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.
Popes! Perry (Mason)! Pearson!
Always Be Watching is written by Dan Barrett who picked a bunch of pickled peppers...
On Friday Apple TV+ went live - New dramas The Morning Show, See, and For All Mankind each launched with three episodes, while youth dramedy Dickinson dropped its entire 10-episode first season on day one. The first two episodes of every episode are available free to anyone.
My initial thoughts:
The Morning Show has a dog of a first episode, but the second one shows a bit more promise - even as it builds towards an obvious twist. I thought the third episode was genuinely good. Nothing groundbreaking, but just good, dependable TV.
Reviews for the Apple TV+ show were largely negative. I thought they were a bit unfair for alternative history drama For All Mankind especially. The general vibe I get from the launch shows is that Apple isn’t aiming for HBO-level quality, but rather shows that are a bit more sophisticated than what you find on broadcast TV. But that said, the set of four launch shows could really have used a show that was much faster-paced and punchier.
The best of the bunch is easily For All Mankind. I certainly understand why some viewers might find the show a little dull, but I came to quite like its very deliberate pace. It’s a subtle, elegant show that will find a very loyal audience. I was incredibly taken with the show to an extent that I really hadn’t expected.
Apple TV+ launched with some kids TV content too - Snoopy In Space is genuinely funny. I liked it a whole lot.
The opening title sequence for The Morning Show seems to have no relevance to the show itself. I do think the See opening titles are a bit better than okay. The best of the bunch is the title sequence of For All Mankind.
Now that Apple has launched its streaming service, it is time to look ahead at the upcoming launch of Disney+. That’s Tues Nov 12 in the US and a week later on the 19th in Australia.
A trailer has been released for The New Pope. This is the newer Pope than the young pope, who does appear in this series despite not really being young or a pope anymore. Don’t get this confused with The Two Popes coming soon to Netflix. It’s a great time for Pope content.
Left-leaning news channel MSNBC has launched in Australia on streaming service Fetch TV. The channel has previously been unavailable. I’ve been a regular MSNBC viewer for a few years, relying on illicit streams, so this is welcome news in my household.