What you'll watch this weekend! 14-16 June 2019

Always Be Watching is curated by Dan Barrett who thinks there may actually be too much good TV.

What a wild week of TV. Big Little Lies launched with a very loud whimper (huge buzz, very muted episode). But then there’s also the return of Jessica Jones for its final season and Younger fans will be happy to see that is back. Plus there’s a bunch of cult shows that will be highly anticipated.

Image result for big little lies

But this week has two big questions. Actually the same question, but spread across two shows:

  1. How is there a new UK show starring Rob Lowe that I’ve not heard anyone mention until I just stumbled upon it today? It seems like something someone would be talking about/promoting. It’s called Wild Bill. Details below.

  2. We’re truly in an era of peak TV where a new show can launch on Amazon this weekend starring Miles Tellar and directed by Nicholas Winding Refn and nobody is talking about it either! Refn directs all ten episodes and is listed as a co-creator/co-writer alongside respected comic book writer Ed Brubaker. The show, Too Old To Die Young premiered at the Cannes Film Festival with episodes four and five screened.

Oh, and there’s also a new Adam Sandler/Jennifer Aniston film debuting on Netflix. Murder Mystery:


These are the notable new and returning shows that aired this week - meaning you can go right ahead and stream them now…

Jessica Jones (s3), Baskets (s4), Strange Angel (s2), Pose (s2), Big Little Lies (s2), Claws (s3), Good Little Witch (s5), Krypton (s2), Queen Sugar (s4), Younger (s6)


Wild Bill - ITV (UK)

Stars: Rob LoweBronwyn JamesAnthony Flanagan

When US Cop Bill Hixon, who is appointed chief of police in rural England, arrives in Boston, Lincolnshire, with his 14 year-old daughter Kelsey in tow, he's hoping they can flee their painful recent past. But this unfamiliar, unimpressed community will force Bill to question everything about himself and leave him asking whether it's Boston that needs Bill, or Bill that needs Boston?

Watch now - ITV ]

Jinn - Netflix

Stars: Salma MalhasSultan AlkhailHamzeh Okab

A group of teenagers' lives are disrupted when a spiritual figure appears in front of them in the ancient city of Petra. They must try and stop Jinn before he destroys the world. This is Netflix’s first Arabic production.

Watch now - Netflix ]

Trinkets - Netflix (US)

Stars: Brianna HildebrandKiana MadeiraQuintessa Swindell 

Three different girls meet in Shoplifters Anonymous and find themselves in a fast - growing friendship.

Watch now - Netflix ]

Leila - Netflix (India)

Stars: Seema BiswasRahul KhannaHuma Qureshi 

India's first dystopian story, Leila is set in an imagined world, Aryavarta in which there is great suffering, extreme and totalitarian rules of engagement and fictional extremes constructed around an obsession with purity, communal and divisive societal dramas and grit. Leila is the story of a mothers' imperishable maternal love for her daughter set in the political and emotional dystopia of Aryavarta. Based on the 2017 eponymous novel by Prayaag Akbar.

Watch now - Netflix ]

Too Old To Die Young - Amazon (US)

Creators: Ed BrubakerNicolas Winding Refn

Stars: Miles TellerWilliam BaldwinCelestino Cornielle

Detective Martin Jones, who leads a double life as a killer for hire in Los Angeles' deadly underground, suffers an existential crisis which leads him deeper into a blood splattered world of violence.

Watch now - Amazon Prime Video ]

Chernobyl breaks viewing record! Plus the kids show reimagined as a brutal horror.

Always Be Watching is curated by Dan Barrett who is TGIFing today.

An interesting bit of trivia. Chernobyl is the first HBO drama to have most of its viewing coming from digital platforms and not through the linear HBO channels.

Its viewership:

35% linear

13% OD

52% from HBO Go, HBO Now and other OTT platforms.

