The Simpsons, after 700+ episodes, is doing something it has never done before: It's doing a proper 2-part episode.

I know what you're thinking: But what about Who Shot Mr Burns? To that I say: It was a season finale - that doesn't really count. This is a proper, middle of the season, old-fashioned 2-part episode. And what-more - it's a crime thriller inspired by the Fargo TV series.

[Matt] Selman said it was necessary to spread “A Serious Flanders” into two episodes in order to play with the pace of prestige TV. “There’s no way we can do it in one show,” he said. “We wanted the scenes to play out in a different pace, the tone and stresses. To fit that into one episode, it wouldn’t work. Most ‘Simpsons’ episodes are paced much more quickly than a streaming drama.”

Guest stars include a who's who of premium TV stars: Brian Cox (Succession), Cristin Milioti (Fargo), Timothy Olyphant (Deadwood), Chris O’Dowd (Get Shorty) and Jessica Paré (Mad Men).

This might be enough to not only get me to watch, but also to admit that there have been episodes made since 1997.

‘The Simpsons’ Turns Into a Prestige TV Crime Thriller in This Exclusive Trailer for ‘A Serious Flanders’
Tudum, meet Tud’oh! “The Simpsons” has gone “Simpflix” with the two-part episode “A Serious Flanders,” which executive producer Matt Selman calls a “…

TeeVee Snacks

  • Daniel Dae Kim is joining the cast of Netflix's live-action Avatar: The Last Airbender series. Read: THR
  • US voting machine manufacturer Smartmatic is rightfully suing Newsmax and OAN for claims against the security of its machines in the 2020 election. Read: Reuters
  • Production is set to begin for HBO's second season of Perry Mason with the show announcing new cast members Hope Davis and Katherine Waterston. Read: Deadline
  • Gael García Bernal will star in a yet-to-be-titled Disney+ Marvel Halloween special in 2022. It is believed to be inspired by Werewolf By Night. Read: [The Wrap]( Gael García Bernal)
  • By 2025 mathematicians believe David E Kelley shows will account for 80% of all television. Today it was announced he has teamed with Regina King for a new Netflix series based on Tom Wolfe's book A Man In Full. Read: Deadline
  • Disney is telling cable companies it plans to shut down ESPN Classic, a cable channel that plays old games. Read: Sports Business Journal
  • A Magic Johnson docu-series has been picked up by Apple TV+. The series is from director Rick Famuyiwa. Read: THR
  • RIP Sons of Anarchy star William Lucking. Read: Variety

South Korea a new streaming hot zone

TV shows and movies from South Korea have become hot on streaming services following the success of Squid Game and Parasite (but, real talk: K-dramas have been slowly bubbling away on streamers for some time now finding increasingly larger loyal audiences). But, it's only in the final months of 2021 that streaming giants are focusing attention on South Korea.

This week has the launch of Apple TV+ in South Korea.

The Korean launch is one of the first in Asia for Apple TV. But it is priced at a deliberately affordable KRW6,500 (US$5.50) per month, reflecting the tech giant’s late entry into a streaming market that is already tight and set to get tighter.

Next month has Disney+ launching in South Korea. Netflix is already there, obviously. But South Korea reminds me a little of where Australia was a few years ago. Netflix leads the streaming space with local streamers Wavve and TVing also leading the way. As US-led streamers enter the space, you might expect to see the local guys squeezed out.

But... while Australian streamers, who largely rely on US content powering their libraries, are feeling the squeeze, TV in South Korea is different. There is a thriving South Korean TV market and local services are dominated by local TV product. It is actually seen as a major negative for these US companies to be launching services in South Korea without significant local content.

Apple TV+ launches in the market with original South Korean drama Dr Brain.

Apple TV Plus Launches in Korea, Increasing Competition in Streaming Market Where Local Content Is King
Apple TV Plus launched in South Korea on Thursday with the premiere of its first original K-drama series, “Dr. Brain.” The sci-fi thriller series is based on a Korean webtoon of the sam…


With several high profile, interesting series debuting this week, let's dive into what the critics have to say:

The Harder They Fall

"The Harder They Fall" is a bloody pleasure: a revenge Western packed with memorable characters played by memorable actors, each scene and moment staged for voluptuous beauty and kinetic power. Jeymes Samuel, who cowrote, directed, and scored the movie, has not just studied the works of the directors he emulates, but understands what they were doing with image and sound, and feels it, surely in the way that he feels the craft involved in music he performs and produces under his stage name The Bullitts. It's a pity that this Netflix film will likely be seen mainly on handheld devices, laptops, and iPads, because (like other late-2021 releases, such as "The French Dispatch" and "Dune") it was plainly conceived with a movie house in mind.
The Harder They Fall movie review (2021) | Roger Ebert
An exercise in pure style, packed with wit, beauty, and a sense of play.

