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.
Gone With The Wind likely to return next week
ALSO: Did Tony Soprano die? The truth revealed...
Did Tony Soprano die at the end of The Sopranos. The finale left it ambiguous, which has left fans arguing about whether he did die or not.
Creator David Chase let the answer slip during an interview.
David Chase was being interviewed for The Sopranos Sessions, a book celebrating the HBO series, when he seemed to reveal whether Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini) died in the show’s closing moments.
The exchange reads as follows:
Alan Sepinwall [co-author]: When you said there was an end point, you don’t mean Tony at Holsten’s, you just meant, “I think I have two more years’ worth of stories left in me.”
Chase: Yes, I think I had that death scene around two years before the end… Tony was going to get called to a meeting with Johnny Sack in Manhattan, and he was going to go back through the Lincoln Tunnel for this meeting, and it was going to go black there and you never saw him again as he was heading back, the theory being that something bad happens to him at the meeting. But we didn’t do that.
Matt Zoller Seitz [co-author]: You realise, of course, that you just referred to that as a death scene.
Yesterday A&E followed the decision to cancel Cops by also cancelling the really quite terrible Live: PD. Exciting TV, sure. But also TV that preys on the poor, is excessive in showing crime committed by African-American and Latino men, and has some reprehensible production practices.
On Monday, the Austin American-Statesman reported that the Live PD crew shot video of the March 2019 death in custody of Javier Ambler II following his arrest for a traffic violation by Williamson County sheriff's deputies. A representative of the reality show told the newspaper that the footage had been destroyed and can no longer be handed over to Austin investigators.
On March 28, 2019, police attempted to pull over Ambler, a 40-year-old Black postal worker and father of two, in North Austin for a traffic violation. The American-Statesman reports that 28 minutes later Ambler lay dying in the street after deputies tasered him four times while a crew from Live PD filmed the incident. Police bodycam footage, which was only released in June, shows Ambler repeatedly pleading for mercy, telling deputies he had congestive heart failure and that he couldn’t breathe.
That didn’t take long at all. HBO Max has moved fast and Gone With The Wind might be back on platform as early as next week.
According to a person with knowledge of the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the subject’s sensitivity, the material with the new figure will be shot and edited in the next few days, with an eye toward restoring “Gone With the Wind” to the streaming service as quickly as possible.
The person did not identify the figure but said it would be a prominent authority on the subject of slavery and African-American history. The expert will discuss the movie’s accuracy, its portrayals and the issues and problems those depictions create.
Love Life, which concluded its lifeless 10 episode run yesterday on HBO Max (in the US - Stan in Australia) has been picked up for a second season. It’ll follow a new character, but series one star Anna Kendrick will appear in the series periodically.
Eurovision Song Contest debuts on Netflix June 26. The film stars Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams.
The AFL, Foxtel, and Seven have signed a new broadcast deal. The TV broadcasters were seeking a reduction in the licence fees paid for the sport and they got it with a “12 per cent to 13 per cent discount between the parties over three years.”
Flack, which was cancelled earlier this year by PopTV, has been bought by Amazon. The streamer will add the first two seasons of the show to its library and has the option to pick up the show for a third. There’s no confirmation that will happen, so Flack fans should make an effort to stream the show when it does appear on the platform.
Every so often there are memorable musical performances on late night TV shows, but there are very few that are large, audacious spectacles. Generally they are confined to the studio stage. The last one that I can recall was watching U2 on the rooftop of 30 Rock at the end of the very first Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. That was incredible and I recommend taking another look at it.
Yesterday The Flaming Lips appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and delivered something incredibly unique - the band are well known for colourful and creative stage performances which often involves frontman Wayne Coyne entering a giant bubble. In this day and age of COVID-19, the Flaming Lips isolated everyone into bubbles - including the audience:
Sony has officially announced the Playstation 5.
This is all we really know about it:
The console will be released in two versions - one with and one without a disc-drive.
Expect the new console to be released in time for Christmas this year.
The big launch title for the game will be a sequel to the hugely entertaining Spider-Man PS4 game. This doubles down on Sony’s interest in Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse lead character Miles Morales. Don’t be surprised if Sony lean into using Miles more and more, leaving Peter Parker for the Marvel Spidey movies.
This weekend I’m all about the new Spike Lee film Da 5 Bloods. But, according to Lee, if it wasn’t for Netflix, this is a film that wouldn’t have been made:
"We barely got this film made," Lee says. "We had gone to every studio, and they all turned it down. I've had many, many projects turned down, and in my history, they don't say they hate it, they just say, 'No, it's just not for us.' I'm in this game a long time. So when someone doesn't want to do it, I'm not going to say, 'But why? Why don't you want to make this film?' I just say, 'Thank you.' And keep stepping. Like Jay-Z. On to the next one. And that is why I've been able to amass a body of work. I'm not going to sit around and cry. Keep it moving." Though Lee is frank, "There was nowhere to go after Netflix."