Source: Deadline

NYT has a review of the new Showtime series City On a Hill. The first episode is already streaming online (via Showtime in the US and Stan in Australia):

In his new series for Showtime (starting Sunday), the writer Chuck MacLean is not shy about his ambitions. He’s going for the big canvas, the statement about a time and a place, the sprawling tale of justice and politics and race and reform with a police investigation at the center to keep you hooked. Look out, David Simon, Chuck’s coming for you.

There is a new Shaft movie opening in cinemas across the US this week. The trailer looked dumb and reviews have been pretty uniform in trashing it.

NPR says:

The new Shaft, from director Tim Story — he of 2005's Fantastic Four (and its sequel) and Think Like a Man (and its sequel) — doesn't have the '71 picture's sociopolitical weight or the '00 one's professional zip. What it does have is an inexhaustible supply of gay-panic jokes of the sort that cost Kevin Hart (with whom Story made Ride Along, and yes, its sequel) his Oscars-hosting gig. Specifically, Shaft Sr. (Jackson again) is mortified that his estranged FBI computer whiz son (Jessie T. Usher, star of Independence Day: Resurgence) might not be living up to the family name in the Sex Machine to All the Chicks department.

AO Scott at the NYT:

…this iteration, in spite of a smattering of topical references, is steadfastly not political. Its main comic idea — the sometimes funny script is by Kenya Barris and Alex Barnow — is that Shaft (the one played by Jackson) is not politically correct. He’s another one of those grumpy older guys with lots to complain about, in particular the younger generation.

What’s up with those millennials, am I right? Shaft’s son (another John Shaft, usually called JJ) is a member of that generation, about whom Dad and the writers have some unusual ideas. Apparently millennials are people who congregate in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood and also on Facebook, shop at the Gap and can be described as metrosexual. The truth hurts, doesn’t it? Put that in your vape and smoke it, snowflake.


When he comes to the door of John Shaft Investigations, he’s greeted by a nude woman covered in glitter – and then by Shaft himself, with glitter in his beard. Get it? And with that, the new Wacky Shaft is off and running, as the script by Kenya Barris (Black-ish) and Alex Barnow (Family Guy) strains to see how many tired variations it can wring out of Shaft being a) horny, b) violent, and c) un-woke.

To be clear: all of this might matter less if the jokes were at least funny. But they’re terrible, seemingly penned not by two professional writers, but by a junior high kid who just learned his swears, or Michael Scott mining for double-entendre. 

Right now it’s rocking 37% on Rotten Tomatoes, which, mind you, is doing better than Men In Black International.

Thankfully, those who are curious and live outside the US, the film is going straight to Netflix in foreign territories and it’ll drop at the end of June.

Friday Trailer Park

In an age where old IP is routinely being dredged up, regardless of audience interest, at least the Banana Splits Movie is doing something different. It is going direct to the Syfy channel later this year. If you’re going to watch one trailer today, it should probably be this one:

Get ready for the Fast & The Furious animated series from Netflix. Spy Racers debuts sometime soon (date TBA).

Godfather From Halem is a new Epix series from the writers of Narcos and stars Forest Whitaker, Vincent D'Onofrio, Giancarlo Esposito, Paul Sorvino, Nigel Thatch and Ilfenesh Hadera

That’s it for today. As always, there’ll be another email later today with a guide to all the new shows that launched during the week (ready for you to watch this weekend). Also, don’t forget to check out the Always Be Watching podcast for some other viewing ideas.

The OUTRAGEOUS new HBO teen drama! Plus: The real reason(s) the Fuller House creator was fired

Always Be Watching is curated by Dan Barrett who is suddenly very interested in Euphoria.

A fun list to start your day with: It’s the 25 most influential (US) TV shows of all time as determined by Emily Todd VanDerWerff. I don’t 100% agree with all of this, but it’s a solid list.

Read now: Vox


Post-Game of Thrones, it seems like HBO are finding reasons to keep people talking about the network. The last month has been dominated by Chernobyl-talk. Soon it’ll be the UK drama Years and Years that will likely drive social TV chatter. But Euphoria, which is set to debut too is most definitely going to stimulate *ahem* some conversation.

