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.
Emilia Clarke reveals she had a brain aneurysm. Did Letterman stay 10 years too long? And more!
Always Be Watching is curated by Dan Barrett who always stays ten years too long
Emilia Clarke has written the most phenomenal thing you’ll read this week. After the first season of Game of Thrones the actress suffered a brain aneurysm. Here she is, the breakout star of what would become the hottest show on the planet and it was almost all over for her before it started.
I immediately felt as though an elastic band were squeezing my brain. I tried to ignore the pain and push through it, but I just couldn’t. I told my trainer I had to take a break. Somehow, almost crawling, I made it to the locker room. I reached the toilet, sank to my knees, and proceeded to be violently, voluminously ill. Meanwhile, the pain—shooting, stabbing, constricting pain—was getting worse. At some level, I knew what was happening: my brain was damaged.
Dave Letterman has told Ellen that he should have left his late night talk show ten years earlier. I was always surprised that he came back after his heart attack.
Although the live audience chuckled throughout the above dialogue, Letterman appeared to be dead serious. He explained how he neglected to make sure that he had energy for other things while sustaining his TV run. This, he said, contrasted Ellen’s style of having “nothing but energy,” so she devotes time to other projects inside and out of show business. Whereas Letterman regrets that he only devoted time to himself, so when he left Late Show, he realized, “Oh, I’ve been looking through the wrong end of the telescope. There’s more to life.”
It is amazing that there is a movie that has been made about the Mötley Crüe biography The Dirt. It seems more amazing that it is coming out in the midst of the #metoo movement. Back in 2001 when the book was released, it was WILD. Now, it has an entirely different tone to it.
Steve Hyden at Uproxx has an interview with director Jeff Tremaine, best known for his work on the Jackass TV show:
Look, it’s definitely documenting a crazy time, where people did crazy shit. You want to get people on the board, on board with the roller coaster. The fun of it, for me at least, in the early days … I wanted to show the spirit without getting it too dark too early. There’s definitely dark, crazy shit through the whole book, but I wanted the movie to escalate into the consequences and the darkness, and reveal it a little bit later. Getting the tone right was definitely a challenge. That book is filled with outrageous stories, so choosing the right ones that told the story — and making sure that we didn’t leave fans of the book feeling like we did a version that they wouldn’t be proud of — it was a difficult balancing act.
Oscar winning screenwriter Steve Zaillian is set to turn the Tom Ripley novels into a TV series.
Zaillian will reportedly use all five novels written by Highsmith – “The Talented Mr. Ripley,” “Ripley Under Ground,” “Ripley’s Game,” “The Boy Who Followed Ripley” and “Ripley Underwater” – to map out Ripley’s progression from con artist to serial killer.
Want an insight into the mind of most TV/culture writers right now?
If you have a spare three hours to properly go through it, Matthew Ball has yet another dense examination of streaming media - this week he’s taking a gander at Disney+ and offers 9 reasons not to dismiss it.
The two key points he raises that I think are what will cement its success:
Cancel your Round The Twist anniversary parties this coming April. The 30th anniversary of the very successful Australian kids show doesn’t actually happen until next year. Despite what the Internet might have you believe.
The actual anniversary is in 2020, with the Seven Network reportedly delaying its debut and then burying it at 8:30am on a Sunday morning. It actually debuted in the UK ahead of the Australian launch, but even that was in 2020.
“I mean, how many other Australian series which cost $3 million to make have been shown at 8.30AM Sundays? If this is a new trend in programming, it requires an explanation,” said Lawrie Masterson for TV Week.
With the purchase of 21st Century Fox by Disney finalising yesterday, it meant the end of the 20th Century Fox movie studio. That’s actually a big deal, with Hollywood now going from six major studios to five - it’s the first time the industry has seen a contraction like this. There are a number of articles floating about regarding the legacy of 20th Century Fox. I like this gallery at Indiewire that’s worth checking out, but I find it strange how many of these pieces keep ignoring Planet of The Apes. It’s one of the first big-screen sci-fi franchises and spawned four sequels. It also saved the studio from some serious financial woes.
Check out the legacy of 20th Century Fox:Indiewire
Conan O’Brien is launching an online archive of all of his TV work. The first batch of clips arrives on March 25.
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