Always Be Watching - 31 October 2018

The ABW newsletter is written by Dan Barrett and best experienced while listening to the Monster Mash.

If you’re not much into video games, you probably saw a lot of chatter about Red Dead Redemption 2 (plus bus ads and other outdoor advertising) everywhere last week and were a bit confused. How big a deal was its launch, really?

To give you some perspective: It made $725 million in its opening weekend. That’s more than any other entertainment property ever in its opening weekend. Bigger than Star Wars. Bigger than The Avengers Infinity War. Bigger than any Harry Potter.


Naomi Watts has just signed on to a TV series. And it isn’t just any series - she’s starring in the new HBO Game of Thrones prequel series.


The New York Times spoke to the creators of Deutschland 83/86 about their stellar drama series that was a failure in Germany, but a huge success internationally.

Germany’s lack of enthusiasm for the first season, Mr. Winger said, was surprising partly because of the country’s seemingly enormous appetite for television about its own tumultuous 20th-century history. But he pointed out that most German television takes an earnest, deferential approach to the subject matter, and some viewers might have been put off by the more freewheeling and humorous take on the Cold War in “Deutschland 83.”

“In Germany, there is a certain look that is called ‘authentic,’ ” Mr. Winger said. “I think there is a certain audience in Germany that doesn’t want its historical drama to be stylized.”


Sure, this is related to a movie and not TV screen culture, but with Coming To America considered a VHS classic, I’m running this - Fat Sal’s Deli in Hollywood has rebranded itself for a few days.


William Daniels, the voice of KITT, the teacher in Boy Meets World, Dr Mark Craig in St Elsewhere, and Ben Braddock’s father in The Graduate, is 91 and still kicking butt. This weekend he foiled a burglary in his house.


Expect a lot of articles about Orson Welles in the coming days with The Other Side of The Wind finally seeing release on Netflix this Friday.

The AV Club has this write-up on the film.

For Welles, fooling the audience was part of the art. Whether it’s Chimes At Midnight’s John Falstaff or The Lady From Shanghai’s Michael O’Hara, his characters were often victims of trust; at the same time, his movies play with ours.


Happy Halloween!

I’m a far bigger supporter of Halloween nowadays than most holidays - certainly more than Christmas and Easter. Though, Mum, if you’re reading this, don’t think I don’t want a present or a choccy egg.

In the spirit of this ghoulish day, I would like to share with you one of television’s scariest syndicated TV shows: The 1987 syndicated revival series The Munsters Today.


And finally…

If, like me, you have longed to stay in a hotel with rooms themed around Cartoon Network shows like Powerpuff Girls and Adventure Time, you can finally live your dream. The 165 room hotel will open in Pennsylvania in 2019.

The hotel will include a number of features, such as an interactive lobby, resort-style pool, water play zone, outdoor amphitheater, lawn games, and fire pits. Inside, there will be an indoor pool, game room, and play area. Rooms will also feature “interchangeable show theming that can be customized around children’s preferences to make each visit a new adventure.”