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.
Entering The Twilight Zone! Plus: The Stranger Things video game! And Supernanny returns!
Always Be Watching is by Dan Barrett who today is actually going to Disneyworld. Well, DisneySea.
Matt Zoller-Seitz has me genuinely excited to watch the new Twilight Zone series, with this glowing review that takes a look back at the previous incarnations of the series as context on what to judge the current take of the series on. In a TV landscape filled with anthology series, it’s actually great to see one on the air with a history behind it:
…this Zone (which lists seven executive producers, including Carol Serling, Rod’s widow) never entombs itself in nostalgia or fan service and makes a point of pulling Serling into 2019. This incarnation is as of-the-moment as Serling’s original, from the more varied filmmaking styles on display to the use of profanity and frank sexual language. Most striking of all, however, is the show’s political vantage point: The new Zone looks at paranoia, class disparity, artistic anxiety, xenophobia, racism, and other hot-button topics from the perspective of an outsider who had to fight for his piece of American pie, in contrast to the more abstract, theoretical diagnoses and warnings of Serling, who was as woke as a rich white guy could be in the middle of the 20th century but was nevertheless incapable of taking a ground-level view of the problems his series identified, even in the imaginative safe space of The Twilight Zone.
The Stranger Things 3 video game plans to take viewers beyond the story of the show. It actually looks pretty fun.
Meanwhile, Netflix are now hiring video game designers for Netflix experiences, further going down the Bandersnatch route. If they can offer experiences with more nuance and complexity, this could be the thing to actually give Netflix a leg up on its competition who are only now getting serious about streaming.
The Wall Street Journal has yet another trend piece about people sharing each others Netflix (and other) passwords beyond the dissolution of relationships. Or, maybe people should stop being cheap and just pay the ten bucks to subscribe to a service rather than deal with something that’s such a hassle. As a teenager I spent much more than the cost of this on movie rentals at the video store.