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.
Teen sex on screen! Amanda Knox! And Project Blue Book renewed - what even is that show?
Always Be Watching is curated by Dan Barrett.
New series Project Blue Book is an under-the-radar success. It’s the most-watched new show in the US this year, with an average of 3.4 million viewers (live + 3 days). And so, it just got greenlit for a second season.
Despite the relative prudishness of a lot of Netflix series, over the past year it has delved deeply into the world of teen sexuality with shows like Big Mouth and Sex Education. Those shows, combined with Hulu’s Pen15, mark a turning point for honest depictions of teen sex on screen. Vanity Fair took a look:
In its first episode, the headmaster’s son (Connor Swindells) stands up on a cafeteria table and pulls down his pants. Sex Education shows us his penis. It’s not a sexualized scene—he’s not aroused, or touching it, or even talking about sex. Furthermore, while his character is under the age of 18, Swindells himself is 22. Which is useful context, because the camera is close enough to his penis, and spends enough time looking at it, for the viewer to determine that it is lengthy and uncircumcised. In a sweaty later scene, two naked young women feverishly attempt to have sex with each other, but run into some mechanical difficulties. It is, undoubtedly, real and relatable—hopefully even useful for a few budding lesbians out there. But as I was watching, I kept covering my eyes, convinced that it was wrong to watch these teenage girls’ intimate moment.
Did you know that SundanceTV/Sundance Now has a podcast series hosted by Amanda Knox? It was news to all of us. They just commissioned more episodes of The Truth About True Crime With Amanda Knox.
AMC just canceled both Into The Badlands and The Son. They end after their third and second seasons, respectively.
“Silvery Waters of Lake Champlain” by Joe Hill (“NOS4A2”) “House of the Head” by Josh Malerman (“Bird Box”) “The Companion” by Joe Lansdale (“The Bottoms”) “The Man in the Suitcase” by Christopher Buehlman (“The Lesser Dead”) “All Hallows Eve” by Bruce Jones (“The Hitchhiker”) “Night of the Paw” by John Esposito (“The Walking Dead: Webisodes”) “Bad Wolf Down” by Rob Schrab (“Monster House”)
Remember when HBO announced a more-than-slightly racially sensitive series Confederacy, from the Game of Thrones showrunners? Immediately, news on it went very quiet. Despite everyone shutting up about it immediately afterwards, the project is still on the cards after Benioff and Weiss return from making some Star Wars movies.
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