Streaming Guide June 23 – June 29

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Alison Brie, Bashir Salahuddin, Betty Gilpin

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It’s a big week in streaming! Apparently there’s no such thing as an off-season any more. Better Call Saul just had its finale (I’m behind), and the finales of RuPaul’s Drag Race and iZombie are next week. And there are so many shows premiering! I’m very much looking forward to the new season of Younger, and all the new Diana Trout gifs. Power is a very good show that I’ll probably leave for a month (to catch up on all the other shows) before binging. As for the others…

People are raving about the new Netflix show GLOW, which I like but don’t love. Many of the critics I read watched the entire season, I just watched the first two. To be fair, I watched the first episode in April and the second this week, and I remember enjoying the first episode much more than the second. The gap could account for that. I have another four screeners I can watch, but the video quality is much better on Netflix proper, which I am paying for.

I didn’t watch much of Preacher‘s first season, but I’ve seen the first two episodes of the new season and they’re really good. For those of you who want to give it another shot, the advice I followed was to watch the premiere, the angel battle in episode 6, and the finale. The first season arguably (I haven’t seen all of it, so I can’t comment) has pacing problems, which makes sense when you find out that the events in the first season finale happened in the first issue of the comic. The second season is fun and has one of the two best uses of “Come on Eileen” in television this year (the other is Jane the Virgin, and while they are the only two instances I know of, they were both done really well). It’s still a very graphic show, which is part of what put me off season one, you just need to figure out when to cover your eyes.

I have a screener for Okja, but I haven’t watched it yet. I’ll wait until I can watch it on the TV. Snowpiercer is one of the best films I’ve seen in the past five years, and it would be great if I could see this film in cinemas, but the fact that I get to see this film at the same time as everyone else is a step in the right direction. Film distribution in Australia has a lot of problems, and I hope there’s a way that we can get both.

Streaming Guide June 9 – June 15 | Terrace House is back!

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The (original) cast of Terrace House: Aloha State

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I wrote a full season review of Orange Is the New Black, which made me wonder whether I should highlight it on the streaming guide. I don’t want to end up repeating myself, and there are surely other Netflix properties I could promote, like Terrace House. So this post is dedicated to my beloved Terrace House: Aloha State. Part 3 drops on Tuesday, and I’m not sure when I’ll have time to watch it, but I’m glad it’s there. On Stan, there are Quentin Tarantino films and your usual feast of fast-tracked content, and Amazon Prime has a limited series about the Le Mans 24 hour car race, in which they build a car and then race it (that’s what I learned yesterday, and I’m really interested in it now).

The final season of Orphan Black premieres on Sunday, which I would be more excited for if I was up to date. I’m hoping that will happen soon, but it definitely won’t be this weekend. This weekend I’ll be at Continuum Convention in Melbourne, and if you’re interested in science fiction or even general pop culture (which is more my speed), it’s definitely worth checking out. Right now I have to catch up on as much of Twin Peaks as possible before tonight’s panel.

Streaming Guide June 2 – June 8

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Now that the Emmys consideration deadline has passed, Netflix’s first original show for June is… Flaked. I had no idea that the second season was close because I didn’t get any screeners, and I couldn’t find a single pre-air review when I was writing the guide up yesterday. I’ll be interested to see what kind of coverage it gets over the weekend. In other Netflix news, they’ve started to cancel some shows, so the next few weeks and months should be interesting. Since Netflix don’t release viewership numbers, we have no idea how these decisions are made.

Overall it’s a pretty quiet week in streaming, which is a relief. I’m behind on most of my shows. I think the only one I’m caught up on at this point is iZombie, which is so much fun. Twin Peaks is at the top of the list (I don’t think I’ve watched any since last week, which is how far behind I am), with everything else jostling for second place.

Streaming Guide May 26 – June 1

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All I know about Bloodline is that Kyle Chandler is in it. Also Mendo.

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This was a bit of a weird one. I just remembered that I forgot to include The Bachelorette. I also had a great line about how Netflix rules our lives by putting House of Cards out on a Tuesday, which I’ve been using for a month and then forgot to put in the guide. Someone on the A.V. Club said that they need to fit it in before the Emmy cut-off date, which is May 31, but they still could have given it a Friday release. It’s one of their biggest shows, and even though I don’t watch it (long live the British House of Cards trilogy), I can see them wanting to use their Fridays for smaller shows.  Bloodline is in its final season though, which would seem to be a better reason to put it on a Tuesday. I don’t understand Netflix.

