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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.
Netflix's Dogs, Game of Thrones date, & a bit more on Stan Lee
ABW is by Dan Barrett who has a bout of the Wednesdays.
This weekend Netflix will release a 6-part documentary series about dogs. I’ve already cancelled all of my plans.
Jen Chaney at Vulture has given the series a very positive wrap. She acknowledges the obvious cute factor:
If the series’ sole ambition was to create the longest, most irresistible internet dog video of all time, it would achieve that with high honors.
But also acknowledges that the show has a lot more going for it:
Each roughly 50-minute piece uses the human-dog connection to illuminate social issues, cultural differences, personal suffering, and how our doggos help us understand and overcome them. In “Bravo, Zeus,” Berg traces the extensive efforts undertaken to reunite that aforementioned Siberian Husky with Ayham and, in the process, reveals in vivid fashion the desperation behind the Syrian refugee crisis.
I’m not so sure I like the new visual style for the She-Ra show that debuts this weekend on Netflix. It just looks less iconic. But I am also not the target market for the new show. If you want a primer on who the characters are on the show (I know I have forgotten them all), Polygon has this great guide.
If you have firm feelings on who will rule Westeros when Game of Thrones concludes its eighth season, you can put your money where your mouth is with an online betting agency now happy to see you part with your money.
Oh, and Game of Thrones will be back for its final season in April:
More on Stan Lee
Yesterday, after hearing about the passing of Stan Lee, I fell into a YouTube hole watching a number of Stan Lee-related videos. Something struck me about Lee’s career and its parallel to animation, which is best illustrated through the existence of Spider-Man.
The character was created in 1962 and endures to this day. Marvel were very quick to capitalise on Spidey’s popularity. An animated show starring Spider-Man launched in 1967. The animation was cheap and crude (but is still pretty watchable). It was one of the first TV adaptations of a major comic book superhero (The New Adventures of Superman beat it by just one year).
That was by no means the last time Spider-Man featured in a cartoon. There have been multiple Spidey cartoons every decade since. With each show, the technology used in animation improved by leaps and bounds. Consider that Spider-Man cartoon at the start of Lee’s career explosion.
Now consider how Spider-Man looks and feels in 2018, as demonstrated by the recent Spider-Man PS4 game:
It’s incredible how good animation is nowadays… and Stan Lee’s Spider-Man has been an active part of that for Lee’s life, often propelling these technological leaps.
Stan’s lousy memory was fabled and notorious throughout the industry. It was no secret. In an early issue of Spider-Man,the hero’s alter ego was cited as “Peter Palmer” rather than “Parker.” In the most notorious malfunction of Stan’s memory, The Incredible Hulk’s Bruce Banner exclaimed in shock that he had transformed from his superhero self into his day-to-day one: “Bob Banner.” It was subsequently “explained” that his full name was actually Robert Bruce Banner. And we, as fans, all nodded and said, “Okay.”
So, four times I introduced myself. The fifth time I ran into him, before I could say a word, he pointed at me and said, “You’re Peter!”
My breath was taken away. I was stunned. Stan Lee remembered me.