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.
Mandalorian dates. PLUS: Marvel furore intensifies! AND: More Rosehaven!
Always Be Watching is compiled by Dan Barrett who hungers for Mandalorian
Late night chat shows aren’t really about movie stars showing the clip of their latest movie anymore. As evidenced by the biggest show in late night, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, the paradigm has shifted - the biggest episodes of the show now have news commentators sitting on the couch, discussing the changing shape of politics in an evolving American cultural landscape.
In a late-night environment that favors news, the CNN anchor Jake Tapper has become a sought-after booking. “It’s definitely unusual,” Mr. Tapper said. “Previously, it would require some sort of hook. You know, I wrote a book about Afghanistan, or I was moderating a debate. Now they call randomly and want me to simply talk the news of the day.”
Chris Licht, a former CBS News producer who became the executive producer of Mr. Colbert’s show in 2016, said late-night viewers these days wanted shows that helped them make sense of a world in turmoil. “They don’t want escapism,” he said.
Francis Ford Coppola has spoken out in the great Marvel Culture Wars of 2019, saying that the Marvel films are despicable:
“When Martin Scorsese says that the Marvel pictures are not cinema, he’s right because we expect to learn something from cinema, we expect to gain something, some enlightenment, some knowledge, some inspiration. I don’t know that anyone gets anything out of seeing the same movie over and over again. Martin was kind when he said it’s not cinema. He didn’t say it’s despicable, which I just say it is.”
One of the most incredible movie experiences I’ve had in years was earlier this year watching Apocalypse Now: Final Cut. I’ve never been as enthralled with a Marvel film as I was watching Martin Sheen on a boat for 3-ish hours. So, honestly, if Mr Coppola wants to have an opinion about movies, I’m not going to disagree with the fellow.
A Disney+ media event was held over the weekend with invited media shown 27 minutes worth of scenes from The Mandalorian.
That’s probably as close as you’ll get to seeing a review of the show before its release on November 12. It seems that even the biggest TV critics aren’t expected to receive screeners:
Honestly, I don’t really understand why Disney bother with press screenings for its huge event films anyway - it’s not like a positive critical wrap is going to have any impact at all on whether people go to see a Marvel or Star Wars film. The hype now drives attendance.
I’m also willing to concede that I am perhaps just bitter that I have rarely been able to get on Disney’s media lists.
Speaking of The Mandalorian…
Last week I appeared on podcast The Take with Blake Howard to discuss the production of The Mandalorian and how it connects to previous live action Star Wars productions. During it I offered my theory that they would front load the launch of the series with 2-3 episodes before taking it weekly - it seemed strange to me that they’d allow episodes to flow beyond the launch of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
Anyway, it appears that the plan is to flow on past Star Wars IX with one additional episode (albeit with a few extra days padding between releases). It’s kinda odd.
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