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.
RIP Bojack Horseman. ALSO: BBC unveils War of The Worlds. AND: Fox News woes.
Always Be Watching is written by 80s animated sitcom star Dan Barrett.
Bojack Horseman has been cancelled. The 6th and final season will debut on Oct 25, but will be split in two halves with the back-half dropping on Netflix 31 Jan 2020. This means that the show will fall three seasons short of Horsin’ Around, which was cancelled after nine seasons.
The cancellation has come from Netflix and wasn’t strictly a creative decision. Is it just a coincidence that death came for Bojack after the criticisms of Netflix from Bojack creatives following the cancellation of Tuca and Bertie?
Regardless of whatever the situation is, I’m eager to see whatcreator Raphael Bob-Waksberg does next - beyond being a lovely dude (I had the pleasure of interviewing him a few years back), he’s incredibly talented. His Amazon show Undone is easily in my top 10 of 2019.
Fox News is in a pickle right now. With their support behind President Trump, the opinion and news channel has to work out what it is going to do as Trump faces a possible impeachment. Lachlan Murdoch is reportedly taking meetings about a post-Trump Fox News, while on-air talent are bickering. Gabe Sherman at Vanity Fair has literally written the book on Fox News, so his report at Vanity Fair is worth paying attention to.
The ultimate referee of this fight will be Lachlan Murdoch. In recent months, Rupert’s oldest son has been holding strategy conversations with Fox executives and anchors about how Fox News should prepare for life after Trump. Among the powerful voices advising Lachlan that Fox should decisively break with the president is former House speaker Paul Ryan, who joined the Fox board in March. “Paul is embarrassed about Trump and now he has the power to do something about it,” an executive who’s spoken with Ryan told me.
One of the shows I am most looking forward to in 2019 is BBC One’s adaptation of War of The Worlds. And today there is a trailer. Spoiler: I’m even more keen on it now.
One of the show’s I was most looking forward to had been Stumptown. The show is based off a comic that took its inspirations from The Rockford Files. So, already it felt very-TV. Thankfully the show lived up to expectation (it’s not amazing TV - it’s just a fun crime of the week detective show. Practically a love-letter to the genre).
Emily VanDerWerff at Vox has this write-up about the pilot:
The most obvious reference point for Stumptown is the terrific 1974-1980 NBC drama The Rockford Files, where James Garner played a PI who found himself constantly taking cases among the scumbums of LA. It was a crackerjack show with a great lead performance, a scuzzy vibe, and some strong mysteries. It’s easy to see why Stumptown has drawn comparisons. (Honestly, I’ve made them myself.)
But Stumptown has two pretty fascinating differences. For one thing, it’s about a woman, which instantly shifts many of the show’s interactions. (At one point, Dex gets the hell beaten out of her by a criminal she’s pursuing.) But beyond even the added ways that Dex might not be welcome in spaces where Rockford was, there’s a knottiness to Stumptown’s portrayal of Dex as a woman who’s Seen Some Shit and is, thus, struggling to keep her head above water. This is not a new archetype for the detective drama, but seeing not just an actress but an actress of Smulders’ caliber playing the part zaps the show into life.