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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.
South Park censored on HBO Max
ALSO: Hamilton's journey from stage to screen. AND: Baby Shark: The TV series
South Park debuted yesterday on HBO Max following the $500 million license fee WarnerMedia paid for the show. But, break out the hashtag #NotAllSouthParks - five episodes have been omitted from the library. HBO Max has chosen not to make available the five episodes that depict Islam’s Prophet Muhammad.
Michael Paulson at the New York Times has this great feature that explores taking Hamilton from the stage to the screen.
A year before, a film crew had shot two of the final “Hamilton” performances featuring most of the original cast, and the plan was to lock the footage away for five or six years, until the time felt right to share it with the public.
But a cut was ready to show the person whose opinion mattered most: Lin-Manuel Miranda, the show’s laureled creator and star.
Miranda was in Britain, filming “Mary Poppins Returns.” (He played the lamplighter.) So the “Hamilton” movie’s brain trust flew over, renting a private screening room in a hotel basement that the star could readily access during a break from Cherry Tree Lane.
Brian Lowry takes a look at season 2 of The Twilight Zone and remarks that the original series did a much better job of reflecting its then-modern times than the current version of the show does with our current modern times.
It's worth noting that when "The Twilight Zone" premiered in 1959, the lessons of World War II and horrors inflicted by Nazi Germany were relatively fresh in viewers' minds. The Cold War was also in full swing, so the idea of oppressive regimes informed Serling and his collaborators.
Still, as the program made clear on multiple occasions, fear and distrust were potentially our most dangerous enemies, qualities that could quickly upend ordinary people and shatter seemingly idyllic neighborhoods.
Nothing exemplifies that better than two episodes: "The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street," in which the fear of alien intruders causes neighbors to suspect and turn on each other; and "The Shelter," where one family's bomb shelter sparks a crisis among those seeking protection and sanctuary amid the threat of a nuclear strike.
This is a time to acknowledge our acts of complicity. Here is one of mine. Playing the character of Molly on Central Park shows a lack of awareness of my pervasive privilege. Casting a mixed race character with a white actress undermines the specificity of the mixed race and Black American experience. It was wrong and we, on the Central Park team, are pledging to make it right. I am happy to relinquish this role to someone who can give a much more accurate portrayal and I will commit to learning, growing and doing my part for equality and inclusion.June 24, 2020
Gone With The Wind has returned to HBO Max with the addition of two videos.
The first is an introduction produced by TCM (Turner Classic Movies) featuring host and film scholar Jacqueline Stewart giving some context about the movie. The video runs for 4:27 mins and streams before the movie. It cannot be skipped (but viewers can hit the 15 second skip forward/backward buttons).
The second video is a panel chat recorded at the TCM Classic Film Festival on April 14, 2019. Film historian Donald Bogle is joined by Stephanie Allain, Molly Haskell, and Jacqueline Stewart for a chat about the complicated legacy of Gone With The Wind.
The introduction with Stewart is good. It has her explaining that:
The film’s treatment of this world through a lens of nostalgia denies the horrors of slavery, as well as its legacies of racial inequality.
Producer David O Selznick was well aware that black audiences were deeply concerned about the film’s handling of the topic of slavery and its treatment of
I understand why the video was created. I’m happy that it is there. But also, I’m just left wondering: are we now only supposed to view the movie through a scholarly lens? That’s how it is now presented. What isn’t really addressed is whether the movie still has any entertainment value.
Brave New World, based on the Aldous Huxley book, debuts on Peacock July 15. Noteworthy is that on the writing team is Grant Morrison.
Psych 2: Lassie Come Home debuts on Peacock on July 15.
Curious George debuts on Peacock on July 15.
Cleopatra in Space - Peacock on July 15
Where’s Waldo features a Waldo who has clearly had some work done. Peacock on July 15.
Intelligence debuts on Peacock at launch on July 15. Eagle-eyed ABW readers will remember seeing that the show debuted in the UK a number of months ago.
Similarly, The Capture debuts on Peacock on July 15, but debuted on the BBC in Sept 2019.
In Deep with Ryan Lochte - July 15 on Peacock.
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