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.
Law & Order: SVU saved an 11 year-old girl from an abductor
Television - is there anything it can't teach us?
Ordinarily, one would question why an 11 year-old girl was watching Law & order: SVU, but let's put aside that question as we remember that television is the best educational tool there is.
Alyssa Bonal was waiting for her school bus when a man approached her with a knife. She fought off her would-be abductor (she's a bad-ass) and, in a cunning move, marked him with some blue slime that she was playing with. She had seen something similar on an episode of SVU - the marking on the man made it easier for police to identify him a few hours later.
Here's a quote from Alyssa's mother:
“She said, ‘Mom, I had to leave some sort of evidence behind like on Law & Order SVU.’ We’ve watched probably every episode on Hulu. She’s a smart cookie, she thinks on her toes. She got that slime everywhere.”
What else is Alyssa watching?
The coolest trailer you'll see in 2021
This newsletter usually keeps trailers confined to the Trailer Park section at the tail end of it every day. But this is such a work of brilliance that it needs to be highlighted.
Check out the trailer for the new Steven Soderbergh thriller No Sudden Move. It hits cinemas and HBO Max from July 1.
I'm smitten. Hopefully the film is half as good.
NYT takes a look at The Bite
The Bite is a new 6-episode TV series from Robert & Michelle King (The Good Wife, Evil, The Good Fight, Braindead). It debuts in the US as a Spectrum original, which almost guarantees that nobody will ever see it. Did you enjoy that Mad About You series in 2019? Yeah, exactly.
The show is a satire of COVID-19, told as a zombie comedy. It was produced under COVID-safe conditions, with a cast of real-life couples performing in scenes together, talking to others via video conferences.
Mike Hale at the New York Times has a review of it which is mostly favourable, but also gives the indication that this is slightly disposable TV. I'm still very keen to give it a look if that is ever possible.
The zombie-variant conceit allows the Kings to recapitulate the whole history of Covid-19 as dark comedy, with a government cover-up, widespread denial (often immediately followed by graphic flesh munching) and warnings that the elderly are most at risk because they can’t outrun the undead. Along with their love of theater actors, the Kings are indulging their affection for the use of horror as social satire, something they’ve done with more substance and effect in “BrainDead,” a short-lived CBS show from 2016, and their current series “Evil,” which originated on CBS but moves to Paramount+ next season.
The humor in “The Bite” hits its targets, but they’re pretty easy to hit.
A new David Simon series is always worth paying attention to. His new HBO series is We Own This City, based on Baltimore Sun reporter Justin Fenton’s book We Own This City: A True Story of Crime, Cops and Corruption.
It'll be a six-episode limited series focused on the Baltimore Police Department’s Gun Trace Task Force. It won't surprise you to find out the show will explore the corruption and moral collapse of a city where policies on drug prohibition and mass arrest were favored over actual police work.
Today's news is that the show has set its cast and it's straight out of my dream journal: Jon Bernthal, Josh Charles, and Jamie Hector. I'm a huge fan of all three of these actors. It goes into production this July.
Hocus Pocus 2 set to cast a spell on audiences worldwide
One night, back in 1993, I was a 13 year-old sitting in my parents car at a drive-in watching the Disney film Hocus Pocus. I recall believing it was fine and never thinking about it since.
But then Tumblr happened (at least, I assume this was a Tumblr thing - anyone know for sure?) and an online cult appreciation for Hocus Pocus reared its head. The kids supposedly loved it. So, cut to 2021 and Disney are making a sequel to the almost 30 year-old movie.
The sequel centers on three young women who accidentally bring the Sanderson sisters back to modern day Salem and must figure out how to stop the child-hungry witches from wreaking a new kind of havoc on the world.
Original film stars Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy are back for this remake/reboot. Let's find out if the enthusiasm for Hocus Pocus is actually real or not...
Red Dead Redemption 2 can now be played in VR. Incredible game and this makes it look even wilder. Read: VR Scout
Drag superstar Trixie Mattel will renovate a run-down motel in Palm Springs for a new docu-series on Discovery+. Read: thefutoncritic
US breakfast show CBS This Morning will relocate to a Times Square studio in the ViacomCBS building. Read: Deadline
Brooklyn Nine Nine will return August 25. Read: TV Insider
ITV is launching The Pet Show. I won't insult your intelligence by explaining what it is about. Read: ITV
Jeremy Irvine is expected to be cast as gay Green Lantern Alan Scott in the upcoming HBO Max Green Lantern live-action TV show. Read: Variety
The Mysterious Benedict Society debuts on Disney+ on June 25.
Season 2 of Love Victor debuts on Hulu on June 11.
Vanderpump Dogs debuts June 9 on Peacock. Add it to your calendars, but as if you would forget...
Zombie series Black Summer returns to Netflix on June 17 for a second season.
Elite returns to Netflix for season 4 on June 18.
Everybody's Talking About Jamie debuts on Amazon Prime Video September 17.
Katla debuts on Netflix June 17.
Ghosts debuts on CBS later this year.
Documentary a-ha The Movie debuts at the Tribeca Film Festival. It will be on your TV screens, undoubtedly, soon after.
What's next? Tomorrow.
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