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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.
More on the Kim's Convenience cancellation.
ALSO: Godzilla vs Kong rules the global box office. AND: Nine gets hacked.
Kim’s Convenience fall-out as CBC announce a spin-off
The optics surrounding the cancellation of Canadian comedy Kim’s Convenience are a bit funky for broadcaster CBC.
CBC cancelled the comedy with series co-creator Ins Choi wanting to move on from the show. The series was an adaptation of his stage play of the same name and he ran the writers room where stories were broken from his own real-life experience. The show was set to continue without him with another two seasons greenlit.
Series producer Ivan Fecan:
Cast members and others tried to change his mind, but after months of back and forth, Choi insisted he was done.
“You can’t blame the guy. This isn’t some sort of studio show, with a building full of writers that are fungible. This is a show about a guy’s life story. It’s his life. It’s people he met or imagined as he grew up. It’s his truth, and he is the heart of the show. And he spent, counting the play, over 10 years of his professional life on this. The guy’s got a right to a life.”
Fecan consulted with the cast, crew, CBC and others to figure out whether the show might continue without Choi. “At the end of the day, I just made the tough call that, without Ins, there is no show,” said Fecan, who added that he was haunted by the possibility that a sixth season might not live up to expectations. “Even if there was another Korean comedy showrunner who’s Canadian that you could plug in there, I’m not sure it’s fungible. I’m not sure that’s right. Because it’s so personal to Ins. And so, that’s the call I made.”
And that’s all fair enough. Creatively, it’s probably also the right call. Outside of Veep, there’s very few shows that have ever been made better by the key creative leaving a successful show.
But that’s not the whole story…
A Kim’s Convenience spin-off is in the works.
Nicole Power will reprise her Kim’s Convenience character Shannon Ross in a brand new sitcom called Strays. The way this news is being viewed by some is that the show is taking one of the two white characters from the show, and spinning her off into a new show that will be run by the white co-showrunner, Kevin White. Yes, his surname is ‘White’ #funtrivia.
Just as this was all about to become an issue, CBC announced plans for Kim’s Convenience co-star Andrew Phung (who plays Kimchee) to star in a new show that he co-created. Both his show, Run The Burbs, and Strays will debut on CBC during the 2021-22 season.
It all looks a bit awkward even if there wasn’t anything particularly nefarious going on.
Cinemas roar back to life with Godzilla vs Kong (and Nobody)
Cinemas are starting to show some life again. In the US the Bob Odenkirk unlikely action film Nobody brought in $6.7 million with LA and New York cinemas again open.
All eyes are on Godzilla vs Kong. It opens in the US this coming weekend, but opened in 38 international territories this past weekend where it brought in US$122 million. Here in Australia, it made US$6.3 million (that’s about AUS$8.25 million). In China, it brought in US$70 million, which highlights just how valuable that market is to the box office. This makes it the biggest US theatrical opening of the past year (globally, films like The Eight Hundred from China did perform better).
I saw Godzilla vs Kong over the weekend and thought it was a great big screen spectacle - waaaaaaaaay better than the terrible Godzilla: King of The Monsters. Interestingly, Event Cinemas seems to have relaxed its social distance seating policy. Quite a number of full-houses reported over the weekend on Twitter. I went to an 11am session in a 4DX theater (in 3D with a moving chair and water shot in my face every so often… if you’re going to watch trash like G v K, I say make it the trashiest experience you can) and the crowd was pretty big.
It felt like audiences were looking forward to seeing something big and stupid at the movies again.
On this week’s Screen Watching podcast, there is a review of Godzilla vs Kong. We also reviewed: The Falcon and The Winter Soldier (Disney+), A Teacher (Hulu in the US, Foxtel in Aus), Invincible (Amazon Prime Video), The Last Veneer (In cinemas now)
George RR Martin has signed a five-year deal with HBO. It’s for reasons of dragon integrity. Read: THR
Jon Hamm will voice Iron Man in the upcoming Hulu animated comedy M.O.D.O.K. Read: Deadline
Don Cheadle will narrate the new take on The Wonder Years. Read: Variety
Kamahl has spoken out about the humiliating racism he was the focus of on Australian “light-entertainment” show Hey Hey It’s Saturday. Read: The Guardian
There are reports that Ally McBeal may be in contention for a revival. Not everything needs to come back, y’all… Though, it would be interesting if that show came back with the same sexual politics - it’ll be a Twitter bloodbath. Read: TV Line
William Shatner says that he has watched very little Star Trek and believes humanity is on the verge of extinction. Read: EW
Paramount+ is now streaming a special about Woody Allen with an exclusive interview (filmed months ago that CBS is only now releasing). Read: Deadline
Foxtel is vying for the MGM output deal, currently held by Stan in Australia. Read: SMH
Nine brought down by hackers
A cybersecurity breach has seen Australia’s Nine network brought down by hackers. Local studio-based shows were unable to be broadcast out of Nine’s Sydney studios. Here’s Nine reporting on their problems:
Nine has since sought government and other external assistance, as reported in the Nine-owned SMH:
Sources familiar with the discussions at Nine said the company had been in talks with a large number of external security experts on Sunday who said they had not seen this kind of attack before in Australia. The sources said the experts believe it is some kind of ransomware likely created by a state-based actor. The Australian Cyber Security Centre, part of the ASD, confirmed it had offered technical assistance to Nine after it made contact about the attack. The ASD is in charge of protecting Australia from global threats including cyber attacks from state-based actors.
Does Netflix really think that its audience will click on something so obviously shameless? I don’t even need to see their metrics to know this will be a winner…
Polish series Sexify launches on Netflix April 28.
Budding software developer Natalia knows a lot about programming, and very little about sex. With her friends Monika and Paulina, she embarks on a quest to better understand the mysteries of the female orgasm, build an app that will win an inter-university competition and maybe, just maybe, serve the needs of her peers.
Night in Paradise debuts on Netflix April 9.
Hiding out in Jeju Island following a brutal tragedy, a wronged mobster with a target on his back connects with a woman who has her own demons.
What’s next? Tomorrow.
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