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.
TV and Movies are Content now. Thanks Game of Thrones. ALSO: Big Bang Theory tapes its last. And lots of new trailers!!!
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Matt Zoller-Seitz has a great article up at RogerEbert.com, where he is the Editor in Chief about Game of Thrones and Avengers: Endgame and what they mean for the future of content - that’s what movies and TV shows are now.
And that's not even getting into the issue of whether any of the MCU films are cinema in any traditional sense, or something more like a hybrid of film and TV. More the latter, probably. The MCU films wed the scale of theatrical blockbusters like "Titanic," "Gone with the Wind," and "The Ten Commandments" to the seriality of your favorite Netflix drama designed for maximum binge-ability, resulting in a TV series that releases a new "episode" every financial quarter that you have to leave home to see. (More than a few TV writers have already noted that the number of MCU installments, 22, is the standard season order for a TV show on a broadcast network.)
Recently Hulu got really serious about comedy, dropping three of the edgiest, most interesting TV comedies to launch in quite a while. Pen15 (which is great), Shrill (which some people will consider great - me, I feel like it would have greater resonance as a movie, but as TV it doesn’t quite feel distinctive enough right now), and Ramy (which I also think is great, but could also be a movie - though, I suspect it has greater resonance as a show).
Joe Adalian at Vulture has spoken with Craig Erwich about the launch of these comedies and what it means for Hulu moving forward with comedies that have a more-personal, auteurist point of view.
The release of these three highly acclaimed newcomers signals a new era of auteur-driven comedy originals at Hulu, one with the potential to boost the streamer’s comedy brand in much the same way Handmaid’s Tale changed the perception of its dramas.
And speaking of Hulu, the streamer presented to advertisers at the Newfronts today. It brought with it some news:
Pen15 and Ramy were both renewed for season 2. Source: Dark Horizons
It ordered, straight to series, Nicole Kidman and Bruna Papandrea’s upcoming TV adaptation of author Liane Moriarty’s best-selling book Nine Perfect Strangers. It keeps the Big Little Lies team together, with David E Kelley also on board as a co-writer/co-showrunner. Source: Dark Horizons
Hulu is bringing to TV series based on Marvel properties Ghost Rider and Helstrom. Source: Dark Horizons
Hulu has 28 million paid subscribers, including 1 million promotional accounts, currently active. With password sharing, the organisation has 58 million viewers. Source: Deadline
The Big Bang Theory has now taped its final episode. It will air on May 16.
As per director Ron Howard, there are talks to bring a Willow TV show to the screen.
“There are some really serious discussions going on with Jon Kasdan, who was one of the writers of Solo, who kept hounding me about Willow the whole time we were shooting and also hounding Kathy Kennedy.
We’re in discussions about developing a ‘Willow’ television show for the Disney+. And I think it’d be a great way to go. In fact, George [Lucas] always talked about the possibility of a Willow series, and it’d be great and more intimate, and built around that character and some of the others. And Jon Kasdan has, I think, an inspired take on it and it could be really, really cool.”
HBO Europe’s original drama Blinded By Lights will today debut in the US on the HBO streaming platforms. The Polish series has my attention:
Based on Jakub Zulczyk's bestselling novel of the same name, BLINDED BY THE LIGHTS follows a week in the life of Kuba (Kamil Nozynski), a notorious Warsaw cocaine dealer, as his meticulously ordered world begins to sink into chaos. He operates at the interface of the city's opposing worlds: the politicians, celebrities, affluent homemakers, hip-hop stars and hipsters he supplies; and the mobsters and criminals of the seedy, violent underbelly he answers to. Kuba has purchased two one-way tickets to Argentina, departing on Christmas Day, but begins to lose grip of his tightly-controlled life, threatening the reality he's carefully constructed for himself - and his dreams of escape.
AdAge yesterday published a feature story about Vice one year on from CEO Nancy Dubuc taking over. All of the messaging in this is about Dubuc coming on to be the adult in the room, straightening out the organisation, and making it more palatable to marketing partners.
To me it reads like an executive coming in to shave the edges off a media organisation and to strip the brand of the very things that made it unique and interesting to an audience who went to Vice for content that felt edgier than most other youth content sites.
This is the grown-up executive team managing Vice:
J Crew is a great place to shop.
Surely the message should be less about stripping Vice of all the things that made it Vice, but rather it should be about Dubuc coming in to legitimise the behind the scenes behaviour at the company and creating the conditions that allows its young editorial teams create content that speaks to the Vice audience.
Of course, that doesn’t appear to be what is happening.