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.
Mary Hartman Mary Hartman is coming back
ALSO: Law & Order: Organized Crime hit by COVID. AND: Cheers watches the Super Bowl.
A Mary Hartman Mary Hartman remake?
Schitt’s Creek star Emily Hampshire will star in a new take on 60s sitcom Mary Hartman Mary Hartman.
The original series ran 1976-1977 and, framed as a soap opera running five nights a week, it served as a subversive parody America’s media & consumer culture.
The updated Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman is about a small-town woman (Hampshire) who feels like a nobody in every aspect of her life until she suddenly becomes a “Verified” social media somebody. The remake will bring the original show’s satirical look at consumer culture into today’s social [me]dia world, where “America’s Typical Consumer Housewife” has now become the product consumed when her nervous breakdown goes viral.
The new version is about to be shopped around to buyers and will be showrun by Letterkenny creator Jacob Tierney.
Law & Order: Organized Crime has had production paused following a positive COVID test. Read: Deadline
Fox Business has terminated its relationship with Lou Dobbs with his nightly show cancelled immediately. The network has not confirmed whether it has anything to do with Dobbs being named in the $2.7 billion lawsuit filed against the network by an election tech company accused of helping rig the recent Federal election. Read: NYT
A new Paramount+ series will remake the Nicholas Roeg film The Man Who Fell To Earth. Taking over the role played by David Bowie in the film? Chiwetel Ejiofor. Read: EW
John Humphrys will finish up as host of Mastermind in the UK. Read: The Guardian
A prequel series to Yellowstone titled Y: 1883 is in the works with a preview of some sort set to air during the Super Bowl on CBS. Source: Dark Horizons
Boston Super Bowl coverage
In 1983 during NBC’s Super Bowl pre-show coverage, a short Cheers short aired. It has not subsequently been included in any DVD extras. But it lives on via YouTube:
Let’s talk WandaVision (Yes, there shall be spoilers)
It’s been fun watching the Marvel fans coming around on WandaVision now that the show has started looking and feeling more like the conventional series they were expecting. That said, this is anything but a conventional show.
The most recent episode ended with a twist that needs some explaining. At the end we saw the return of her brother Pietro - only it wasn’t the character we’d previously seen in the Avengers movie that introduced him and killed him off (Avengers: Age of Ultron). Instead this was a version of the character seen in The X-Men movies, which don’t exist in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But now… it seems that they will. Kinda.
Why pull Pietro out of the X-Men universe rather than resurrect him like Vision (Paul Bettany)? Because as this episode established, in order to "resurrect" someone, Wanda first needs a body, and she doesn’t have Pietro’s (likely very decayed, at this point) corpse. To bring back her Pietro wouldn’t be feasible, so she pulled a Pietro from a different reality, and once you can pull characters from other realities, you’ve essentially created a pathway to bring back mutants without disrupting the canon of why they weren’t present prior to this point.
And the ramifications for this on the Marvel films going forward? Here’s Goldberg again:
It also allows Marvel Studios to pick and choose which actors they want to reprise their roles for the MCU. For example, Kevin Feige has confirmed that Deadpool 3 is an MCU movie, and they’re obviously not going to recast Ryan Reynolds in the role. But if you look at a character like Wolverine, where Hugh Jackman wanted to hang up the role after Logan, you could bring in a new actor as the character and say he’s from a different reality.
Largely, all of this has me wondering if we’re likely to see a Patrick Stewart appearance as Professor X before WandaVision’s season finishes up.
Superman & Lois debuts on The CW on Feb 23.
Four-part HBO documentary Allen v Farrow will debut Feb 21. Announced talking heads will include a whole bunch of people from the Farrow camp - Mia Farrow, Dylan Farrow, Ronan Farrow, family friend Carly Simon, and prosecutor Frank Maco. The voice I want to hear mostly from is Moses Farrow - he has a very different perspective and has raised a number of disturbing allegations that deserve being, at the very least, given an airing.
What’s next? Tomorrow.
Join the newsletter to receive the latest updates in your inbox.