Helen Mirren stars in the 4-episode co-production between HBO and Sky Catherine The Great.

The trailer:

The season (series?) finale of Big Little Lies aired yesterday.

Doreen St Felix from the New Yorker had some thoughts:

This ended up being the whole point of the seven episodes of Season 2, didn’t it? Flashy glorification of the “Big Little Lies” phenomenon. The electricity of the performances from Kidman, Streep, and Laura Dern (as Renata, the power broker reduced to forsaken wife) pumped into existence a thousand memes and a million gifs, but the currents were not strong enough to distract us from the weak plot of this encore season, which probably should not have been made, or, rather, recycled from the first.

My own thoughts:

  1. The back half of the season was fine, but really ran out of steam - a good 5 episode run, but there wasn’t enough material to push it to 7 episodes.
  2. Critics who were complaining about the second season feeling too much like a soap clearly didn’t see the first season. The show has always had strong soap elements - the narrative problem here was that it didn’t play into the thematics of the first season enough in season 2 (economic privilege run amok).
  3. That ending is only going to result in most viewers asking when season 3 is coming.

Speaking of season finales, there’s a few headlines floating around today questioning the 4th season finale of Veronica Mars, giving away just enough to be annoying to those who haven’t watched the full season in 2 days.

That feels just a bit too soon.

And speaking of Veronica Mars, was there anybody wondering where ol’ pal Mac was in the reboot series?

Apparently actress Tina Majorino was unhappy with how much screen time she was going to have in the new series, so declined to be a part of it. Frankly, I think the show would generally be better served with fewer nods to the past.

Source: TV Line

Australian actress Markella Kavenagh has reportedly been cast in the new Lord of The Rings TV show - the first cast member to be named.

Source: Variety

The trailer for Tom Hanks’ new film about US childrens TV host Mister Rogers, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood has dropped. I’m curious to know how well it’ll perform outside of the US. Mister Rogers just seems so… specific.

Daniel D’Addario at Variety has a review for the new Netflix series Another Life.

Netflix’s new series “Another Life” brings Katee Sackhoff back into space, a decade after the conclusion of “Battlestar Galactica,” the beloved series on which she starred. But her new series looks more like the rest of the fare on the SyFy network — it’s inelegantly made and operates less in the realm of ideas than in pure scares. It’s not ineffective, but little in “Another Life” connects to do much more than the purely visceral.

And that’s fair. I’ve seen the first few episodes. At first, it felt like the show was little more than a modern-day equivalent of mid-90s filler shows like Earth 2. Then, midway through episode one the show did something pretty wild and transgressive that the show discards in favor of returning back to the status quo it had established ten minutes earlier.

Genre fans will likely enjoy it.


And finally…

Australian broadcast network Seven will launch another channel - Openshop will debut on August 1. It’s a home shopping network. This makes sense in catering towards a much older audience who still watch linear TV in sizeable numbers - an audience which is minimally impacted by online shopping.

Openshop managing director Jason Kim said: “Our busy work and personal lives often mean we can’t get to the shops between 9 to 5. So, we’ve created an experience that makes shopping from home, even easier and more enjoyable”.

It makes sense for broadcast, but I am left wondering what the strategy is with its BVOD platform 7Plus, which carries additional linear channels like The Outdoor Channel. It seems to me that it will need to beef up its offering there before getting completely pushed out of relevancy by US linear services like Pluto TV (which could very easily launch locally).

Source: Mumbrella