Today I woke to see this tweet being heavily retweeted into my timeline:

That’s a lot of penises.

Apparently, the content in the show was too explicit for one of the actors from the pilot.

While shooting the pilot, actor Brian "Astro" Bradley, 22, a former X Factor contestant and rapper signed to Nas' label, wanted out of the show. Details surrounding his exit are fiercely guarded, but sources say Bradley was uncomfortable shooting scenes that weren't in the original pilot script and suggested his character would experiment with homosexuality in future episodes. After a lengthy back-and-forth with producers, HBO stepped in and replaced Bradley with The Hate U Give's Algee Smith. They reshot his parts in the pilot, including an intense sex scene with 21-year-old actress Sydney Sweeney, who says of the recasting, "Let's just say I'm very glad that Algee is playing the character."

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

Meanwhile, Alan Sepinwall has given the show 3 and a half stars.

The first few episodes are working overtime to troll, only sometimes hitting that narrow window Rue tells us about. There’s a stunning montage in the second episode where Rue, struggling to improvise a class monologue about what she did over summer break, flashes through a series of randomly ordered family memories that are alternately happy and angry. She can’t decide whether to emphasize the good or bad parts, and just shuts down. It’s a question that Euphoria struggles with, too. But by the third hour, Levinson figures out how to keep things just light enough to make the more intense moments stand out, rather than feeling like part of one long wallow. 

Source: Rolling Stone

Looney Tunes Cartoons is a new series that will bring brand new Looney Tunes cartoons to the screen, echoing the spirit and intent of the Looney Tunes cartoons we grew up with. The cartoons are, like the old-school toons, all cartoonist-driven.

Dynamite Dance is the first of the new series that has been released online:

You might be shocked to find out that one of the co-hosts of Un-PC, a show on Fox News streaming spin-off service Fox Nation, has been sending lewd text messages to his co-host.

One-time wrestler and general bell-end Tyrus has since been moved off the show, but remains one of the most prominent faces of Fox Nation.

Source: Daily Beast

Just because nobody has wanted something to happen doesn’t mean US networks with too much development money and not enough common sense won’t greenlight a series based on an established property.

Spinning out of Krypton is the series Lobo. Incredible.

Source: Collider

And speaking of TV series created out of minor DC Comics characters, today delivers us the trailer of Pennyworth - a series based on the early days of Batman’s butler.

As a TV show about the early days of Batman’s butler, the series is obviously garbage. But, broadly, the trailer actually looks kind of fun.

Jeff Franklin, the creator of Full House was ousted from current spin-off Fuller House by Warner Bros in a cloud of scandal. Now we have a better idea of why they turfed him.

According to court papers filed…

“On February 22, 2018, I reported the results of the workplace investigation and my findings of gender bias, inappropriate and offensive comments about women and persons of color, and sexualizing the workplace, all by Franklin, to executives at Horizon Scripted Television Inc,” the VP noted in her statement supporting Behar’s effort to axe the revenge fueled complaint. “I conveyed my opinion that, in substance, based on the results of the workplace investigations and my findings, Horizon Scripted Television Inc. should not renew Franklin’s contract to continue as showrunner for season 4 of Fuller House.”

Source: Deadline

Coming soon to Facebook Watch:

  • “Human Discoveries,” July 16: Animated prehistoric comedy starring Zac Efron and Anna Kendrick, alongside Lamorne Morris, Jillian Bell, Paul Scheer and Lisa Kudrow;

  • Five Points” season 2, Aug. 5: Teen drama set at a South Side Chicago high school from executive producers Kerry Washington, Jon Avnet, Rodrigo Garcia, Jake Avnet and Katie Mota;

  • Curse of Akakor,” Aug. 11: docu-series following six investigators searching deep in the Amazon jungle on the search for a lost city;

  • Ball in the Family” season 5, Aug. 18: The latest installment in the reality show about LaVar Ball and his hoops-playing kin, Bunim/Murray Productions;

  • Huda Boss” season 2, Aug. 20: Reality series about Instagram beauty star Huda Kattan and her sister, Mona, who have built cult-beauty brand Huda Beauty;

