Happy Groundhog Day!

Every year I stream the event from Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. As seen in the film Groundhog Day, the event draws a strong crowd of people waiting to see if the groundhog Punxsutawney Phil will see his shadow. If he does, it is a promise of 6 weeks more winter.

Of course, Punxsutawney Phil’s success rate of prediction is actually pretty lousy. But it’s a fun tradition.

It takes place at approx 7:20am local time on 2 Feb (which for Australian viewers means about 11:20pm, and 12:20pm in the UK).

You should be able to see the event on a number of different platforms (I know CBSN will carry a stream of it), but NBC News will have it streaming here:

A couple of years ago I was flown to Canberra by Foxtel for a Parliament House screening of its drama Secret City (I actually really liked it and am pretty jazzed about the follow-up coming soon). There I met one of the show’s stars Damon Herriman, who it turns out is the loveliest dude.

He’s had a few good turns in Hollywood, but I’m really happy to see he’s about to have a stellar 2019 with roles in two of the year’s most interesting projects - a new Tarantino film and the second season of David Fincher’s really great show Mindhunter. In both projects he is playing Charlie Manson.

As per Collider:

“The day I landed in America to do the makeup test for Mindhunter, the day after that I got the call saying I got the role in the Tarantino movie, which was immediately the best and worst news I ever got in my life because I thought I’m definitely now not going to get this because we have to tell him now that I’m already doing it. The reason I auditioned was because I thought I might get something else in it, possibly. I thought I can’t not audition, but there’s no way he’s going to cast the same guy. But anyway they called back and said, “No, he’s cool. He doesn’t care.” And then when I met him was like, ‘Yeah, it’s like a cool little bookend thing because one is 1969 and one is 1980,’ and he kind of dug it.”

Variety has a (generally not very good) podcast called TV Take. This week features an interview with Russian Doll director Leslye Headland. It’s the only publicity I’ve seen for Russian Doll so far, so it’s worth a listen for that alone.

Oh, also watch Russian Doll. It debuted on Netflix yesterday and is pretty great.

Vice Media will shed 10% of its workforce. It will affect every aspect of its business, including its TV shows. Gone is the weekly HBO Vice show. Remaining is its nightly news program.

Your weekend TV viewing

RUSSIAN DOLL - Netflix (US) [Watch Now]
Stars: Natasha Lyonne, George Aloi, Elizabeth Ashley

A woman gets caught in a mysterious loop, repeatedly attending the same party and dying at the end of the night, only to awake the next day unharmed.

Stars: Chris Pine, India Eisley, Jefferson Mays

Fauna Hodel is a teenage girl who was given away at birth, and grows up outside of Reno, Nevada. Fauna lives more-or-less comfortably with the mysteries of her origin, until one day she makes a discovery that leads her to question everything. As Fauna begins to investigate the secrets of her past, she meets a ruined reporter, haunted by the case that undid him. Together they follow a sinister trail that swirls ever closer to an infamous Los Angeles gynecologist, Dr. George Hodel, a man involved in some of Hollywood's darkest debauchery, and possibly, its most infamous unsolved crime.