Posted Saturday 1/19/19 at 6:13AM EST
Will You's massive Netflix popularity mark a major turning point for TV?
Source: The Washington Post
You becoming a smash hit on Netflix after barely generating buzz on Lifetime "is perhaps the most stark example yet of the iron grip Netflix has on younger viewers, and a fascinating case study for where the increasingly fractured future of TV is headed," says Emily Yahr. She adds: "For one thing, it shows basic cable channels that rely on scripted content are in for a uniquely tough road ahead. They don’t offer easy binge-watching like streaming services; they don’t have news or sports like broadcast networks; they can’t be R-rated like premium channels; and they don’t have the budget to cast, say, Julia Roberts (Amazon Prime’s Homecoming) or Emma Stone (Netflix’s Maniac). Plus, as former network executive Tom Nunan said, even if they could afford a major movie star, who knows whether their audience would watch?" Variety TV critic Daniel D'Addario perhaps put it best when he tweeted earlier this week: "The more I think about it, the more I think You flailing on Lifetime and being treated by the viewing public as a Netflix original is going to be remembered as a major turning point in what will shortly be a contraction of the TV industry." Penn Badgley, in an email to The Washington Post, says he wasn't stunned by differing reactions: "We’re grateful to Lifetime for being the gateway to getting the show made. We wouldn’t have been able to make the show without them, as far as I can tell,” Badgley said. “There is no sense of bewilderment that the show had one reaction while it was on Lifetime and another when it went to Netflix. The difference in viewership is obvious, and it’s indicative of so many different things, not the least of which is the way young people consume media.”
- Netflix removes the "shame-stink" of shows from female-oriented channels like CW, Lifetime and Freeform: "One thing Netflix clearly does is remove the shame-stink that still frustratingly afflicts channels targeted at moms, girlie-o’s and teens," tweets Emily Nussbaum. "(Girlie-o’s being a demographic category I just invented for all young or young-ish people who like funny arch warm neon things.) There have been a bunch of good & ambitious & entertaining shows on Lifetime, the CW, Freeform, ETC. but it’s way easier to get an audience to watch them en masse when they appear to be screening in a psychic multiplex."
Kenan Thompson is inching closer to an SNL exit with NBC's pickup of his Saving Kenan comedy pilot
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
Thompson, who's currently starring in his record-breaking 16th season on Saturday Night Live, will begin shooting a pilot for the comedy pilot that has him playing a newly widowed father.
SMILF's off-camera #MeToo-related problems are hard to ignore in Season 2
Accusations of misconduct against creator and star Frankie Shaw "will inevitably occupy some mental space" when SMILF returns Sunday, says Jen Chaney. "In any context, it would be tough not to consider Shaw’s personal sexual attitudes when, in an episode she co-wrote and directed, her character, Bridgette, imagines a conversation with her father that morphs into a sexual encounter with a guy in a Harvey Weinstein mask," says Chaney. "It’s even harder not to think about it in light of her alleged treatment of a female co-star (Samara Weaving)." ALSO: There are Season 2 moments when watching the show can make you feel uncomfortable for the wrong reasons.
How Surviving R. Kelly ended up on Lifetime
In late 2017, the docuseries was shopped to various networks, including all the "major black-audience-targeted channels, and received a mix of interest and hesitation," reports Dee Lockett. "I’m sure BET could’ve done it a million times if they wanted to. Instead, they booked him on their award shows," says executive producer dream hampton. The immediate difference with Lifetime, adds executive producer Jesse Daniels, was it “felt like they were all-in from the beginning.” Lifetime, though, had to come up with an angle to make the docuseries newsworthy. “The conversation then became, How do you make the strongest platform possible for these women?” says Lifetime executive Brie Bryant. “The idea was to make it a timeline doc and to start as early as possible so that we could factually lay out what happened and how it happened.” Daniels agreed: “In order to believe what’s happening now, we had to establish patterns that date back 30 years.” Surviving R. Kelly was originally envisioned as a 90-minute film, but it was expanded to six episodes after more than 50 people were interviewed.
Stephen Colbert takes Fox News and MSNBC to task for calling his show The Colbert Report
It wasn't just Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade who said Sen. Kirstin Gillibrand announced her presidential run on The Colbert Report. Rachel Maddow did it, too. "Rachel! Rachel, how could you get that wrong?” Colbert asked. “You’ve been on this show. We wear the same glasses. We have the same haircut!”
Maroon 5 keyboardist: We can perform at Super Bowl halftime and be against police brutality
PJ Morton, the only black member of Adam Levine's band, says of the Colin Kaepernick controversy over peforming at the Super Bowl: “I think there are plenty of people — a lot of the players, to be honest — who support Kap and also do their job for the NFL. I think we’re doing the same thing. We can support being against police brutality against black and brown people and be in support of being able to peacefully protest and still do our jobs. We just want to have a good time and entertain people while understanding the important issues that are at hand. There was a lot to go into that decision.”
