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.
Kate from Lost is apparently a bit of a dick
ALSO: A Bob Dylan TV show is in the works
Back in 2004, there was a group of passengers on a flight who crash landed on a deserted island. They entered a forced isolation from everyone they knew.
In 2020, two actors from the cast of TV show Lost are looking at self-isolation in very different ways.
Evangeline Lily, who played Kate, is all like “Whatever bro” despite having a father with stage four leukemia.
“I am also immune compromised,” she continued. “I have two young kids. Some people value their lives over freedom, some people value freedom over their lives. We all make our choices. With love and respect.”
Meanwhile Daniel Dae Kim who played Jin on the show has announced that he has COVID-19. His public statement was a lot more, well, sensible:
“For all those out there, especially teenagers and millennials who think this is not serious, please know that it is,” he said in his 10-minute video. “And if you treat this without care, you are potentially endangering the lives of millions of people, including your loved ones. So for the sake of everyone else, please follow the guidelines: socially distance, self-isolate, stop touching your face, and of course, wash your hands.”
VR has struggled with take-up. Home VR is definitely a thing with a very loyal audience for it, but it has never quite cracked the mainstream. There has been some success in purpose-built facilities to go and have a VR experience in. That success has come crashing down with COVID-19… apparently people feel awkward putting goggles on their faces when they’ve been used by who-knows-who.
Mindy Kaling’s new show (which she is running, but not starring in) Never Have I Ever will debut April 27 on Netflix.
In times of COVID-19… don’t go to the Winchester!
But do go to the drive-in.
Yes, a lot of cinemas are shutting down right now. But you can go to see movies at the drive-in without leaving your car. Apparently some have seen a rise in ticket sales.
Whether many of the drive-ins still operating amid the pandemic will be able to keep doing so in the days ahead remains an open question, in large part because of the rapidly changing nature of the nationwide response to the outbreak. New government restrictions are being rolled out daily, with some affecting drive-in operators. In Tulsa, for example, the Admiral Twin Drive-In won’t be open this weekend unless it can get an exemption from a new citywide order that all movie theaters close, owner Blake Smith said.
Smith said he is seeking clarification from the city about opening this weekend because his drive-in can operate “without folks getting out of their cars.” But he said it may take a few days to sort things out.
“The city is allowing fast-food drive-thru businesses to stay open,” he said. “I am making the case that we are similar to them.”
Sure, you like the music of Bob Dylan… but how excited are you for the TV series based on his music?
Australian producer Josh Wakely has had huge success producing Beat Bugs, an animated series that was built on the music of The Beatles. And then he made Motown Magic for Netflix, another animated series.
Now he’s producing Time Out of Mind, a series that will bring together characters from Dylan’s songs.
“I believe Bob Dylan’s the greatest chronicler of American history,” says Wakely. “And all those characters that he’s created, Maggie from ‘Maggie’s Farm,’ Joey Gallo, Peggy Day, ‘Hurricane’ Carter, Tambourine Man — what if they all collided in the day after JFK’s assassination, found themselves in Greenwich Village for different reasons, and were propelled along a journey at this time of deep turmoil in the streets, where the world was changing?”
Working with Dylan is TV legend Warren Littlefield.
When Littlefield was told that a relatively unknown writer-producer had gained rare access to Dylan, “my initial response was ‘No fucking way,’” he says. The former NBC president has had an extraordinary run as a producer since leaving the exec ranks, godfathering Noah Hawley’s “Fargo” and Bruce Miller’s “The Handmaid’s Tale.” After reading Wakely’s “Time out of Mind” scripts, which came to him through his reps at WME, he quickly came aboard.
“He’s created a world,” Littlefield says of Wakely. “And the creative process is to not only have a world that’s original but a world that as a viewer you’re able to navigate — where you’re able to be pulled through character and narrative. And I think uniquely that’s what Josh was able to accomplish.”
Let’s end the week with some bonkers news that has put a huge smile on my face.
Toei is launching a YouTube channel April 6 that will screen classic Tokusatsu genre shows from the 1960s to the 1990s. Tokusatsu is not a type of ramen - no, it is the genre of TV that has people dressed as heroes and monsters battling it out. It actually translates to ‘special effects’ with the genre relying heavily on miniatures, costumes, and effects.
The YouTube channel Toei Tokusatsu World Official will have English subtitles and launch with two episodes from each of its 70 series. New episodes will be added weekly.