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 Broad City! RIP Berlin Station! And a Twilight Zone thought...
Always Be Watching is by Dan Barrett who is hyped up on matcha.
Berlin Station has been cancelled by US network Epix. I tried watching the first episode a couple of times and it never quite grabbed me, but I understand it actually gets quite good quickly and keeps getting better. So, I’ve been meaning to watch it now for about three years. I guess this means I have a complete box set ahead of me. In Australia, the first three seasons are all at SBS On Demand. In the US, I presume it is all available via the EPIX app.
The series aired its third season finale in February. The series starred Richard Armitage, Michelle Forbes, Leland Orser, Ismael Cruz Córdova, Ashley Judd, Keke Palmer, Richard Jenkins and Rhys Ifans. James Cromwell also appeared in Season 3 in a recurring guest star role. Armitage starred as Daniel Miller, a CIA officer who is stationed in Berlin and must learn the art of intelligence gathering where the stakes are truly life and death.
Broad City aired its final episode this week with Rachel Syme at The New Yorker giving the show a nicely written goodbye. I fell off this show in its fourth season - it just felt like the show ran out of juice and wasn’t quite sparking in the way it once did. I’ll get back and finish it off because those first 3 seasons were magic.
For five seasons, “Broad City” was at its heart a love story, albeit an unconventional, mostly platonic one, about two twentysomething women with paper-thin boundaries. Abbi and Ilana experience the city the same way, as a neon funhouse where anything can happen, where some strangers are absolutely delightful and others will vomit on your shoes. When they make the decision to part ways, it feels like not only the cleaving of a unit but the end of a way of moving through the city. At some point, on the Brooklyn Bridge, the two pause to stare out over the East River underneath a lavender sunset. Ilana tells Abbi, in a tearful goodbye, “I’ve never felt so cool . . . really, not as when I’m with you.” “Broad City” has always done funny better than sentimental, but this line got me: Abbi and Ilana were each other’s hypewoman and promoter. It is difficult to think of them navigating their respective obstacle courses alone.
Nancy Cartwright, voice of Bart Simpson, has written an episode of the show. She’s quick to point out that she wrote the episode prior to entering the show’s writers room where the team punched it up. The episode is a parody of the film Whiplash.
There has obviously been an increase in the amount of representation seen on screen in the last couple of years, but where does that leave US TV networks like BET, TV One, and OWN which has long had the purpose of bringing black actors and their stories to the screen?
“While you will find more outlets targeting black audiences, they don’t always represent our culture and stories authentically and respectfully,” Rice said. “Yes, more audience fragmentation and viewing options exist today, but so long as we continue to make great content with compelling storytelling, we will continue to differentiate ourselves and thrive.”
OWN president Tina Perry is also pleased with what she called a rising tide. However, she’s cautious about whether this new interest in black audiences will be sustained. “The industry as a whole, in the past roughly 15 years, has seen so much progress when it comes to diversity and inclusion, but a lot more work has to be done in order to get it to a place where it becomes permanent, and we can’t wait to get there,” she said.
What will be the future of the shows being produced for DC Universe? This is a streaming app catering to DC Comics fans with original shows. With WarnerMedia launching a new streaming service too, my assumption is that many of the DCU originals will end up there too, so what gives the DCU app a point of difference? Soon, it is adding an extensive library of comics to the service. Every DC comic will be available to download, with new books added 12 months after going to print. This may well destroy a substantial chunk of its collected edition market.
“From the time DC Universe launched last year, our fans have loved the comic experience and have asked us for just one thing – more! The expansion to thousands of titles in January 2019 was a first step in our goal to deliver on that request, to provide DC Universe members full access to the pantheon of DC’s epic Super Hero stories,” DC Universe senior vice president and general manager, Sam Ades, said in a statement. “We’re thrilled to respond to our fans yet again with the incredible value of the ultimate DC digital comics library.”
Something I didn’t realise about the reboot of The Twilight Zone - former X-Files writer-producer (and Final Destination writer) Glen Morgan is the showrunner of the new series. Good news in its own right, but could this also mean his exceptionally talented brother Darin Morgan might be writing an episode of the new show? Most of Darin’s work tends to be on his brothers shows.
Indiewire has episode breakdowns for the episodes airing through its first season.
The holiday across Japan continues. Technically, I still haven’t left Tokyo, but it will venture out further soon.
I took the time to check out some local TV stations. The very impressive Fuji TV building:
With this outside:
And then I found the less impressive NHK building:
As comedian and online scallywag Dan Ilic remarked about the building on Twitter:
She-Ra season 2 has a new trailer.
It’s April 1st, meaning the Internet will be filled with dumb pranks. But, I was impressed by the aforementioned SBS On Demand who have today issued a statement on Facebook that it has given up on its commitment to prestige dramas and movies to instead focus purely on Jackie Chan.
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