Is Star Trek: Discovery trying too hard to be like Star Wars?
The Star Trek franchise has been accused before of wanting to be like Star Wars, particularly with J.J. Abrams' Trek movies. New Star Trek: Discovery boss Alex Kurtzman even invited comparisons when he recently said that Star Trek has never given him a Luke Skywalker moment. Discovery managed to avoid the Star Wars comparison in Season 1, says Chris Taylor. But in Season 2, he says, "suddenly I couldn't stop seeing or hearing homages. A lighthearted scene with a sneezing alien in the elevator could have come straight from a Cantina. Pike and Burnham land on an asteroid where a stranded scientist (Tig Notaro, in one of the episode's better performances) has constructed floating drone 'children'; they sounded like the floating torture droid on the original Death Star and looked like Boba Fett's ship. Notaro's base also had that dirty, lived-in, 'used universe' feeling Star Wars pioneered." ALSO: Discovery is stronger and more fun in Season 2.
Watch M. Night Shyamalan dissect "paranormal sitcom" Frasier
The Glass director explains the underlying complexities of the Kelsey Grammer sitcom for The Late Show.
WWE appears to be "sexing up" its TV programming again
"WWE’s television programming has taken a sharp turn in the past week or so, or more precisely thrown it in reverse and slammed on the gas," says David Bixenspan. "The last time pro wrestling’s dominant promotion truly broke through to mainstream popularity was 20 years ago, and came largely on the back of vulgar, sexed-up mayhem. In that sense, WWE’s decision to amp up both the sex and sexism in recent weeks doesn’t seem surprising. But in the context of the promotion’s broader turn towards a more stable prosperity buoyed by ballooning TV rights fees, it’s startling."
Netflix sending a 20-pound box of DVD screeners may have led to TV Academy to scrap the screener practice
Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos hated sending out all those DVD screeners, but the problem was he had to keep up with his competitors. "It was a game of Screener Chicken, and no one wanted to blink," he said last year. That's where the TV Academy decided to step in and get rid of DVD screeners altogether.
Pantone creates "Team Coco Orange" in honor of Conan's talk show revamp
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
Pantone Color Institute calls its new color "energizing, fearless, warmhearted and animated." ALSO: Conan takes over the West Village.
Inside the challenge of making Black Mirror: Bandersnatch
"Bandersnatch forced the Black Mirror team — including executive producer Annabel Jones, creator and writer Charlie Brooker, director David Slade, and actors Will Poulter and Fionn Whitehead — to rethink many of the givens of filming a TV episode," says Jackson McHenry. "They had to find a way to write a script that contains myriad variations big and small, and then communicate each of those variations to the cast and crew. They had to shoot wildly different outcomes while maintaining character continuity and preserving an engaging plot. And, of course, they had to make sure the episode didn’t feel too complicated to actually watch." As Jones puts it, “If we’d have known how difficult it was going to be, we might not have done it.” ALSO: Watch Jimmy Fallon's Bandersnatch spoof.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine's Hitchcock and Scully: An appreciation
Sure, Dirk Blocker and Joel McKinnon Miller's characters are "paragons of mediocrity who failed upward and are living in a changed world they can’t fully understand," says Marissa Martinelli. "But they work so well on the show because they occupy a middle ground between the two, neither villains nor saints, just buffoons. It helps that there are two of them, too: Their colleagues might be cruel and their home lives might be a mess, but Hitchcock and Scully always have each other—and, as it turns out, they’re happy to be underestimated together." ALSO: Stephanie Beatriz finds it hilarious that the bisexual woman on Brooklyn Nine-Nine is the "straight man."
Netflix's Sex Education could never be made in America
Source: The Ringer
"A portrait of the sex lives of teenagers that’s both graphically detailed and earnestly empathetic?" says Alison Herman of the British comedy. "We’re far too puritanical, too shame-bound, too easily titillated for such a delicate balancing act to stand a chance. Thank goodness, then, that one side effect of the global reach of certain streaming services is to render the distinction between U.S. and international TV moot. Netflix’s latest drama is set in the United Kingdom, but its winning combination of emotion and candor is available to all. The vast majority of American teen television treats adolescent sexuality as a matter of either/or: Either teens are having sex or they’re not, and if there’s anything to explore beyond that binary, you’d never know it from what you saw on your screen. Sex Education, refreshingly, is interested in far more than just the 'what' of its central subject." ALSO: Sex Education fans are mistaking Aimee Lou Wood for Skins and Game of Thrones vet Hannah Murray.
The L Word turns 15
The groundbreaking drama about a group of lesbians, which Showtime plans to reboot, struck a chord in the LGBTQ community when it premiered in January 2004.
NYPD Blue sequel pilot adds 24: Legacy and Salvation alum Ashley Thomas
Thomas will play a detective on the potential series.
How much longer can Grace and Frankie go on?
