Always Be Watching - 30 October 2018

The ABW newsletter is written by Dan Barrett

In the US today it is National Cat Day. So, here’s Netflix trolling with the release of the trailer for its upcoming series Dogs.


What? Could it be that all of the news in the last few days that Apu is leaving The Simpsons was not founded on a credible source?

Here’s The Simpsons producer Al Jean:


There’s probably a lesson to be learned from Heathers, the black comedy that fully embraced the hot-button topic issue of school shootings. Two episodes were pulled on the US Paramount Channel following the recent Pittsburgh shootings. I think it is great that comedies embrace edgy fare and don’t play things too safe, but there are maybe some topics that have too much sensitivity surrounding them. Maybe mass shootings in which people are brutally murdered isn’t a topic audiences are looking to be entertained by?

Two specific scenes were edited out from the original series that cleared the way for it to be broadcast. The final two episodes, for example, were condensed into one featuring a cliffhanger after a storyline in which the school was blown up was removed. (The original 1988 movie ends with the school also being blown up.) Also gone is a scene in episode five that featured a central character playing a video game in which he went on a shooting rampage down the school's hallways, killing multiple people. 


When even Matt Drudge is criticising the content on your network, it maybe suggests Fox News needs to reign it in.

Variety has this strong piece about the focus on Fox News in recent weeks.

But, way more interesting is this article from Todd VanDerWerff at Vox which goes into detail about why US cable news networks refuse to admit domestic terrorism is on the rise. This is absolutely THE article to read today.

The reason for this is self-evident: A cable news network needs you to keep watching, and the best way to make sure you keep watching is not to suggest that the country is rife with right-wing, extremist terror. That might chase away conservative viewers, who could react poorly to that summation of what’s going on, no matter how accurate. It could also alienate left-leaning viewers, who might take from that assessment a call to action that goes beyond watching TV.


BBC drama Little Drummer Girl, which I am very enthused about seeing, debuted to 5 million viewers in the UK on Sunday night.


Finally…

Bob Saget is coming back to TV to host more home videos. The foul-mouthed comedian made a career on TV in very family-friendly roles on Full House and as the host of America’s Funniest Home Video Show. Meanwhile his stage act was all about ****ing and seeing how far you can shove a ******* into a ********** while still being able to *******.

(No, I don’t know what that really means either - but man does it sound dirty).

His new show Videos After Dark features videos that were too risque for the family-orientated home video show. It’ll air at 10pm. Something about this feels highly reminiscent of Australia’s Naughtiest Home Videos - well-known in Australia for being pulled off the air midway through its first and only episode.