First Tudum was a content marketing driven fan event. Now it is a website. Visit and you will find a new website filled with news and articles about shows on Netflix.

Frankly, I'm surprised it took Netflix this long to launch the site. Visit the site and you'll find articles about Netflix shows, news, trailers, and broader thought pieces that all drive viewers back to Netflix shows.

A dedicated content marketing site like this is smart for a number of reasons, both in promoting new shows on platform, but also in finding a context to talk about shows in the increasingly deep Netflix library. Where the site falls apart is in terms of its design. Images are too big and it positions the meatiest, most clickable stories at the bottom of the page. Ask any content producer and they'll tell you that most users don't scroll that far down a page.

There's also too many article lists. That gets boring real quick.

The best content is found in the movies section with long reads that compel you to want to find out more by watching. There's articles like the longer-reads The True Soccer Story Behind ‘The Hand of God’, Inside the Complicated History of Black Westerns, and the magazine style Jesse Plemons and Kirsten Dunst are Hollywood’s Brightest Power Couple. All good content that inspire the reader to want to watch. But all fail by not providing links to any of the Netflix shows/movies being discusses. It is too-soft a push, marketing-wise. You need a call to action.

Heck, Tudum is on the Netflix site - the engineers should have found a way to embed the shows and movies into the article.

It's great the company finally got around to this, but it needs to be better considered.

Reviews are in for And Just Like That...

The Sex & The City sequel series And Just Like That debuted yesterday on HBO Max. Critics must not have had screener access, or in the very least were under embargo, because reviews have only just been published.

I watched the first episode and found the idea for the show (which is that the cast, once on the front foot of culture, are now struggling to find a place in it as the world has passed these fiftysomething women by) was smart and made sense. But ultimately, the first episode back was too exposition-heavy and was too busy trying to establish a framework for the new show that it failed to do much of anything itself in the way of entertaining the audience.

The critics have universally panned it. But the couple of fans I know who watched it have been far more receptive.

James Poniewozik of the NYT:

Its first four episodes (of 10) feel like two shows. One, which tries to grow with the women as they navigate their 50s and mortality, is a downer, but it takes risks and in moments is very good. The other, which tries to update its sassy turn-of-the-century sensibility for an era of diversity, is painful.

Alan Sepinwall of Rolling Stone:

It’s a running gag on the podcast that Che has to keep hitting a button that blares “WOKE MOMENT!” whenever they are scolding the show’s obnoxious male co-host Jackie (Bobby Lee). Viewers may soon wish they had such a button of their own, because the series’ attempts at wokeness — and to position characters who were incredibly progressive for their time as more than just dinosaurs in 2021 — are so often self-conscious and clumsy.

Ben Travers at Indiewire:

So far, these new characters spend most of their time onscreen reassuring our main cast that they’re not being racist (or, on at least one occasion, pointing out when they are), but their partners and lives beyond Carrie, Charlotte, and Miranda are given just enough acknowledgement to believe that actual development is coming. That’s good, because if there’s one predominant theme guiding “And Just Like That…” it’s the value of making new friends, even when you’ve already got a few good ones — a through-line only partly spurred by Samantha’s glaring absence.

I'm not wrong in thinking it is strange that major masthead publications don't have women writing reviews of this show, right?

Would I Lie To You? US announces on-air talent

The US version of Would I Lie To You has officially had its guest line-up revealed. Quietly, we knew who was going to be on it thanks to the ticketing site for audience members. It will be hosted by former The Daily Show and current Evil star Asif Mandi, with team captains Matt Walsh (Veep) and Sabrina Jalees.

Guest contestants will include: Brooke Shields, Amber Ruffin, Laura Benanti, Michael Ian Black, Andrea Martin, Julie Klausner, Jordan Klepper, Adam Pally, Chris Gethard, Dulcé Sloan, and Preet Bharara. Not part of the official announcement, but interesting mostly because the show is being EP'd by Robert & Michelle King (creators of Evil and The Good Fight), is supporting The Good Fight cast members Sarah Steele and Nyambi Nyambi.

‘Would I Lie To You’: Aasif Mandvi, Matt Walsh & Sabrina Jalees To Lead The CW Adaptation Of British Format, Celebrity Guests Set
The CW’s adaptation of British panel show Would I Lie To You? has found its lineup. Evil star Aasif Mandvi is set as host with Veep’s Matt Walsh and Carol’s Second Act’s Sabrina Jalees as team capt…

TeeVee Snacks

  • Ripley, the Showtime TV series adapting the Tom Ripley books, has started casting. Andrew Scott and Johnny Flynn lead the series with Eliot Sumner joining. I'm excited for this one. Read: Deadline
  • Zach Kram at The Ringer looks at the final run of episodes of The Expanse. Read: The Ringer
  • Leverage: Redemption has been picked up for a second season on IMDb TV. Read: thefutoncritic
  • Thora Birch has departed the Addams Family-inspired Netflix series Wednesday for undisclosed reasons mid-production. Huh... Read: Deadline
  • The US Paramount+ now offers live channels, most from Pluto TV, in as part of the platform. Will we see this feature rolled out to Paramount+ internationally? Read: thefutoncritic

Trailer Park

The reunion special Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return To Hogwarts debuts Jan 1 on HBO Max.

Season 4 of Cobra Kai debuts on Netflix Dec 31.

Book of Love debuts on Amazon Prime Video Feb 4.

Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty debuts in March 2022 on HBO Max.

Yearly Departed 2021 debuts on Amazon Prime Video to wrap the year that was on Dec 23.

Hilda and The Mountain King debuts on Netflix Dec 30.

Season 3 of Five Bedrooms debuts on the Australian Paramount+ on Jan 1.