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.
Mandy Patinkin joins The Good Fight
ALSO: RIP Frank Lupo. AND: The Weakest Link (Australia) returns
Today’s Always Be Watching newsletter is coming to you from the temporary desk on a Qantas flight that’s 39,000 feet in the air flying over Victoria. It’s not exactly new technology at this stage, but it still impresses me that we can use the Internet in planes.
Mandy Patinkin joins The Good Fight
I love Mandy Patinkin. Love The Good Fight. So, I’m all in on this news. Sort-of. I’ll explain in a sec, but here’s the blurb about Patinkin’s role in the show:
Hal Wackner, a layman with no legal training who spontaneously decides to open a court in the back of a copy shop. Against all odds, the court catches on, and the team at Reddick, Boseman & Lockhart find themselves contending with judgments that mean nothing legally, but are honored by much of the entertained public.
That sounds like a fun character and it feels like a Good Fight storyline. But…
The Good Fight is five seasons in. Watching the first season, the series was very interested in issues to do with justice for African American’s dealing with the legal system with a particular focus on violence in custody. The series itself was set in a ‘black law firm’ with a predominantly African American cast. Every season the show keeps introducing new cast members to liven up the show and they’re almost always in the Patinkin-mold of a big name white guy (Michael Sheen, John Larroquette, etc). As a fan of the show, I actually quite liked that the show was exposing TV viewers to some great African American actors regularly on screen with really substantial roles.
And why is it that the show is steering away from subjects like black deaths in custody? As TV series (cop shows especially) grapple with how to integrate those storylines into their series, why is this show that has that very subject baked into its very premise avoiding the subject entirely?
It just all feels a bit off hearing of the addition of Patinkin at the same time that the great Delroy Lindo and Cush Jumbo are leaving the show.
The Wire’s David Simon and George Pelecanos are re-teaming for a limited series based on the true story of the infamous Baltimore Gun Trace Task Force. Read: Variety
The Duffer Brothers (Stranger Things) are adapting Stephen King’s book The Talisman as a Netflix show. Read: Deadline
Kalinda Vazquez, a TV writer with credits on Star Trek: Discovery, is writing a Star Trek-related film. This is one of many Trek movies currently in various stages of development at Paramount. Read: Deadline
Like every single one of you, I have often wondered where the cast of the show Greek are 10 years later. Now we know. Thanks: TV Line
Australia’s Nine network have announced a return for The Weakest Link. The original version ran locally for just two years in 2001-02. Read: Real Screen
Rolling Stone has a fun list of great rock ‘n roll moments in movies. If you have other suggestions, leave them in the comments on today’s ABW. Read: Rolling Stone
Netflix has bought the Scott Cooper-directed Christian Bale film The Pale Blue Eye for $55 million in a global rights deal. It’s a record for the European Film Market. Read: The Wrap
Nomadland sound mixed Michael Wolf Snyder died age 35. Read: Deadline
RIP Frank Lupo
TV writer Frank Lupo has died at the age of 66. Working with Stephen J Cannell, Lupo co-created the shows: Wiseguy, The A-Team, Rip Tide, Werewolf, Raven, and Hunter. He was also a writer on Magnum PI, Battlestar Galactica, The Greatest American Hero, BJ and The Bear, and Walker Texas Ranger.