  • The Birch,” Oct. 11: Thriller centered on the dark relationship between a tree-monster and teen who summons her in a time of crisis, produced by Crypt TV and based on its short of the same name;

  • Sorry for Your Loss” season 2, Oct. 1: Elizabeth Olsen (pictured, above) reprises her role as a young widow trying to piece her life back together, produced by Big Beach and created and executive produced by Kit Steinkellner;

  • Limetown,” Oct. 16: Jessica Biel stars in drama based on the podcast of the same name, following an American Public Radio journalist as she unravels the mystery behind the disappearance of over 300 people at a neuroscience research facility in Tennessee. Cast includes Stanley Tucci, Marlee Matlin, Kelly Jenrette, John Beasley and Louis Ferreira. Biel also executive produces along with her partner and executive producer, Michelle Purple, for their Iron Ocean Productions banner. The series comes from Endeavor Content.

Source: Variety

And finally…

Aussie kids cartoon Bluey has sold a licensing deal that will see the show available on Disney channels and Disney+ across the globe (in places it hasn’t already been sold, that is. Like Australia).

Source: TV Tonight

ABW Podcast: Years and Years | The Cat In The Hat Knows a Lot About That | Good Omens | What We Do In The Shadows

Always Be Watching - Episode 15

This week on the podcast Dan & Chris shout: “Baaaaaaaaat!” as they discuss the hilarious new comedy What We Do In The Shadows. They also discuss the great new drama Years and Years. Oh, and then they mix some chatter in about the new Neil Gaiman-written show Good Omens and Chris talks up a kids cartoon about The Cat In The Hat. If this is your first Always Be Watching podcast, welcome! We hope you find some interesting TV suggestions here.

You can listen to the podcast on your favourite podcast apps, or listen to it via the web HERE.


Years and Years

The Cat In The Hat Knows a Lot About That

Good Omens

What We Do In The Shadows

More Russian Doll, Love, Death,+ Robots. And Chip 'n' Dale.

Always Be Watching is curated by Dan Barrett who always wants more!

It’s official and going ahead: Russian Doll has been picked up for a second season by Netflix. The announcement was made at the Recode Media Code Conference today. The audio of the event will likely be made available via the Recode podcast feed in the coming days.

Source: Deadline

Also renewed for a second season is Love, Death, + Robots. No further information, such as how many episodes or a release date has been made available.

Right now Hollywood is in the grip of Emmy Awards. The nominations have just opened, so there is a lot of jockeying by PR people to get their clients awards. One of the questions that awards-watchers are asking is about the viability of Game of Thrones as an Emmy winner. There’s no doubt it’ll be nominated, but could it win best drama after a very divisive final season?

I’d suggest that we’ve never seen TV on the scale of the final season of Game of Thrones - I struggle with the idea that it wouldn’t win every award on the night (with the exception, perhaps, of writing…)

When TV Academy members receive their Emmy ballots, will it matter that Veep ended in a way that satisfied most, whereas Thrones did not? Or that both shows' final-season episode counts were so low? (Thrones set a record for a series victory last year when it won with just seven episodes, the same number with which Veep is competing this year; Thrones, meanwhile, is vying this year with just six, the minimum number required for Emmy eligibility.)

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

Where were you when Kimberley ripped off her wig on Melrose Place? The answer is probably ‘in front of the TV’, but I reckon there’s a strong chance that you remember it happening.

EW has a great interview with creator Darren Star looking back at developing that very memorable TV moment.

Source: EW

It’s one of the biggest video game properties in the world and Nintendo has just announced it is developing a new installment. Get ready for a sequel to The Legend of Zelda, coming to the Nintendo Switch.

And finally…

Coming soon to Disney+ is a Chip ‘n’ Dale animated show. But for those of you hoping for a Rescue Rangers revamp, you’ll be disappointed by this. The new cartoon will feature the two chipmunks getting into mischief in the big city.

It’ll be 39, 7-minute episodes.

Source: Deadline

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