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.
Netflix to buy a cinema! Scientologist Elisabeth Moss speaks out! Babylon Berlin is back!
Always Be Watching is curated by Dan Barrett
One of the best shows in recent years was German series Babylon Berlin (streaming in the US and Australia on Netflix). Good news today: the third season of the show has been sold across 35 countries with Netflix again picking up the rights.
The series will be based on the second novel in Volker Kutscher’s series, titled The Silent Death.
The series (pictured above in an exclusive photo) sees Rath this time investigating a mysterious death at a movie studio. He does so at a time when Germany is not only witnessing the end of the silent movie era but also growing political unrest. The series is currently shooting in and around Berlin and in North Rhine-Westphalia and is set to wrap production in May.
Elisabeth Moss has been very canny about developing a public persona that is far removed from her personal life and beliefs in Scientology. It almost never comes up in interviews.
But it did in this Daily Beast article, in which she discusses her beliefs and how it contrasts against the themes from The Handmaid’s Tale:
I choose to express myself in my work and my art. I don’t choose to express myself about it in interviews. I don’t choose to talk about not just religion, but my personal life—who I’m dating and that kind of thing. So for me, it’s so hard to unpack in a sound bite or an interview, but I will say that the things that I truly believe in are the things that I’ve mentioned, and I think that they’re very important. I think people should be allowed to talk about what they want to talk about and believe what they want to believe and you can’t take that away—and when you start to take that away, when you start to say “you can’t think that,” “you can’t believe that,” “you can’t say that,” then you get into trouble.
I don’t really understand what the value is of this, but I guess fans will be into it. A documentary about Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is on its way. It’ll play as a series of special event screenings in the US, but I’m sure will find its way onto streaming services at some point.
Jaunt VR founder Arthur Van Hoff has just joined Apple. Jaunt is a platform that offers short-form video on VR platforms. The hire indicates that Apple’s efforts in augmented reality is nearing a commercial release.
One of the great, but too-often-forgotten, TV shows of the 90s was the adaptation of Armistead Maupin’s Tales of The City. The series ran initially on PBS in 1993 before being revived by Showtime in 1998 and again in 2003. It’s back for another run - this time on Netflix. I don’t know if the streaming service has the rights to previous seasons, but the new run starts on June 7.
Laura Linney, Paul Gross, and Olympia Dukakis return, among others.
Also launching soon is The Weekly, a new co-production between FX and the New York Times. I’ll be fascinated to see what they do with it. Like the NYT podcast The Daily, I assume it will be more focused on topical feature stories rather than a direct look at the news as it happened that week.
A Monsters Inc TV series will debut on Disney+. Monsters At Work will bring back John Goodman and Billy Crystal.
The series’ story picks up six months after the conclusion of Monsters, Inc,, in which the Monstropolis power plant discovers it can generate more energy from laughter than from screams. It follows a new character, Tylor Tushmon (played by Ben Feldman), a young mechanic at the plant who dreams of becoming a Jokester like Mike and Sulley.
Netflix is in talks to buy a cinema. The famed Egyptian Theatre.
Or rather, the streaming service is looking to purchase what will likely be used as a glorified screening room/events space.
The proposed deal would likely play out with Netflix programming on weekday nights while the non-profit Cinematheque would program screenings, lectures, and festivals on weekends. The transaction would not include the Aero Theater in Santa Monica, Calif., which Cinematheque also programs. Additionally, it’s not expected that the deal will impact Netflix’s relationship with independent theater chains that show its films such as Landmark and Ipic.
If the deal goes through, Netflix could use the Egyptian to premiere potential awards candidates. The company already has a smaller screening room in their Hollywood headquarters, less than two miles away.