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.
Offensive Game of Thrones coffee cup removals. PLUS: The new Tina Fey/Amy Poehler Netflix film
Always Be Watching is curated by Dan Barrett who is not a coffee drinker.
It is a pretty quiet day for TV-related news so far. But, maybe this is a good opportunity to remind you to subscribe to the Always Be Watching podcast. Each week it’s a casual chat between myself and Chris Yates about what we’ve watched that week - it’s a mix of new and random choices, so you’re guaranteed to come across a TV recommendation you probably haven’t thought to check out.
On the most recent episode we discussed Trailer Park Boys: The Animated Series, Black Summer, the 80s film Nothing But Trouble, and new Netflix revival show Ultraman.
You can sleep at ease tonight - that offensive coffee cup from Game of Thrones has been digitally edited out of the show. It is now gone from streaming of the episode and will be removed in all subsequent broadcasts.
The Verge made this handy gif to contextualise this. Never forget.
On Monday news broke about CBS censoring a cartoon featured on the CBS All Access show The Good Fight. More information has come out regarding the content of the cartoon:
Apparently the censorship pissed off the shows creators, Robert & Michelle King, a great deal and the original plan was for the black title card citing the censorship to run the full 90 seconds of the song. In editing the episode, however, they realised the audience wouldn’t understand and it was indulgent and petty-looking.
So, what was in the video?
It begins with a verse about the fact that “The Good Wife” itself had been banned in China, in 2014, possibly in reprisal for a Season 2 episode called “The Great Firewall,” which portrayed a Google-like company, called ChumHum, exposing a Chinese dissident to government torture. The next verse of the song is about the way that media companies censor content, with animations of movie scenes being snipped out of film strips.
Then comes the bridge, which lists other things banned in China, many of them symbolic images that Chinese citizens use on social-networking sites to evade censors. These include an empty chair (representing the late Chinese Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo), Winnie the Pooh (who is said to resemble China’s leader, Xi Jinping), and “the letter ‘N’ and Tiananmen Square”—a reference to the fact that the letter “N” was briefly banned in China, because it was perceived as a coded reference to the elimination of Presidential term limits. One animation showed the Chinese leader, dressed as Winnie the Pooh, shaking his bare bottom. Another showed Chinese reëducation camps.
The song is clear about one of the motives for American self-censorship: China is too big of a market for media corporations to ignore.
What We Do In The Shadows has been renewed for a second season by FX.
The show is based on Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement’s 2014 film of the same name, however, the TV adaptation moves from Wellington to Staten Island, and follows three vampires, Nandor (Kayvan Novak), Lazslo (Matt Berry), and Nadja (Natasia Demetriou), who have been roommates for hundreds and hundreds of years.
A new film starring Tina Fey and Amy Poehler called Wine Country will debut on Netflix this Friday. The film is also Poehler’s debut as a director.
David Ehrlich at Indiewire writes:
Like so many Netflix Originals, Amy Poehler’s effervescent feature directorial debut is best enjoyed on a soft couch, after a hard day, and with a large glass of pinot grigio in each hand. While there are occasional notes of heaviness — as there must be in any honest account of the joys and miseries of getting so much older than you ever thought possible — this light but knowing story about six women struggling to get over themselves and celebrate each other is just fermented enough to leave you buzzed.
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