Streaming services have decided to give us a bit of a breather this week, with not much happening. I’ve heard good things about Sneaky Pete, and I learned that it would be available locally from a tweet, so I have almost no information on when Amazon’s releasing things in Australia. The other show of note is Riverdale, the Archie comics adaptation that’s been getting good reviews, and is debuting on Netflix in many territories outside the US. The CW have a fast-tracking deal with Netflix for first run rights for territories outside the United States, although local broadcast rights have to be taken into consideration. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is first run on Netflix in the UK, but in Australia it’s on Eleven. Netflix ANZ has the rights to Riverdale, as well as Frequency, a solid ‘time-travel’ (sort of) crime show that just ended its first season and is unlikely to be renewed. I have a few posts up my sleeve, so watch this space. I’ll post links to any other work I’ve done here as well.
This is possibly the most difficult streaming guide I’ve had to write in a long time. And it’s not just because there’s a Home and Away special dropping on Presto five days before the service shuts down (it will still be available on other Foxtel streaming platforms after the end of January). Home and Away was difficult because I have no idea who any of the characters are. Slightly easier but still a challenge was Terrace House Aloha State, simply because it’s really difficult to describe Terrace House. Just look at these good good boys and girls though. Maybe I should make Terrace House Tuesday a thing.
Something I didn’t get a chance to highlight based on my own restrictions of the piece is Cristela Alonzo’s standup special Lower Classy. Good news! It’s finally past 12am PST, so it has dropped on Netflix. In this special, Cristela muses on boy bands, border walls and the immigrant experience.
The last thing I’m excited about this week is WGN’s Underground, which I’ve heard of but know little about. When I saw the cast list, I recognised Jurnee Smollett-Bell and Christopher Meloni’s names, but no one else. Then I learned that Aldis Hodge – that’s right, Alec Hardisan himself – is the lead on this show, and I’m stuck. That’s a lot of content on Tuesday. I checked out the synopsis for The Cake Eaters, but it wasn’t a documentary about baked goods, so I’m not particularly interested. Until next week, when I’ll be trying to fit a few things in.
It’s the 14th of January, and I still haven’t finished writing my list of favourite podcasts in 2016, so I decided that I really needed to get it done before the end of the month. I have a couple of other things planned, but they require a little more planning. Part 1 covered the pop culture podcasts, and Part 2 is all comedy all the time. 2016 was the first year I really listened to comedy podcasts, so I’ve had a lot of catching up to do. I listen to many podcasts, but there are even more I don’t listen to.
A Series of Unfortunate Events drops in just under two hours, and I’ve spent the entire year (13 days young) preparing for it. I’ll be writing about the show in some capacity next week, but I’m not sure what form it will take just yet. BrainDead is coming to Stan, and I’m looking forward to watching it. It’s a shame that it was cancelled after its first season, so hopefully I don’t get too attached. The Good Wife had some problems in seasons six and seven, but when it was good it was great, so the Kings have definitely earned my viewership.
This wasn’t the post I was planning on writing today, but I spent three hours watching the Golden Globes, and these are some of my thoughts on the awards. Moana, one of the best films I saw this year didn’t win Best Animated Feature or Best Original Song, losing to Zootopia and La La Land respectively, two films which I enjoyed. In fairness to Moana, every other film lost to La La Land as well. Of all the things that happened at the Golden Globes, one of the weirdest awards ceremonies in the world, the Best Original Song win annoyed me the most.
It’s still early January, so there’s not too much happening. Netflix’s One Day At A Time however, has received glowing reviews. This one is a good overview of what makes the show work, and I quite liked Myles McNutt’s analysis on the significance of the show and whether or not it has anything to do with Norman Lear’s (lack of) input. I’m also looking foward to Coin Heist, which I’ll probably enjoy regardless of whether or not it’s any good. I’ll be watching Sherlock, which I hope ends up proving my cynicism wrong. The first season of Good Behavior has flown by, so I’ll have to catch up on it. There are (confirmed) rumours that Lady Mary raps.
I have a notebook where I jot down ideas, and I couldn’t bring myself to write a Top 10 list this year. I don’t even think I have a favourite show at the moment. I still haven’t figured out whether or not I liked what Westworld was doing outside of Thandie Newton. I didn’t know exactly what the parameters were, so I ended up choosing one best and one worst. Because I write the streaming guide every week, I get to highlight a lot of shows I love, and I definitely wanted to write about something I hadn’t already done previously.
I could have (and have previously) written hundreds of words on Jane the Virgin, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend or Younger, but I wanted to pick something that a lot of people hadn’t heard of. I discovered Terrace House thanks to the Rose Buddies podcast, which I wrote about yesterday, and it’s absolutely delightful. It’s a Japanese reality show about share housing, which doesn’t sound compelling, but it’s the most heartwarming show I’ve watched in a long time. The cast is a constantly changing group of young people who are working to achieve their dreams, and they’re incredibly supportive. Some people succeed and others don’t, but they’re all fundamentally good people, so you want to see them succeed.
There is a lot of television out there, and I don’t have time to watch all of it because it’s not something I do full time. So when it comes to worst show of the year, I just tend to avoid things that get bad reviews from critics I trust. I ended up going with Netflix’s Flaked, because I couldn’t get past the first episode. Other things I could have gone with were shows that ended up being disappointing, including The Good Wife finale or the second season of UnREAL.
The other writers at Decider have some great suggestions, which are worth checking out. I didn’t choose to highlight any local content, but I think we all know how much I love The Great Australian Bake Off. The Family Law was great this year, as were Janet King, Upper Middle Bogan and Rosehaven. So much good good television, so I hope you find something you like. Also there’s a new season of Terrace House dropping on Netflix this month. You don’t need to have watched previous seasons to enjoy it, but you should catch up anyway.
I’m doing my Best Of lists a bit late. Because I didn’t have a commitment to write every day, I didn’t consume as much content. The films and television were down (well, current shows, I caught up on a lot of things I’d been planning to watch for ages), and my reading was absolutely woeful until I had a period of two weeks where I did nothing but read. What I have consumed a lot of in 2016 is podcasts. I like being able to do things while I listen to podcasts, so it’s how I get most of my chores done. This list is in no particular order, and I’m at various stages of listening, so I don’t know some as well as others.