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.
Buffy star arrested
Nicholas Brendon brought in by the cops. Eh.
Nicholas Brendon, the one-time actor known for playing Xander on teen drama Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, is facing charges in Indiana for allegedly obtaining prescription drugs illegally and falsely informing officers of his identity.
It's yet another sad chapter in his post fame life, following similar stories of possession, abuse, and a litany of other incidents. Someone needs to get this guy some help.
The art of the opening title sequence
There's a strong sameness to a lot of opening title sequences on high-end drama series. It's always exciting to see a show doing something quite different. One of the most distinctive is the titles for The Good Fight. If you haven't seen it before, it's an ever-changing set of things being blown up.
Indiewire today has an EXTENSIVE feature on the opening titles.
“What he pitched to us was porcelain objects dropping in slow motion and shattering. And I remembered in ‘Zabriskie Point,’ the refrigerators blowing up in slow motion and it just being fascinating. So we kind of combined the two ideas. Even as destructive as it is, it’s beautiful,” Robert King said. “And obviously, as you know, blowing shit up is always exciting.”
Less Aussie drama than there used to be
A team of Queensland media researchers including Dr Amanda Lotz (a US academic who made Australia home a couple of years ago - I interviewed her once during an Australian visit for the Mediaweek podcast), have bene looking into Australian TV production volume. There's a lot less being made today than there was 20 years ago.
Lotz(QUT),Associate ProfessorAnna Potter (University of the Sunshine Coast), and Professor Kevin Sanson (QUT) released the Australian Television Drama Index this week as part of a three-year study.
The index shows commercial broadcasters’ adult drama commissioning decreased by 68 per cent over the last two decades, from 208 hours in 1999 to 67 in 2019 (soaps not included). The average episodes per title per year produced by commercial broadcasters also decreased, from an average of 21 episodes in 1999 to seven in 2019.
I was interested in this statement, as it backs up my concern that forcing local content streaming quotas won't result in shows being made that reflect Australian stories in the way that we'd ideally like to see:
The risk of this is that Australian viewers are not the primary audience of global streaming services. Quotas might lead to Australian productions, but current settings unreliably deliver the ‘Australian stories’ that figure strongly in rhetoric. As the index illustrates, the loss of commercial broadcast drama commissions is many magnitudes greater than the scale of hours offered by streaming services, or even an established Australia-only service such as Foxtel. Quotas on streamers might diminish the impact on the production sector, but it is unrealistic to think global services will commission Australian stories as commercial broadcasters have.
(Which isn't to say that there won't be ANY Australian made shows from international streamers...)
One of the more curious decisions from a US streamer has been Amazon Prime Video commissioning a new season of former network Australian drama Packed To The Rafters. The trailer for it dropped just minutes ago:
Attack Of The Hollywood Clichés! is a one-off comedy special hosted by Rob Lowe. It debuts on Netflix Sept 28. Read: Deadline
Flatbush Misdemeanors will return for a second season. Read: thefutoncritic
Your Honor will return for a second season in 2022. Read: thefutoncritic
Showtime has announced a TV series remake of The Wood, the 1999 film by Rick Famuyiwa. Read: Deadline
The much-anticipated Yellowjackets debuts on Showtime Nov 14.
Billie Eilish concert film Happier Than Ever: A Love Letter To LA debuts on Disney+ on Sept 3. It was directed by Robert Rodriguez and certainly looks more interesting than you may expect.
Kids home renovation show Backyard Blowout debuts on Peacock Sept 16.
Maya and The Three is a Netflix animated mini-series debuting later this year.
Love on The Spectrum returns for season 2 on Netflix Sept 21.
Melissa McCarthy stars in feature film The Starling which debuts on Netflix Sept 24.
Vendetta: Truth, Lies, and The Mafia debuts on Netflix Sept 24.
Jaguar debuts Sept 22 on Netflix.
Welcome To The Blumhouse, a series of horror films, returns to Amazon Prime Video on Oct 1.
Charlie Cox stars in AMC+ series Kin, debuting Sept 9. Is AMC+ quickly becoming one of the most compelling streaming services? Every few weeks it is debuting interesting, textured dramas...
What's next? Tomorrow.
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