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.
Heartbreak High reboot for Netflix
ALSO: RIP David Lander (AKA Squiggy). AND: Tim 'The Tool Man' Taylor is back!
Heartbreak High rebooted for Netflix
A new version of 90s Aussie teen drama Heartbreak High is in development by Freemantle for Netflix. It’ll debut in 2022.
Netflix’s Director of Originals in Australia Que Min Luu:
“We haven’t had a rebellious Australian YA series on screen since the original Heartbreak High, so this is well overdue. The new Heartbreak High is for young people in Australia today to feel seen – showcasing their stories, senses of humour and aesthetics to the world, and reminding everyone that they are much, much cooler than us. It’s also for the 90s kids, fans of the original series who remember what it’s like to feel understood by a TV show, then racking off. This Netflix show will be ours, and we can’t wait to get started.
“We want our local originals to make Australian Netflix members feel seen. The Heartbreak High reboot will be provocative, sexy, hopeful and fun, but most importantly, it will be ours. We can’t wait to get started.”
Fingers crossed that the new version is just that: a new version. So many reboots bring back some of the original cast as teachers at the school and/or parents of the new kids. I say that’s lame and takes too much attention away from the reason why the show was beloved to begin with.
The HBO Max Warner Bros deal - the morning(s) after
Following Friday’s HUGE announcement that Warner Bros will release all of its big-screen releases via HBO Max in the states for a limited month-long engagement concurrently with theatrical releases, people started commenting.
"I think it’ll finally push the studios and NATO (National Association of Theater Owners) to have some practical and realistic conversations about windowing," Soderbergh told The Daily Beast, "because there needs to be more fluidity. There’s not going to be one template that fits every movie. Every movie is different. You need the flexibility. If you’re in a bad situation, and you’ve got a movie that you opened wide, and you know Friday at 3 p.m. it’s not working, you need to be able to get it on a platform as soon as possible. You spent so much money trying to make this work, and if it didn’t, you should be able to do whatever you want to do. Theaters are going to be pushing you out anyway because you bombed."
For all the promise of streaming services, which are vital for any major media company’s future, they cannot deliver the massive profits of a successful global theatrical release. Netflix, the biggest streaming site, relies more on consistent mid-budgeted TV and movie releases than it does on mega-budgeted event films, and has gone billions into debt to do so. That could be the future for a company such as WarnerMedia too, but it wouldn’t likely be able to make the kinds of tentpoles it does now if it emphasizes streaming.
Never mind than HBO alone has been more profitable than Netflix historically. Never mind that Netflix has been valued as a tech stock from the start and AT&T will never be. Never mind that HBO Max is still stumbling out of the gates and hasn’t shown an ability to convert even their own HBO-subbing customers to the new streaming service for free.
Speaking of the 90s… Tim ‘The Tool Man’ Taylor is back!
In the final season of Tim Allen sitcom Last Man Standing, Tim Allen guest stars in an episode as his Home Improvement character Tim ‘The Tool Man’ Taylor.
This weekend in damage control
Letitia Wright has deleted all of her social media accounts after posting a link to a video questioning COVID-19 vaccines. I’m certain her decision to delete the accounts had nothing to do with her likely moving centre stage in the upcoming Black Panther movie following the death of that franchises star Chadwick Boseman. *cough* Read: The AV Club
Roald Dahl’s family has apologised for anti-semetic comments made by the author multiple times back when he was alive. I’m certain the apology has nothing to do with the billion dollar deal to license his properties out to Netflix. *cough*. Read: Deadline
RIP David Lander
David Lander was best known for playing Squiggy in classic US sitcom Laverne and Shirley. He died over the weekend from complications related to MS, following a 37-year battle with the disease.
Disney to fold Hulu into Disney+ (it ain’t gonna happen)
Don’t put too much stock into this story. Ahead of an investor day later this week, there’s speculation that Disney plan to fold its adult-orientated streaming service Hulu into Disney+ to boost its subscriber numbers.
That doesn’t make a huge amount of sense. The strength of the Disney brand is that people know and recognise the Disney brand. Adding the large library of Fox content onto Disney+ ruins the good thing they have going. Plus it eliminates a lot of the brand-safe reasons many parents have bought subscriptions to the service for their kids.
Instead at this Friday’s investor day, look for Disney to announce plans for the roll-out of its international streaming service Star. If you haven’t heard of Star yet, think of it as Hulu for the rest of the world.
There may be plans to do something with Hulu and an integration with the Disney+ platform, but I’d be very surprised if it is simply loading a whole bunch of adult content under the Disney+ brand.
Village Roadshow may soon have a new owner in the form of BGH Capital. Read: SMH
The Orville is back in production for season 3. No decision yet made for hit sensation podcast ORVILLELAND. Read: Bleeding Cool
Ava Duvernay is developing a TV series based on the fairly mediocre comic Naomi. Read: THR
Netflix will not be adding a disclaimer to The Crown advising people that there are fictional elements on the show. When asked for clarification, a Netflix rep told people to realise the show is a drama and to stop being such f**king dipsh*ts. Okay, that quote might not be 100% accurate. Read: Indiewire
And speaking of The Crown, Netflix are adding Dolby Vision to seasons 1+2. Read: HD Report
Room 2086: The Accusation launches on Netflix soon.
We Can Be Heroes is coming soon to Netflix.
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