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.
Ensemble Wednesday: Friends! Search Party! And the show with every star you care about!
Always Be Watching is written by Dan Barrett. Alone.
Apple are reportedly looking to create some bundles, bringing together its music and TV services as a dual-subscription at a lower price.
While some labels are open to the idea, people at one big record company said they had concerns, and that the industry was growing more wary about its relationship with Apple, which strong-armed labels a decade ago into selling individual songs for $0.99 on iTunes.
Alex Trebek reports that his chemo treatments are affecting his speech and it may force him to leave Jeopardy.
“I talk to the producers about this all the time now. I say, ‘Look, I’m slurring my words. My tongue doesn’t work as much, as well as it used to. The chemo has caused sores inside my mouth. It makes it difficult for me to speak and enunciate properly,’” he explained.
“I’m sure there are observant members of the television audience that notice also, but they’re forgiving,” he added. “But there will come a point when they will no longer be able to say, ‘It’s OK.'”
Australian fans of Friends might want to check out this 5-hour screening of Friends episodes playing at Event Cinemas around the country. Episodes screened include: Pilot – Redo, The One With The Black Out, The One With The Birth, The One Where Ross Finds Out, The One With The Prom Video, The One Where No One’s Ready, The One With The Morning After, The One With The Embryos, The One With Chandler In A Box, The One With Ross’ Wedding – Part 2, The One Where Everyone Finds Out and The One Where Ross Got High.
The 25th anniversary screening takes place Sunday 27 October.
One of the great mysteries of the modern age has been: what is the deal with Search Party season three?
Season one debuted in Nov 2016. Season two in Nov 2017. Season three was filmed in September 2018, but that was a year ago and there has been no sign of the show.
We now have an answer. It is being moved from TV network TBS, where it never found an audience, to new streaming service HBO Max.
Season 3 of Search Party, starring Alia Shawkat, Meredith Hagner, Brandon Micheal Hall, John Early and John Reynolds,, will debut on HBO Max at launch in Spring of 2020, two years after it was originally ordered by TBS.
Reviews are starting to flow for Amazon’s new series Modern Love, based on the New York Times column. This is the anthology show from Once director John Carney and includes an all-star cast that includes: Anne Hathaway, Tina Fey, Dev Patel, Cristin Milioti, Catherine Keener, Andy Garcia, John Slattery, Andrew Scott, John Gallagher Jr., and Julia Garner.
The concept of turning “Modern Love” into an anthology series is a good one with a low difficulty setting. With the source material and acting talent at its disposal, this series could have dug a little deeper to find some fresh ways to unravel all the ways that love can make us happy, hurt, and even grow. Instead, it serves up plate after plate of lukewarm leftovers that are somehow never filling.
If you're familiar with the New York Times column, then you know there's almost always something unique in the recipe of the story, and in each of the five of eight episodes I saw, it would have been easy for either the writing or directing or even the acting to add a little more than necessary. But restraint saves the day and makes the series.
Modern Love is displaying a subtle marginalization that, in other arenas, I’d venture, the New York Times would criticize. But this is the trouble with branded content masquerading as television: Are these stories that really need to be retold—or does converting thorny prose into slippery, well-meaning episodes serve another purpose? It’s hard to shake the feeling that Modern Love exists to communicate a fantasy of this particular New York, experienced by these particular upper-class people, in order to sell something to someone. Maybe more Prime memberships, maybe more Times subscriptions. The show’s fantasy is a lifestyle fantasy; perhaps watching makes you slightly more likely to buy a chunky cable-knit sweater with free two-day shipping.
I really like Modern Love. The show is an unabashed love letter to the romantic New York films that celebrated upper-class lifestyle concerns. And it’s comfortable for that very reason. This show doesn’t challenge. It doesn’t provoke any intellectual consideration. It’s the TV equivalent of a cup of tea.
Modern Love is perfect viewing for a Sunday morning. Watch an episode or two with a crumpet in hand and a cup of coffee at your side and you’ll have a grand time with it.
It debuts on 18 October and I’ll have a deeper look at the show by the time it launches. But not too deep - the show only works when you don’t scrutinise it too hard.
It’s Queer Eye. They’re in Japan. It’s right there in the name of it.
Join the newsletter to receive the latest updates in your inbox.