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.
What to watch this weekend! PLUS The Sandlot TV show! Huge changes at HBO! And RIP Katherine Helmond
Always Be Watching is curated by Dan Barrett
Start your weekend off with three big news stories and then a list of all the new and returning shows from this past week that are ready for you to go and stream now.
1 - The death of Katherine Helmond
The star of sitcoms Who’s The Boss? and Soap has passed away aged 83. Many people will remember her mostly from Who’s The Boss?, where she played the acerbic sexpot mother (and grandmother) Mona. But, I think it’s being a part of sitcom Soap which is the career highlight of her filmography. Time hasn’t been kind to Soap, with the show nowadays largely forgotten. But it was a decent sitcom that was built like a daytime soap opera with an ongoing storyline and big, ridiculous plot twists. The series ended on a cliffhanger in which her character faced a death squad. There’s a lovely obit at Deadline today.
2 - Richard Plepler stands down at HBO
Richard Plepler was HBO. He was at the network for 27 years, during which it had a significant impact on what we watch and the quality levels we expect from our best dramas. He leaves at an interesting time for HBO as new corporate owner AT&T seek to evolve the channel from a boutique service into something at the scale of Netflix. TV executives are rarely more influential than Plepler. The big question for me is what he does next.
Classic early 90s film The Sandlot is being prepped to be turned into a TV series. There’s an unnamed streaming service behind it, with the original cast returning. In Australia the original film was re-titled The Sandlot Kids when it was first released. I’ve never understood why.
Warren wants to reline his pond but doesn't want to fork out the cost of a new pond liner. His annoying neighbour, Ian, appears to have relined his pond too. Warren sets about firstly dumping some old asbestos roofing and then getting the latest pond liner. He thinks by getting Charlie a job in the local garden centre he'll get some discount on a new pond liner. When this doesn't go to plan he takes matters into his own hands and attempts to steal Ian's pond lining, with disastrous consequences. Meanwhile, Anne and her sister Liz visit a clairvoyant and get a bleak reading of things to come on the cul-de-sac.
Erica Shepherd is a brilliant former CIA operative, now known as the most notorious traitor in American history, serving a life sentence in a Supermax prison. Against every fiber of his being but with nowhere else to turn, FBI Agent Will Keaton enlists Shepherd to help track down a fiercely dangerous and elusive criminal she knows all too well. For Keaton, it's not easy to trust the woman who cost him so much. While Shepherd and Keaton have different motivations for bringing the enemy to justice, they both know that to catch a spy... they must think like one.
Following an emotional breakup, tough but tender FBI super-agent Will Chase (code name: "Whiskey Cavalier") is assigned to work with badass CIA operative Frankie Trowbridge (code name: "Fiery Tribune"). Together, they must lead an inter-agency team of flawed, funny and heroic spies who periodically save the world - and each other - while navigating the rocky roads of friendship, romance and office politics.