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.
Community might be getting #6SeasonsAndAMovie
ALSO: Hot Boba Fett and Avatar news
That was always the promise of Community. The show reached six seasons and then… it was gone.
But now talk is heating up around a potential Community movie. As per creator Dan Harmon:
“I can tell people for sure that the enthusiasm for ‘Community,’ both for all of this time and the resurgence of it [on Netflix], there’s always an aspect of that affects the marketplace,” Harmon, who created the series, told TheWrap on Friday. “And when the marketplace gets affected, conversations happen. And when conversations happen, things happen.”
“I mean, when you’re part of the ‘Community’ family, you learn never to raise expectations, keep ‘em nice and low and then be pleasantly surprised,” he continued. “So I can say that there are conversations happening that people would want to be happening and that I’m very, very excited about the coming months.”
I’ve mentioned this in the newsletter before, but my interest in watching TV shows recorded via Zoom is practically nil. And it seems like I’m not alone - SNL, which received praise for reworking its format to suit the status quo has been on a downward trajectory ratings-wise with all three of its shows filmed at home.
The remote SNL episodes have been following the monthlong production shutdown have been on a downward ratings trajectory (4.6 in HH, 2.1 in 18-49 on 4/11; 4.0, 1.8 on 4/25; 2.7, 1.5 on 5/9)
I spent my weekend having a blast watching new Netflix drama The Eddy. It’s a US-produced series about a Jazz club in Paris. The show is, I feel, incredibly successful in immediately establishing a lived-in world for its characters along with delivering several high energy jazz music performances in every episode. In that, it is reminiscent of the David Simon show Treme.
Treme was an HBO series set adjacent to the French Quarter in New Orleans and is very much a spiritual cousin to The Eddy. Vanity Fair has this piece recommending that anyone who discovered The Eddy over the weekend should also swing back and watch the long-finished Treme.
Which brings me to the music. Each episode features, on average, at least four or five performances, staged everywhere from the street corners of the French Quarter to Tipitina’s, a venue that owes its name to the classic Professor Longhair track, to the Howlin’ Wolf, to the yard of Bacchanal, to the tiny studio of local radio station WWOZ. Even Bourbon Street tourist traps get the spotlight in an early season one episode, with local musicians who have to play to eat insisting, like a mantra, that “there’s pride on Bourbon Street.” There are constant second lines and funeral marches, naturally, as well as entire episodes set at Jazz Fest and Mardi Gras, the latter of which often serves as the crown jewel of each of the show’s four seasons. It’s almost as though the Treme show bible insisted that every other scene must explode with song, making the series less a drama than it is a collection of intimate concerts. And like The Eddy, which dutifully chronicles the lesser-seen side of Paris, Treme offers a voracious, encyclopedic look at beloved venues, restaurants, and hole-in-the-wall spots that you’ll never find if you don’t leave the French Quarter.
Something to keep your eye on…
Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has written an op-ed for The Guardian about the Murdoch press using the China/COVID-19 conspiracy coverage to firm up re-election for Donald Trump in November.
The truth is, at this stage, none of us know definitively whether the virus came from the Wuhan laboratory. The best we can do is accept the Australian government’s assertion that this is at best a 5% possibility. Politically, the bottom line is that the leak of this alleged Five Eyes intelligence dossier to the Murdoch media in Australia, before being resold back into the US political audience by the very same Murdoch media, appears designed to back Trump’s and Pompeo’s claim. But this time with the added “authenticity” factor of the dossier being “multinational” and not just a normal drop from the White House to Fox, which have become a dime a dozen.
I don’t think anyone can read/watch Murdoch news and not believe that as an organisation it is overly supportive of the Trump administration and is working towards Donny’s re-election. But… I don’t quite understand why. Supporting Trump appears to be against their best interests.
It seems clear to me that the loyalty really flows one way with Trump increasingly beefing up support for emerging conservative cable outlet One America News Network (OANN). This is a network that is unquestionably pro-Trump and very willing to give voice to far right conspiracy theories. It’s also a network that now has greater White House access with press accreditation and journalists regularly called upon to ask questions of the President and other WH officials (even if OANN is still struggling to get an official seat through the White House Correspondents Association).
And now the Trump family are rumoured to be working with a private equity firm, Hicks Equity Partners, to make a purchase of OANN. This is believed to be an effort to secure a post-Presidency profile for Trump if he loses in November.
According to sources, an investor group aligned with his son Don Jr. and the Dallas-based Hicks family is in negotiations to acquire a major stake in One America News Network, the fledgling conservative cable-news channel that features hosts like Jack Posobiec, a chief promoter of the Pizzagate conspiracy. “[RNC co-chair] Tommy Hicks and Don Jr. have been looking to buy a station for Trump TV,” said one source briefed on the talks. “This is all about building a Fox competitor. Trump is really aiming to take down Fox,” the person briefed on the deal told me. “The Herrings have no agreements in place, written or oral, to sell any stake of its business or interest in OAN to any party,” Charles P. Herring, president of Herring Networks, OANN’s parent company, said in a letter after this article was published.
After being glimpsed in season one of The Mandalorian, it appears that Boba Fett is set to be making an appearance in the show during the second season. The legendary Star Wars character will be played by Temuera Morrison. Morrison played Fett’s father Jango in Star Wars: Attack of The Clones.
And on the subject of beloved sci-fi movie epics, the first Avatar sequel is still on track for release at Christmas 2021. Production in New Zealand is set to resume with new protocols expected to be implemented. Also set to resume is the NZ-located Lord of The Rings TV series in production for Amazon Prime Video.