Despite poor to middling reviews and tumbleweeds on Twitter from what I noticed, a whole lot of folks watched Red Notice on Netflix. The film brought together megastars Dwayne Johnson, Gal Gadot, and Ryan Reynolds for a heist comedy.

Because so many people watched it, Netflix is moving ahead with two sequels set to be filmed back-to-back in 2023. Deadline says that this is a show of confidence in the creative. But that to me reads like a trade publication saying nice things for access reasons. I say this shows an opportunity to save some production money on what is likely to be a hugely expensive set of films. And there's nothing wrong with just saying that - especially in a trade publication. Geez, Deadline.

I think it is important that we start this new year by sitting back, taking stock with the world, and remember how blessed we are that even a person with the name Dwayne can become the biggest movie star in the world.

Netflix Plotting ‘Red Notice’ Back-To-Back Sequel Shoot: Dwayne Johnson, Gal Gadot, Ryan Reynolds & Rawson Marshall Thurber Expected Back
EXCLUSIVE: Back when Deadline revealed that Universal wavered on the big budget of Rawson Marshall Thurber’s three-hander script Red Notice and franchise-hungry Netflix stepped right in, skep…

Get ready for Peacemaker

I got a real kick out of HBO Max's new series Peacemaker, which debuts in just a couple of hours time. It stars John Cena reprising his role from the DC Comics movie The Suicide Squad (that's the 2021 film that made me laugh a bunch of times and not the terrible one from about five years ago). It's a rude, crude show that is a bit like the Marvel Deadpool films in sensibility, but edgier and a bit more substantial.

You can read my review of the show on the Always Be Watching site (I launched a reviews section this week, kicking off with Peacemaker).

Review: Peacemaker
John Cena stars as comedic bad-ass Peacemaker in this goofy The Suicide Squad TV spin-off

Tied in with the launch of the show, HBO Max are releasing an after show/video podcast.

HBO Max and DC enlisted Rooster Teeth, which is also part of the WarnerMedia family, to produce “Podly,” a series recapping “Peacemaker” episodes. Audiences can watch “Podly” on HBO Max and on the official YouTube channels for DC and HBO Max beginning Jan. 13, when “Peacemaker” premieres. An audio-only version available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and other major audio platforms.
HBO Max’s ‘Peacemaker’ Is Getting a Video Podcast From Rooster Teeth
The zany misadventures of “Peacemaker,” the HBO Max original series starring John Cena, will get an official aftershow-style official video podcast launching alongside the DC show. HBO …

A very American Canadian LOL

Amazon Prime Video have a format show that has launched in a number of countries already, but now coming soon is LOL: Last One Laughing Canada. As with previous versions, this has a number of local comedians living together trying to make each other laugh. If a comedian cracks, they get a warning, but the second time they get eliminated.

The show debuted in Japan, but since then versions have launched in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Mexico, India, and Brazil. Now it is Canada's turn and what strikes me as interesting about the show is just how many of these Canadian comedians we mostly know from American shows. A lot of my favourite funny people are in this, so I'll be keen to give this a look when it debuts Feb 18.

The cast includes: Caroline Rhea (Sabrina the Teenage Witch), Debra DiGiovanni (Humour Resources), Dave Foley (The Kids in the Hall), Jon Lajoie (The League), Tom Green (Road Trip, The Tom Green Show), Mae Martin (Feel Good), Colin Mochrie (Whose Line Is It Anyway?), Brandon Ash Mohammed (TallBoyz), Andrew Phung (Kim's Convenience), and K. Trevor Wilson (Letterkenny).

Breaking News - Prime Video Reveals the All-Star Lineup for Canadian Amazon Original “LOL: Last One Laughing Canada” |

What a difference five years makes

This week there's a news story floating around with two Aussie newsreaders recorded criticising anti-vaxxer Tennis player Novak Djokovic. The clip was recorded off-air, but the two were still on air. I haven't mentioned it in the newsletter only because the story isn't all that interesting. What? News presenters have opinions off-air? Shocker.

But contrast my disinterest in that story with the great amusement I have in the below clip. Five years ago this off-air blooper was recorded. The clip plays as hilariously petulant (even if I totally get why she wouldn't want to be on air with the three of them all wearing white shirts).

Why do I care about this clip and not the new one? It's because the old clip is actually funny and captures a humanity... a reality... of workplace dynamics. The new one was just two people having a chat saying many of the same things most folks have been this past week.

For more on 'jacket-gate' five years later, David Knox at TV Tonight has this story:

TVT Vault: 5 years since ‘White jacket-gate’ | TV Tonight
One leaked newsroom video fell on the anniversary of another infamous clip.

TeeVee Snacks

  • The Jed Mercurio-produced ITV series Trigger Point stars Vicky McClure as an ex-bomb disposal expert working on a counter terrorism mission that is set to tip her over the edge. Adrien Lester also stars. Might be one to watch. It debuts on Jan 23. Read: Radio Times
  • Apple TV+ is making a feature film about the search for Beanie Babies in the 90s. It will star Zach Galifianakis, Elizabeth Banks, Sarah Snook, and Geraldine Viswanathan. Read: The AV Club
  • There's still no confirmation on how Bob Saget died, but he reportedly died in his sleep. A heart attack or stroke believed to be the cause. Read: TMZ
  • Richard Ayoade (who has somehow never been in a Wes Anderson movie!!!) and Rupert Friend are joining the cast of Anderson's Henry Sugar film for Netflix. Read: Deadline
  • In the late 80s Hayley Mills had her Oscar stolen. The Academy has just presented her with a replacement. Read: The Guardian
  • Samuel L Jackson's Apple TV+ show The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey debuts March 11. Read: Dark Horizons
  • King of The Hill, which frustratingly is not streaming in Australia, marks its 25th anniversary today. Here's a list that purports to have its best five moments. Read: TV Line
  • Come Dine With Me: The Professionals is a spin-off debuting later this year in the UK. I'm assuming I don't need to explain what it is a spin-off of, right? You're smart. You probably have a degree. Read: Radio Times
  • Television Queen Juliana Margulies has revealed that she has COVID, but reports that it is mild and thanks the vaccines for that. Read: People

Trailer Park

Shining Vale debuts on Starz on March 6.

Shining Vale is a horror comedy about a dysfunctional family that moves from the city to a small town into a house in which terrible atrocities have taken place. But no one seems to notice except for Pat (Courteney Cox), who’s convinced she’s either depressed or possessed – turns out, the symptoms are exactly the same.

Big Mouth spin-off Human Resources debuts on Netflix March 18.

The Girl Before debuts on HBO Max Feb 10.

The Girl Before tells the story of Jane (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), who gets the chance to move into a beautiful, ultra-minimalist house designed by architect (David Oyelowo) --the one catch being that occupants have to abide by his list of rules. When Jane makes the shocking discovery that her predecessor Emma died in the house, she begins to question if her fate will be the same as the girl before…

Looney Tunes Cartoons debut season 4 on HBO Max Jan 20.

The Boys will return June 3 on Amazon Prime Video

Dollface returns for season 2 Feb 11 on Hulu

Amandla debuts Jan 21 on Netflix.

Years after surviving a childhood tragedy, two brothers fall on opposing sides of the law as a gang-linked crime tests their loyalty to one another.

That's it for today. The newsletter will be back tomorrow to wind out the week. Stay safe. Get your booster shots if you haven't already. This is a good site for Aussies with local vaccine availability: