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.
Making Bluey. PLUS: more Curb, Doctor Who, Shetland, and Campbell Parkes.
Always Be Watching is compiled each day by Dan Barrett with scissors, glue, and a nail gun.
Ahead of its Christmas special debuting on the ABC on Dec 12, ABC Online has taken a visit to Ludo Studios for a behind the scenes look at the production of Bluey. It’s a long-read that’s has some really nice insights into the show that seems almost artisanal in its production.
After a final four weeks with the animators, the whole Ludo team gets together on a Friday to view the almost-finished product.
"We watch the episode, have a beer and go 'hooray!'," Moor says, but for Pearson it's become a bit more fraught than that.
"The screenings started off just for the studio but now friends and family come, and our kids come, so it's probably turned into a weird version of a test screening," he says.
"I'm looking at the kids and I can see all the animators and directors looking at the kids to see where they laugh."
Gather your friends, family, and beloved aunts together because Curb Your Enthusiasm is back for a new season this coming January. It’s going to be pretty, pretty, pretty… ah, you see where this is going.
Writer Alex Kurtzman is in charge of running the Star Trek shows at CBS All Access now. He’s just given a state of the union interview to Vanity Fair, where he mentioned that the Michelle Yeoh series has a writers room working on it. He also had this to say about the new Picard show starring Patrick Stewart:
Julie and I were very excited about the idea of bringing Patrick back. But... he did not want to come back. He said he was never going to play that part again. So we entered into that knowing Patrick is going to have a major, major voice in whatever this becomes if we're going to get him to say yes. He doesn't want to repeat what he's done already, which was by the way, the best bar he could have put forward. The show is inspired by Next Gen, and it's written by people who grew up loving it but it is very much not Next Gen. It feels like a modern adult drama in the world of Star Trek, which has not actually really happened before. It's also singularly about a man in his emeritus years and there are very few franchises that would allow you to have an almost 80 year old lead and tell his story.
On Fri 20 Dec Charlie Brooker will guest host BBC panel show Have I Got News For You.
2019 has been a garbage year made better by the introduction of Baby Yoda to our lives.
Another thing that has really elevated 2019 has been Watchmen. There will be some viewers who haven’t touched the show because of its genre, but boy are they missing out - the show has just been magnificent throughout its season and now that the show is reaching the pointy end of its run, pulling together many of its loose threads, it is the most compelling hour of TV each week.
What are we to make of a story in which the starkest narratives of Black Lives Matter are replicated, only with a black cop and a white victim? In which the police kidnap suspects, then test them for bigotry? It takes a while to sort out the history, but, once it begins to unfold, it’s a bombshell. Lindelof’s “Watchmen” reorders the fictional universe, writing buried racial trauma—from slavery to lynching—back into comic-book mythology, as both its source and its original sin, stemming from the Ku Klux Klan, a group reawakened, back in 1915, by the original masked-hero blockbuster, “The Birth of a Nation.”
There was a 16% decline in movie ticket sales in the US over Thanksgiving. Frozen 2 broke some records, but overall fewer people went to the movies. The New York Times asks if The Irishman on Netflix took a bite out of the box office. It’s certainly possible.
Back in 2017 I was working at SBS commissioning and writing articles about SBS TV shows. Every so often a writer would pitch something that delighted me so much that I simply had to see it be born into the world. Writer Jim Mitchell wanted to write a profile piece about Mark Humphries character from The FeedCampbell Parkes.
The character was a right-wing pundit, styled after commentators like Andrew Bolt, Bill O’Reilly, etc and I got Jim to knock together this Q&A.
Today, Campbell Parkes has returned. But, not on TV. A new audio series called Riot debuts on Audible which is a behind the scenes mockumentary about Parkes and his work. At time of publication, the show hasn’t gone live yet, but it’ll be up sometime later today.