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.
Get ready to Party Down, kids
ALSO: Obi-Wan Kenobi to feature in Andor. AND: Parasite actress scores new show.
In the last few hours ViacomCBS flipped the switch and turned on Paramount+. It wasn’t smooth with a lot of users experiencing login issues for a few hours. Once people were able to get in, their response was… well, it looks a lot like CBS All Access. Probably the most surprising aspect of the launch was that there were seemingly no real updates to the app beyond rebadging the app.
For the past few months, the company has been supercharging the app with additional content, so today’s relaunch really was as advertised - a rebranding. And that’s fine. The app is perfectly okay. It has a few issues like not presenting the next episode of a series you’re watching as the first option on screen when you login. And the recommendation engine is seemingly non-existent. But - it’s fine.
We start today’s newsletter with the big TV news of the day:
Are we having fun yet?
Back in 2010, Party Down aired its final episode. To say that the ratings were low at cancellation is an understatement - just a few thousand people tuned in for that final episode on Starz. The show had a great cast and some incredible funny guest stars on a weekly basis. But it just never found any traction in a world from the before times (ie before the podcast-fueled comedy boom of the 2010’s). Party Down eventually found its audience, but by then it was too late.
Or was it? The answer is no, because Party Down is coming back.
Six episodes. The original producers (Rob Thomas, John Enbom, Paul Rudd and Dan Etheridge) are back on board. Now we just need to find out about the cast.
“At the end of 2019, the Party Down cast and producers were all reunited at a retrospective for the show hosted by Vulture. We had such a good time that we wanted to find a way to get the team back together again,” said Thomas. “The cast is so busy these days that finding a window where we can do it may require trigonometry, but we’re determined to make it happen.”
Should this show come back? Absolutely not. It had a wonderful hopeful ending and the return of the full cast would likely crush the spirit of that ending. Would I be excited to watch Party Down again? Absolutely yes.
When I heard Reginald VelJohnson would reprise his character from Turner and Hooch, my first thought was: Reginald VelJohnson was in Turner and Hooch? My second thought: I remember almost nothing about Turner and Hooch. Read: Deadline
Saycon Sengbloh from In The Dark will be the lead in the new Wonder Years series. Read: TV Line
Rumor has it that a certain Jedi master will be a recurring character in the upcoming Star Wars: Andor show. Read: ScreenCrush
A must-listen for fans of The Simpsons is the latest Ken Levine podcast where he chats with writer Mike Scully. It’s a fun chat about his love of sitcoms and some behind the scenes Simpsons stories. Listen: Ken Levine
Nomadland will debut in select Disney+ Star territories from April 30. (Not Australia). Read: Dark Horizons
Patrick Star will be the focus of a new SpongeBob SquarePants spin-off. Read: Variety
Apple TV+ will debut a new animated series from South Korea, Dr Brain. It’ll feature the voice of Parasite actor Lee Sun-Kyun. Read: TBI Vision
Made For Love debuts on HBO Max this April.
The comedy series is a darkly absurd and cynically poignant story of love and divorce. It follows Hazel Green (Cristin Milioti), a thirty-something woman on the run after 10 years in a suffocating marriage to Byron Gogol (Billy Magnussen), a controlling tech billionaire. Soon she discovers that her husband has implanted a monitoring device – the Made for Love chip – in her brain, allowing him to track her, watch her, and know her "emotional data" as she tries to regain her independence. Through the chip, Byron's able to watch Hazel's every move as she flees to her desert hometown to take refuge with her aging widower father Herbert (Ray Romano) and his synthetic partner, Diane.
Zombieland is returning as a VR game sometime soon.
Wakefield debuts on ABC iView on April 2.
What’s next? Tomorrow.
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