watch it. Even buy episodes off iTunes if you must. I think the show is wonderful.