Head of The Class

From Euphoria to HBO Max’s Generation and even the new Chucky, cable and streaming tend to lean into depictions of teenage life intended to give parents nightmares in the name of “authenticity.” Head of the Class goes to the other extreme, offering a portrait of high school in which social media provides only temporary and minor embarrassment, house parties are tepid affairs where people sit in well-lit rooms playing video games, and the kids become almost pathologically nervous when hanging out at a coffee shop with a member of the opposite sex. Somehow, despite using buzzwords like “cancel culture” as the topics for in-class debate prep, this Head of the Class manages to be even less topically edgy than the original series, which enjoyed a good Ronald Reagan joke and did, as I may have previously mentioned, end the Cold War.
HBO Max’s ‘Head of the Class’: TV Review
Isabella Gomez steps into a role originated by Howard Hesseman, playing the teacher of a class of diverse high achievers in a remake of the somewhat beloved ABC ensemble sitcom.

Red Notice

Thurber’s script cribs from a compendium of cinematic references to assemble the movie’s events. Everything about their meetings and interactions with Bishop, while avoiding a pursuing Interpol agent, Inspector Das (Ritu Arya), comes from a familiar visual language. A masquerade party finds Hartley and Bishop engaging in a tête-à-tête on the dance floor. Their bodies wrapped around each other, in the seductive motions of the tango, is meant to evoke the sensual power dynamics at the heart of True Lies. Between the Rock’s stiff muscular frame and Gadot’s stiffer face, it’s rendered as an asexual shadow of that film. Other references include The Third Man, Gladiator, Reservoir Dogs, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and so forth. Some of these odes are winking. Others are blasphemous inclusions in such a cinematically bankrupt film. Every reference only reminds savvy viewers what this movie isn’t.
Red Notice is as bad as movies can possibly get
Netflix’s star-studded franchise-starter is cheap, clumsy, and worst of all, boring

Dr Brain

“Dr. Brain” jettisons the most intriguing parts of its own setup in favor of a missing persons mystery that ultimately lands where so many other rogue scientist stories lead. Ending up there would be fine if the series followed through on the early promises of seeing a man wrestle with his own sense of self. Seeing Sewon have to write down his own personality traits in order to avoid mixing them with those he’s synced with, it’s all the more disappointing to see “Dr. Brain” then shove that main idea aside, only to bring it back when it’s absolutely convenient to the case.
‘Dr. Brain’ Review: Apple’s First Korean-Language Drama Squanders a Twisted Premise
For a show about a scientist who plugs into the memories of dead people, Kim Jee-woon’s six-episode season feels awfully straightforward.

Trailer Park

A Castle For Christmas starring Brooke Shields debuts on Netflix Nov 26.

Famed author Sophie Brown (Brooke Shields) travels to Scotland hoping to buy a small castle, but the prickly owner Duke Myles (Cary Elwes) is reluctant to sell to a foreigner. Working to find a compromise, the pair constantly butt heads, but they may just find something more than they were expecting.

Jane Campion's new film Power of The Dog debuts on Netflix Dec 1.

Written and directed by Academy Award winning filmmaker Jane Campion, the film stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons, and Kodi Smit-McPhee.

8-Bit Christmas debuts 24 Nov on HBO Max.

Set in suburban Chicago in the late 1980s, the story centers on ten-year-old Jake Doyle's herculean quest to get the latest and greatest video game system for Christmas.

The fantastic-looking Swan Song, a Black Mirror-esque drama starring Mahershala Ali and Glenn Close, debuts on Apple TV+ Dec 17.

Set in the near future, "Swan Song" is a powerful, emotional journey told through the eyes of Cameron (Mahershala Ali), a loving husband and father diagnosed with a terminal illness who is presented with an alternative solution by his doctor (Glenn Close) to shield his family from grief.

What's next? Tomorrow.