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.
The Breaking Bad movie. PLUS: NVIXM. ALSO: Simpsons spin-offs.
Always Be Watching is written by the original Love-Matic Grampa Dan Barrett
Could there be spin-offs for The Simpsons in the show’s future? The answer is almost certainly yes with this comment on the subject by series producer Matt Selman:
“I think Disney would be supportive of anything we wanted to do, maybe a crazy limited series with a side character or a movie that we surprised you with, they’ve been really creatively supportive and this is going to afford so many new ways to do the show than just the traditional format.”
It sounds like there has been consideration given to this beyond just the idea of doing a series about Millhouse (for example).
But also… Apu isn’t going anywhere. Matt Groening:
“Yes. We love Apu. We’re proud of Apu.”
Which is interesting. The Simpsons is now owned by Disney, which is a studio that has a number of now-racially difficult characters. It has made a decision not to include the character Jim Crow in any Dumbo material going forward. It is also staying firm in the decision not to release Song of The South on any home media. Is Apu really that different - it’s a character that was culturally permissable at the time, but as we’ve progressed with our thinking culturally, the character just isn’t really okay anymore.
Would Apu, and The Simpsons more broadly, maybe just be better off by recasting Apu? I don’t think anybody wants to see the character eliminated from the show, but it does nobody any favors having Hank Azaria continue to portray the character.
I’ve never understood why directors commentaries have not been made available via streaming services.
Apparently Disney+ will rectify this.
Which suddenly begs a very big question for me: Futurama commentaries were among the best commentaries made for TV shows - will Futurama ever be available on Disney+, or would it be more likely to eventually land at Hulu?
And speaking of demos:
Tony Ayres and Christian White have co-created a new Australian show for Netflix. Filming in Melbourne from November, Clickbait is a thriller that explores the gap between our real-life and online personas. It will employ a similar structure to Ayres show The Slap, which told the story from multiple perspectives.