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 Simpsons restored. PLUS: Anna Kendrick's Disney film. AND: The end of Fuller House.
Always Be Watching is written by Dan Barrett and presented in 16:9.
Season 3 of The Crown dropped yesterday on Netflix. I thought the series did a marvelous job transitioning from the previous cast to the new - quite a feat on a TV show that I don’t recall every being done like this before (with all of the leads being replaced).
Sophie Gilbert from The Atlantic has an interesting look at the use of clothing on the show:
The Crown’s costume designer, Jane Petrie, uses clothing to offer glimpses of insight into a character who, in Season 3, is becoming more and more unknowable. The first episode opens on the Queen sitting by a window, but it takes two and a half minutes before the camera gives a clear shot of her face. Instead, we see the symbols that have come to stand for her: a crown atop a head of regimented curls, the gates of Buckingham Palace flanked by two Welsh Guards, a pair of corgis striding across an ornately carpeted room. When Colman’s Queen finally comes into focus, she’s surrounded by a phalanx of men in dark suits. She, by contrast, wears a lilac dress with a love-knot detail over her breastbone, high-heeled black shoes, and pale stockings with seams running down toward her heels. Her authority is such that the men around her bend slightly backward when she enters the room, as if to surrender even the airspace to the head of state.
Disney+ launches in Australia tomorrow, following its roll-out in the US last week. One of the original titles that has seemingly been ignored in a lot of the coverage is a Christmas movie starring Anna Kendrick.
Owen Gleiberman at Variety has a review of Noelle. He is not a fan:
Long ago, it was called straight-to-tape. Then it was called straight-to-VOD, and now it’s straight to your monthly subscription service. But if the delivery system has changed, the content remains very much the same. When you see a movie like “Noelle,” what the experience comes down to is: It’s something you’re not watching in a theater because most of us wouldn’t watch it in a theater. It wouldn’t be worth the effort. Whatever your idea of a sentimental connect-the-dots Christmas comedy is, this is sub that. At home, however, we don’t have to mind; it’s all part of the diverting-ourselves-to-oblivion aesthetic of the 21st century. Next step: The entertainment will be piped directly into our brains, and then it really won’t matter how bad a movie is.
Speaking of Disney+, there was a minor controversy last week in the US when The Simpsons fans realised that the episodes streaming were reformatted for a 16:9 presentation, cropping part of the screen in order to make that work. The show was originally broadcast in 4:3 (a square TV shape rather than the rectangle shape TV’s are today).
Disney has since announced that in early 2020, a new feature will be introduced to allow viewers to switch between the original format and the new. One assumes this same function will be rolled out to titles other than The Simpsons… Disney+ has a lot of titles on its service produced 4:3.
“We presented ‘The Simpsons’ in 16:9 aspect ratio at launch in order to guarantee visual quality and consistency across all 30 seasons,” a Disney+ spokesperson said to the Times. “Over time, Disney+ will roll out new features and additional viewing options. As part of this, in early 2020, Disney+ will make the first 19 seasons (and some episodes from Season 20) of ‘The Simpsons’ available in their original 4:3 aspect ratio, giving subscribers a choice of how they prefer to view the popular series.”
After the final ever episode of the 5th season of Fuller House. This photo that Candace sent me sums it all up. So proud of the incredible work, love, and deep friendship of Candace, Jodie, and Andrea who made Fuller House such a special show for so many. Here’s to five wonderful years full of love and laughter, and more love. These are three incredible and talented women. I love them all so much.November 16, 2019
Clive Owen has been cast as Bill Clinton in the next season of American Crime Story.