Pop culture attracts a lot of ill-informed commentary and discussion. Part of what got me blogging about TV a lifetime ago (that would be in the early 00s, kids) was the desire to elevate conversation around the medium. Little did I realise how much TV would pull itself up by the bootstraps during that time.

This week Joker is hitting cinema screens amid lots of controversy about what it might inspire (if I were to guess, I think it’ll largely come and go without incident). The subtext to a lot of the conversation around the film was the 2012 massacre inside a US movie theatre in Aurora. A gunman was reportedly inspired by the Joker as he murdered an audience wanting to see new Batman film The Dark Knight Rises.

The thing is - the Joker connection… it wasn’t true. I took it as gospel, like most people did. Take a read of this Vanity Fair article which explains the whole thing.

Does this change the way people should think about Joker? I don’t really know for sure. I’ll be checking it out this weekend and will probably include a few thoughts in this newsletter.

joaquin phoenix joker

Netflix series Dear White People will be back for a fourth and final season.

I’m considering just creating a short-cut to paste the phrase ‘fourth and final season’ for ABW newsletters as that seems to be the trend of the moment. Gone is the old-school 100 episode syndication deals in favour of these four-year runs on shows. It makes sense of mid-level performers: Four seasons/40-ish episodes isn’t that intimidating for a viewer to start watching a show. Plus, four seasons is substantial enough to be a solid library title for many years to come.

A US court ruling made in the 70s gives authors the right to reclaim works after 35 years. What this means is that a number of writers are currently lodging claims to win back their books and screenplays from movie studios.

This will impact on a number of films from the 80s right now that include the Terminator films, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Beetlejuice, and Die Hard. After lodging the claim to regain copyright, studios have a 2-year window to work on any properties related to the original work.

Will we see movie studios stop working with established IP for franchise films, or will that 2-year window just mean a lot of quickly produced final bites at the apple. I think we all know the answer. Expect to see Michael Keaton in make-up sooner than later.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

Australia’s Channel 7 is currently undergoing a restructure. As part of it, publicity teams in Melbourne, Brisbane, and Adelaide will have massive cuts as publicity is centralised out of its Sydney office.

While this sucks and I feel bad for those affected (I used to occasionally deal with the team out of Brisbane), I’m mostly surprised it has taken this long. The last couple of years has been brutal for the media industry with so many publications shuttering or downsizing. How many local media requests are being made in Brisbane or Adelaide nowadays?

Source: TV Tonight

Directed by Roy Power is Memory Video, a short film about Miguel Gomez - a man who is trying to keep the video store memory alive.

Ken Levine and David Isaacs wrote 40 episodes of Cheers together. On his blog, Levine has listed his ten favourite episodes that he had a credit on. It’s a quick-read, but if you loved Cheers, it’s a good one.

Source: By Ken Levine

Recovery was a youth culture show that aired in Australia through the 90s. Hosts Dylan Lewis and Jane Gazzo have re-teamed for a new YouTube channel. Recovered brings back the spirit of intent of Recovery with the new show featuring interviews and performances, with chats on what’s trending in Australia and abroad.

And finally…

On Dec 13 Netflix will release the $150 million Michael Bay movie Underground 6. Today there is a trailer for the film.