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.
Germans love David Hasselhoff
ALSO: Ruby Rose replaced. AND: Farah Celjo is coming to your TV
Regularly throughout the week I will post upcoming trailers to TV series and movies debuting soon on streaming services. I see the stats and know some of you click on them, but if you’re somebody who just buzzes past that section, can I strongly suggest that you press play on these trailers today to put these shows on your radar:
Made For Love (HBO Max | Stan)
Them (Amazon Prime Video)
Both trailers are embedded towards the end of today’s newsletter. I reckon both look GREAT.
This just goes to prove my theory…
In further proof that Germans love David Hasselhoff, the great man himself will star in a new German series Ze Network. It’ll stream on the local TV Now service and will have Hasselhoff playing a fictional version of himself in Germany to do a play. He, obviously, then gets caught up in a post Cold War spy situation.
“It will either be a massive hit world-wide or a major flop,” Mr. Hasselhoff said in an interview. “I know it will be a hit in Germany.”
Ruby Rose left Batwoman in the most conscious uncoupling of the 21st century. But her character of Kate Kane will stick around. She has just re-appeared in the series, now played by former Krypton & Hollyoaks actor Wallis Day.
Deadline has taken great effort to note:
Don’t get it twisted — Leslie will continue to be Batwoman. In fact, the re-introduction of Kate Kane further solidifies Leslie’s place as the one and only Batwoman — and we must reiterate that she is the first Black actress to step into the role of the iconic superhero.
And that means that I must reiterate that so far the Batwoman identity has only been portrayed by one actor previously - Ruby Rose just a season prior. This is not a character with a rich history in TV, film, or even really the comics.
Silicon Valley star Thomas Middleditch has been accused of sexual misconduct in an LA nightclub. Read: Complex
Aussie film I Met a Girl has been acquired by Netflix as an original. Read: IF
Line of Duty season 6 debuted in the UK to 9.56 million viewers. That’s the highest viewership the BBC has seen since 2018 (when it screened another Jed Mercurio drama, Bodyguard). Read: Deadline
The Ellen DeGeneres Show has lost 1 million viewers since last year’s controversy. That’s a 43% decline. Read: NYT
Keanu Reeves will star in and produce Brzrkr, a Netflix live-action film based off his Boom comic book series. He’ll also voice the lead character in a spin-off anime series. Read: thefutoncritic
SBS commissions a chunky meal
In it’s biggest commission to date with 200 episodes, SBS (an Australian broadcaster I worked for, for a few years) has given the greenlight to Adam Liaw. The Cook Up with Adam Liaw will have Liaw cooking food with two guests nightly while having a chat. The meals will be easy to make with the audience encouraged to cook the meals themselves.
What caught my attention in the media release is that SBS Food managing editor Farah Celjo will be a participant on air. Celjo will present two regular segments on the show looking at food trends. I believe this is the first on-air role for Celjo and I’m thrilled - beyond just being a lovely person in real life (who has made some of the most delicious desserts I have eaten, and is also an absolute gun with the SBS CMS - helping me out many times), she also has a genial presence about her that I reckon will translate very well to TV.
The Simpsons creator Matt Groening was interviewed by USA Today where he gave a few interesting quotes ahead of the broadcast of that show’s 700th episode.
On the subject of the show’s decision to no longer have white actors voicing characters of colour:
It was not my idea, but I'm fine with it. Who can be against diversity? So it's great. However, I will just say that the actors were not hired to play specific characters. They were hired to do whatever characters we thought of. To me, the amazing thing is seeing all our brilliant actors who can do multiple voices, do multiple voices. That's part of the fun of animation, However, to be more inclusive and hire more people, I'm completely in favor of that.
People who take offence at The Simpsons:
I have to word this carefully. I think audiences are smarter than the posse gives them credit for, and people can handle nuance, except for the ones who can't handle nuance. And then there's that phrase, something them if they can't take a joke.
Plans for Apu:
We're working on something kind of ambitious. That's all I can say.
And on the subject of inclusionism in his Netflix show Disenchantment:
Yeah. Every time you start a new show you have the opportunity to start from scratch. It's definitely very thoughtfully conceived. But I like to let the show be its own message rather than me talking about it. I'm very proud of the show and very happy with the response it's gotten.
The showrunner of United States of Al has defended the hostile reaction his new CBS sitcom has received on Twitter - from its casting to representation in the writers room:
“You can’t judge a show by a 30 sec trailer. Well, you shouldn’t, at least,” he responded to one tweet and in another he defended: “There are five Afghan characters in the show and four of them are played by Afghans. We saw 100 Afghan leads but sitcom is a specialized genre and it’s very tough to play. But we also have four Afghan writers/producers on the show who’ve done a great job helping Adhir.”
“Maybe learn a little about the show, its creators, its producers, its four Afghan writers, its plot, and pretty much everything else before you announce your opinion of it,” Aslan wrote.
He contined, “Because it’s my show, I can make sure that it is written and produced by Afghans and Muslims. That it uses the format to reframe the perception that people have of both. That it portrays a Muslim Afghan protagonist in a true and honest light.”
In this Spanish adaptation of "Magic for Humans," folks of all ages on the streets of Barcelona are amazed by tricks that inspire delight and wonder.
Turkish movie Have You Ever Seen Fireflies debuts on Netflix April 9.
Rebellious, irreverent wunderkind Gülseren navigates loneliness, love and loss against the current of political turmoil and social change.
My Love: Six Stories of True Love will be available on Netflix on April 13.
Made For Love debuts on HBO Max on April 1.
The series follows Hazel Green, a thirtysomething woman on the run after 10 years in a suffocating marriage to an unstable, needy, possibly sociopathic tech billionaire. Soon she discovers that her husband has already implanted a revolutionary monitoring device – the Made for Love– in her brain, allowing him to track her, watch her, and know her thoughts and feelings as she tries to stay alive.
Luis Miguel season 2 debuts on Netflix April 18.
As his career skyrockets, Luis Miguel struggles with his family life amidst a string of betrayals, heartbreaking revelations and a crushing loss.
Dolly Parton: A MusiCares Tribute debuts April 7 on Netflix.
In a star-studded evening of music and memories, a community of iconic performers honor Dolly Parton as the MusiCares Person of the Year.
Them debuts on Amazon Prime Video on April 9.
The 1950s-set first season centers on a Black family who moves from North Carolina to an all-white Los Angeles neighborhood during the period known as The Great Migration.
What’s next? Tomorrow.
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