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.
Transfixed by US Cable TV
ALSO: Happy anniversary The Avengers. AND: RIP Caillou.
This morning I write the email while transfixed by the US cable TV news. It was already going to be a hairy day at the Capitol with the Republicans trying to interrupt the certification of Biden as President, but then Trump sent his Newsmax-educated followers to make their voices heard.
I’ve been watching the coverage from the Always Be Watching HQ in Sydney, Australia, flipping between the various news services. There may have been encouragement on the street to disrupt democracy, but the commentary across the TV news has been condemnation.
Highly compelling viewing for hours now with no end in sight (but there is a curfew issued for 6pm, so about 75 minutes from now).
This made for TV story (made by TV?) is really fantastic television. Not sure if it does much for democracy.
The Avengers 60th anniversary
UK mod TV show The Avengers first went to air on this day on 7 January 1961. Produced by UK company ABC Television for ITV, the show initially aired in black and white and starred Patrick Macnee alongside Ian Hendry. Hendry was considered the star of the show, with Macnee leading the show from season 2 when Hendry left. It was only in season 2 that Honor Blackman joined the series as Macnee’s partner, introducing the male/female duo that the show is remembered for.
The Avengers has been a TV staple for my entire life. Anytime I’m awake at 3 or 4 am, it is almost a certainty that I can turn on Channel 9 and find the show screening. I have watched hundreds of hours of The Avengers, but have never seen the start of any individual episode.
While the end of a TV show or online game may not seem like a big deal to us, it can be a huge deal for kids. As kids’ playtime and social interactions often involve media, it makes sense to meet kids where they are by helping them through these seemingly small disappointments. By learning how to deal with small media disappointments now, we can help set them up to deal with future setbacks in healthy, productive ways.
I’m still mourning the loss of 1982’s Shirt Tales. I miss my furry buddies.
The show the critics are calling “The new Caillou”
There’s a new Danish kids show called John Dillermand. It’s about a man with “an astonishingly long, misbehaving penis.”
Finally - a story we can all relate to.
John Dillermand (diller is a Danish word for penis) is a hapless, generally well-intentioned Everyman character who wears a red-and-white-striped onesie and just wants to go about his day doing regular chores. He wants to buy some groceries, go to the zoo, and do a little light gardening. Alas for poor Dillermand, at every turn, his penis gets in the way. It snakes through the hedges, where his neighbor nearly trims it with a pair of clippers. It grabs an ice-cream cone and then drops the ice cream on top of a traffic light, causing the light to short-circuit and snarl up traffic. In one alarming scene, Dillermand goes hunting, and his extraordinarily long member grabs a gun and waves it around the forest.
The wonderful Amy Ryan has joined the cast of Hulu’s comedy Only Murders In The Building. This is the show about true crime enthusiasts who discover a person has been murdered in their own building. It stars Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Selena Gomez. Source: Deadline
Katie Couric will be one of the guest hosts replacing Alex Trebek on Jeopardy! in the coming weeks. Source: Uproxx
James Manning at Mediaweek goes deep on the AFL/Foxtel/Seven broadcast rights deal. Read: Mediaweek
Here’s a good list of 21 movies to watch out for in 2021. It has the I’m-certain-it’ll-get-bumped No Time To Die on the list, so maybe it’s really only 20 movies to watch in 2021. Read: The Atlantic
Japan has stopped selling advance tickets ahead of an expected lockdown. Read: Variety
Roku reports it now has 51.2 million user accounts. That doesn’t include international territories where Roku devices are rebadged with local partners. In Australia it is known as the Telstra TV. Read: Dark Horizons
A long read analysis on ViacomCBS shifting from linear TV to digital. It’s a really good read for those inclined. Read: Digiday
A TV series based on skating doco & feature film The Lords of Dogtown is in the works for IMDB TV. Sick, bro. Source: Deadline
Catherine Zeta Jones has joined the cast of the not-good Prodigal Son. Source: Deadline
Here’s your first look at the Punky Brewster 2021 series. It debuts on Feb 25 on US streamer Peacock. Source: TV Insider
This is what happens when you issue an ultimatum with the boss
Last week DC movies actor Ray Fisher said that he would never work under DC Films president Walter Hamada.
Today it was announced that Walter Hamada has had his contract extended by another three years. And Fisher? His character Cyborg has now been written out of the upcoming movie The Flash.