Almost all TV remakes and revivals are disappointing. Creating a successful TV show is a miracle that relies on getting the right group of actors, creators, and production staff together at the right time with a show that speaks to the culture of the moment. Even when you bring a show back with the same people, those people aren’t really the same anymore - having gotten older and evolved.
Alan Sepinwall has an interesting essay today at Rolling Stone about the need for the industry to slow down and reconsider whether there is value in pursuing a remake - is it just damaging the legacy of the show people are still fond of?
Kumail Nanjiani will star in an episode of the upcoming Twilight Zone revival.
Doctor Who will skip a Christmas special this year, but will instead drop a special episode on New Years Day.
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I’ve always really liked Michael Douglas - even through that stint of difficult-to-watch erotic thrillers in the 1990s.
So, I’m very keen to see his return to TV with The Kominsky Method today via Netflix. I’m not sure we need a new Chuck Lorre comedy in the world, but let’s see what this has to offer. The Atlantic’s Sophie Gilbert was a bit non-plussed by the show:
To be fair, this is new territory for Lorre, whose previous Netflix show, the Kathy Bates stoner comedy Disjointed, stayed within the familiar realm of the multi-camera, laugh-track sitcom, albeit with an edgier setup and more adult vocabulary to nod to its streaming-service home. The Kominsky Method, though, feels like more of an attempt to emulate the more critically acclaimed comedies of recent years, with their bleaker storylines and profound commentary on the human condition. To whit: It’s about getting old.
We’re yet to see anything meaningful from Apple on the TV front, but they’re continuing to work behind the scenes to beef up their original video. Today, there’s news that they’re adding movies to their streaming service in a deal with A24.
Apple did not provide many specifics about the deal with A24 beyond saying it was a “multiyear agreement” and involved multiple films. It’s unclear if the movies the studio makes will be released in theaters or if they will premiere on some kind of digital platform. Financial terms of the pact were not disclosed.
What I find interesting here is that they signed with A24, of all companies. Apple are reportedly seeking brand-safe TV series that won’t step too far outside a mainstream audiences comfort-level. Meanwhile A24 is a highly successful arthouse-focused company that backs edgy, auteur films like Moonlight, Ex Machina, and The Witch.
JK Simmons is joining Veronica Mars for a role that sounds like a 1-2 episode guest stint.
Simmons will play Clyde Prickett, an ex-con who served 10 years for racketeering, and was smart enough to be the first guy in Chino to offer protection to Neptune’s richest real estate developer, Big Dick Casablancas, on Big Dick’s first day in prison. Now a free man, Clyde works as Big Dick’s fixer. He’s the smarter and more dangerous of the pair, and he has a network of fellow ex-cons he can count on to keep his own hands clean.
Netflix have commissioned The Liberator, a four-part animated World War 2 series.
The Liberator will be the first project produced in Trioscope, a new enhanced hybrid animation technology that combines state-of-the-art CGI with live-action performance. It allows creators to tell a visually compelling story with rich detail in a way that conveys the human emotion and drama of the serious subject matter.
About the show itself:
The combat drama will follow Sparks and the 157th Infantry Regiment from Oklahoma, a National Guard unit composed primarily of cowboys, Native Americans and Mexican-Americans from the invasion of Italy to the liberation of the Dachau concentration camp.
On the subject of live action-animated productions, Syfy are producing a late night animated news show hosted by a pair of animated aliens. This all sounds very much like the 00s Australian late night comedy David Tench Tonight.
As Netflix push into international markets, they are also playing around with their pricing structure - particularly in companies with greater price sensitivities. They’re currently trialing a cut-price service for users who only want to access Netflix on their phones. I wouldn’t expect to ever see this rolled out to the US/UK/Australia.
A happy story to end the week on about a man finding love with a well-known animated Japanese pop star.
35 year-old Akihiko Kondo “married” the VR pop star Hatsune Miku in a fairy tale wedding ceremony which cost a total of $17,500.
It was a gorgeous affair, obviously. However, the event did have some dark clouds surrounding it. First of all, the wedding is not legally recognised on account of Miku being a computer animated character. Also, Kondo’s family were not in attendance as they don’t approve of this union.
Miku will live in Kondo’s house by way of Gatebox. Think of Gatebox as a Google Home/Amazon Alexa, only with a hologram graphic interface with Miku as the face of it.
Always Be Watching wishes the couple all the best with their union.