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.
There's no Balki in Perfect Strangers reboot for HBO Max
No Balki. No Cousin Larry. Here at Always Be Watching we have a mantra: Mypos or GTFO.
The new Perfect Strangers series will have Robin Thede and London Hughes starring in the series written by Thede. She'll produce the show alongside original Perfect Strangers producer Robert L. Boyett.
Perfect Strangers 2.0 will be about two women who discover that they're half-sisters when they inherit a one-bedroom apartment above a trap yoga studio in Brooklyn. It's a sitcom, so they're obviously set to be polar opposites who learn how to live and work together.
While I, like many of you, have a nostalgic love for the OG Perfect Strangers, there isn't exactly great reverence for it as a series. Most reboots exist to drive interest in a project. The familiarity of the title will receive more interest in the show than if it was an entirely new series. But, it feels like calling this new show Perfect Strangers is doing a disservice to what I'm sure will actually be a pretty good show.
Robin Thede is fantastic and I am always there for any new Thede project - but it just seems silly anchoring this series to Perfect Strangers. Just give it a new title. Like Bosom Buddies, or something.
The Gerard Butler movie Greenland (which is actually pretty good for what it is) will have a sequel - Greenland: Migration. Read: Variety
Australian radio personality Andy Lee will host a new panel show The Hundred It will feature a comedy panel with guest panellists and 100 everyday Australians via a giant 27-square metre screen. Read: TV Tonight
Naomi Wattsand Bobby Cannavale will star in The Watcher, a Netflix limited series from Ryan Murphy. Read: Deadline
RIP Ned Beatty
Great character actor Ned Beatty has died, aged 83. Best known for roles including Deliverance, Network, Superman II, and All The Presidents Men, Beatty had a long and distinguished career on screen.
I first noticed him on screen playing the wayward father of John Goodman's character on Roseanne, but soon became fascinated with him after his role in the early seasons of Homicide: Life on The Street. In the series he played the 'Big Man' Stanley Bolander - a recently divorced older detective challenged by his own sense of obsolescence.
While it may be his memorable roles in Homicide, Roseanne, and Superman II that always come to mind when I think about Mr Beatty (which is more often than you'd expect), the role that he will forever be best remembered for was Deliverance.
Mr. Beatty made his film debut in “Deliverance,” the 1972 adaptation of James Dickey’s novel about four friends whose canoeing trip in rural Georgia turns calamitous. Stripped down to white underpants, his character, Bobby, is forced to “squeal like a pig” by a hillbilly before he is raped.
The line would go down in movie infamy.
“‘Squeal like a pig.’ How many times has that been shouted, said or whispered to me, since then?” Mr. Beatty wrote in a 1989 opinion piece for The New York Times with the provocative headline “Suppose Men Feared Rape.”
Mr. Beatty did not distance himself from the scene.
“I suppose when someone (invariably a man) shouts this at me I am supposed to duck my head and look embarrassed at being recognized as the actor who suffered this ignominy,” he wrote. “But I feel only pride about being a part of this story, which the director John Boorman turned into a film classic. I think Bill McKinney (who portrayed the attacker) and I played the ‘rape’ scene about as well as it could be played.”
Spend too long down there and you become the villain
There's a lot of excitement online this morning over a revelation from a Variety piece about the production of the adult-audience Harley Quinn animated series. Apparently DC Comics is very okay with all manner of violence and murder, but it would not permit its Batman character to be seen performing oral pleasures on Catwoman.
...we had a moment where Batman was going down on Catwoman. And DC was like, “You can’t do that. You absolutely cannot do that.” They’re like, “Heroes don’t do that.” So, we said, “Are you saying heroes are just selfish lovers?” They were like, “No, it’s that we sell consumer toys for heroes. It’s hard to sell a toy if Batman is also going down on someone.”
The reasoning is apparently because DC wants kids buying Batman toys and apparently the company doesn't think kids will do that if Batman is a respectful lover. As some wags on Twitter have pointed out - Batman's mask is designed perfectly for this very purpose.
GB News launches with an embarrassment of tech issues
New UK news commentary channel GB News launched yesterday. While cooking dinner last night I streamed a few minutes of its breakfast show and found some fairly humdrum conversation about the importance of pubs in British life. I was more interested in the many problems with the presentation of the channel - the lighting was all exceptionally dark and every-time there was a cross to another presenter or guest commenting via video, the sound distorted for a few seconds before being corrected.
A new animated series has been announced to launch on the streamer. Described as a more playful X-Files, new series Inside Job will feature the voice talents of Lizzy Caplan, Christian Slater, and Clark Duke.
“Inside Job” unspools in the offices of Cognito Inc., an organization within the shadow government, and follows anti-social tech genius Reagan Ridley (Caplen) who, with her partner Brett Hand (Duke), works to uncover the infinite secrets of the world hidden in the shadows.
The Morning Show returns to Apple TV+ for season 2 on Sept 17.
Prime Day Show kicks off on June 17.
What's next? Tomorrow.
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