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 death of a TV legend, The sale of a TV icon, and 2x more Paul Rudd than usual.
Always Be Watching is written by Dan Barrett
I haven’t yet watched El Camino, but instead spent my weekend blitzing through 2 seasons of Mr Robot to catch up to the new season. It was one of those shows that I loved, but lost my way with. It’s also a show that plays so much better as a binge-watch than as a week-to-week show. The show is more gripping, tightly plotted, and visually audacious than almost any other show on the air right now.
If the show was on Netflix instead of a US broadcast cable channel, would Mr Robot be one of the biggest shows in the world today? I feel like the answer to it might be yes.
Oh, I also finished watching all of Modern Love- which debuts this coming weekend on Amazon (I rather like it), the first few episodes of Shudder original series Creepshow (I rather didn’t like it), and the first few episodes of the second season of an embargoed action adventure show that I really liked from last year (yeah - it’s the one you’re thinking of). For unnamed show, the series very cleverly got rid of the one big problem that I had with season one. More on that next week…
Daniel DÁddario at Variety has a positive review for the new Netflix Paul Rudd show Living With Yourself. This is giving me just the boost I will need to get through the week.
The new light drama series “Living with Yourself” makes this device literal: It forces us to compare the Rudd we think we know with Rudd as he might be, were he one of us. The pilot presents us with Rudd’s Miles in pieces, barely able to muster the energy to submit even lazy pitches at his advertising job and endlessly forestalling doing his part in his wife’s (Aisling Bea) fertility treatments. Little wonder that Miles takes advantage of an opportunity suggested by a coworker (Desmin Borges) to undergo an experimental treatment; that treatment, meant to kill Miles and replace him with a rejuvenated clone who hasn’t been subject to years’ worth of living in an inhospitable world, fails only in that it does not kill him. Now, Miles and Miles must coexist — concealing the fact of their doubleness from the world around them and providing a vision of a performer as we’ve previously known him and one in a new sort of pain.
MIPCOM is on this week in France. It is the international trade event for producers and buyers of TV to buy and sell shows/formats. While everyone is conscious of the fact that over the coming years large US streaming services will be expanding their footprint globally, while producing a lot of TV content in-house. But, this year sales are expected to be high while so many large companies are getting their ducks in a row.
An interesting company to look at is HBO:
HBO is the centerpiece of WarnerMedia’s plans to build out the proprietary HBO Max streaming platform, which also aspires to be a global service for maximum amortization of its content expenditures, a la Netflix. That means HBO and Warner Bros. will likely keep more of its high-end content off the open market outside the U.S. But in this interim period, there is still high demand for high-end content and HBO isn’t going to leave money on the table. “Game of Thrones” can’t be bought but HBO Latin America is eagerlys hopping three premium projects this week at MIPCOM, including the buzzy period drama “Santos Dumont,” a biopic of the famed Brazilian aviator and inventor Alberto Santos Dumont. That series and others on HBO Latin America’s slate reflects the bigger budgets and wider scope of HBO’s original series productions outside the U.S.