Season 5 of the Netflix comedy starring Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin is fun and silly. But the new season also makes it apparent that, story-wise, time is running out for the show. ALSO: Season 5 doubles down on F bombs.
Doctor Who's new escape room experience brings home the "magic of being a useless companion"
Source: Radio Times
BBC this week unveiled the Doctor Who: The Live Escape Game in Britain.
Take a look inside Shonda Rhimes' house
Source: Architectural Digest
Architectural Digest visits the house Shondaland made possible.
Watch Jeffrey Wright in HBO's O.G. trailer
Wright plays the head of a prominent prison gang in the final week of his prison sentence, just as things go awry.
The Good Place's season finale description is "weirdly vague"
“Various events occur, in a certain specific order,” is how the Season 3 finale is described in TV listings. When critic Margaret Lyons pointed it out, creator Michael Schur responded: "What? It's true." ALSO: How dark will the Season 3 finale be?
High Maintenance will continue delving into The Guy's life, but not too much
Source: BuzzFeed News
Ben Sinclair expects the further exploration of his character's life to divide audiences in Season 3. As Louis Peitzman reports, Sinclair and fellow co-creator Katja Blichfeld "were worried about undermining the mystique of the character by delving into his personal life. The first episode of the web series originally included a monologue of exposition that they ultimately ended up cutting; after that, they decided to leave The Guy deliberately vague. On HBO, however, as the writers have continued to be inspired by their own lives, Sinclair has allowed more of his reality to shape the character." ALSO: Go behind the scenes of the High Maintenance set.
Jon Bernthal on The Punisher returning amid many Marvel-Netflix cancelations "I know the reality of the situation and I’m at peace with it"
"I really only worry about the things I can control," Bernthal says in promoting Season 2. "When I’m playing the character and I’m doing the job and it’s right there in front of me, I do whatever I can to make it as good as I can. But in this business there’s so much we can’t control. Whatever is happening with these shows, these decisions are being made in rooms I’m not invited into and I’m OK with that.” ALSO: Season 2 is plagued by shoddy writing.
HBO's Brexit is like a good episode of The West Wing, despite its well-intentioned pandering
Source: The A.V. Club
"Bearing a terrific cast and clever screenplay that occasionally pops with a fizzy, (Aaron) Sorkin-lite flair, the movie ... goes all-in on some blunt-force symbolism and cheesy imagery that renders things overly simplistic, sapping subtlety and delivering the tale of England’s ill-considered destabilization of its global position with the moralizing of an after-school special," says Alex McLevy. "(In other words, the worst of Sorkin’s political storytelling instincts are adopted by the project, right alongside his better stylistic tics.) Then again, it could be argued that using dumbed-down tactics to convey the dumbing-down of political discourse is precisely the necessary way of fighting fire with fire. It certainly keeps things zipping along: Brexit is never boring, the film racing from one moment of the campaign to the next with a feisty, broadly appealing tone that recalls Jay Roach’s work on HBO’s American-set films about momentous votes, Recall and Game Change."
- Benedict Cumberbatch’s tight-wired performance is the best thing in this brisk but mechanical retread of recent events
- For Americans, even if that story isn't our own, it's absolutely relatable and that makes it interesting
- It's remarkable how Cumberbatch can make even his most peculiar and interior characters electric
- Smartly, Brexit doesn’t get too wonky over its just-enough 97 minutes
- Brexit is a lethal force, a blistering take on the referendum
- Cumberbatch visited the home of Dominic Cummings, whom he portrays, and had dinner with his wife
Showtime's Black Monday is totally erratic and jarringly unfunny
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
"The pilot is a gigantic hot mess of tonally clashing humor that doesn't work," says Tim Goodman, adding: "It's hard to imagine that a half-hour comedy set on Wall Street with Don Cheadle and Andrew Rannells in major parts could go off the rails so quickly and spectacularly, but Showtime's latest, Black Monday, does just that. And that's even before you factor in Regina Hall giving arguably the best performance in the bunch. Which means that if you're looking for a culprit here, you should circle back — as is often the case — to the writing. And in this instance, probably the overall direction and tone of the series, too."
- Black Monday is too dependent on "prefabricated referentiality" -- viewers are "bludgeoned" with 1980s nostalgia
- The show doesn't trust that viewers understand its fast-paced jokes and references, so it rushes to contextualize or explain them
- Black Monday swaps out the white guys for Don Cheadle and Regina Hall, upending conventional portrayals of Wall Street
- It's less a comedy and more a contest to see who can make the most 1980s jokes
- Black Monday is basically a funnier version of the movie Wall Street
- Black Monday opts to tackle the potentially grim subject matter with fast-paced, cheerfully vulgar laughs delivered by a blue-chip cast
- Black Monday seems to be satirizing an idea of 1980s Wall Street excess, rather than anything that actually existed
- Black Monday is all too aware that this is well-trod territory
- How writers approached blending history with fiction
- Will You's massive Netflix popularity mark a major turning point for TV?