The other thing is that War Machine starring Brad Pitt has dropped on Netflix, and while screeners were sent out to critics, they’re still dropping it in a week with two Emmy winning series. I didn’t have time to watch it because my Twin Peaks watch has been slower than anticipated. I also wasn’t going to be able to fit it in highlights, because I balance out releases. There’s subscription fee for streaming services, and only highlighting things on Netflix is detrimental to viewers who only have Stan, or are using exclusively FTA streaming.

David Ehrlich also wrote this highly divisive (which is unsurprising) piece about whether or not movies are still movies if they debut on Netflix. He wrote this before Okja was booed at Cannes last week. I’m somewhere in the middle on this. I can think of three cinemas in Melbourne that would have screened Snowpiercer. I know it was definitely on at the Nova and has been at The Astor (which is a monoplex, so their schedule is carefully planned), and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was also on at ACMI. Australia also only tends to get day and date releases for blockbusters, and it’s not even every blockbuster. Thanksgiving releases in the US are usually held until Boxing Day in Australia, so a worldwide release on Netflix is beneficial for viewers outside the United States.

As far as my own viewing is going: I still haven’t finished Master of None or Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and the Twin Peaks rewatch is coming along at a reasonable pace. I watched the first part of the new season after finishing season one, and then decided that I needed to finish the rewatch. I should be up to date in a week or so, then I can catch up with Better Call Saul (and American Gods). It’s a good thing that the US network television season is coming to a close. There’s so much to watch! The shows aren’t stopping, either. I’ve prepared my June spreadsheet, and it’s going to be pretty busy.

Streaming Guide May 19 – May 25

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Rachel Lindsay: Lawyer, Bachelorette, angel, possibly nicest person in the world.

It’s a good week in streaming for: Twin Peaks fans, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt fans, fans of Laura Dern (in both shows) and Daveed Diggs (in Kimmy Schmidt). It’s a bad week in streaming for… anyone who hoped that they’d find a decent batch of boys for Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay. There are some good boys in there: I like Anthony, Blake K, Mohit, and I think Michael was okay until he revealed that he follows a paleo diet.

I saw the first six episodes of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and they’re great. I mostly agree with the review over at the A.V. Club; I think a B+ is about right grade-wise. The show is still at its best when it’s dealing with Kimmy’s post-traumatic stress from being in the bunker, and there wasn’t a lot of that in the first six episodes. Laura Dern and Daveed Diggs are both perfect. Important note: I watched most of it with a patchy internet connection, which definitely hampers the viewing experience, but I enjoyed it. I laughed at the silliest joke. I’m planning on writing a review when I’ve seen the whole season.

I’m also really excited that the final season of Avatar: The Last Airbender drops on Stan tomorrow, as well as the first two episodes of The Legend of Korra. I’ve been keeping an eye out for them for a while, so I’m looking forward to watching. Right now however, I have a Twin Peaks rewatch to complete (I still haven’t gotten any further than I was when I wrote the guide. Still on episode 2.)

Streaming Guide May 12 – May 19

 

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Master of None was one of my favourite shows of 2015, and I’m so happy it’s back. The first episode is in black and white, and it’s stunning. In a world where television creators are constantly saying “It’s like a novel for TV,” Master of None is a series of short films following the same characters (most of the time), and musings on certain topics. As much as I loved the two episodes set in Italy (they made me really hungry – I meant what I wrote about not watching on an empty stomach), I was thrilled to get back to New York and hang out with Denise and the rest of the gang. Ansari’s directing is stunning, and I’m looking forward to seeing more of his work in the future.

I haven’t seen anything else on this list just yet… okay, I’ve seen Chicago, Serendipity and Shall We Dance?Chicago is one of my favourite films, so I’ll always recommend it. I finally watched the second episode of American Gods last night, and I enjoyed it much more than the first. The Coming to America short with Orlando Jones was SO SO GOOD, and makes me think they didn’t really know how to use him on Sleepy Hollow. Mildly amusing story: I hit “continue watching” on Amazon, and there was no previously on section. It turned out that it was playing the premiere again, which I fixed quickly. That’s all I have on streaming for this week!

Streaming Guide May 5 – May 11

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I don’t watch Sense8 (Sens8?), so this is the last week before Netflix completely takes over the Northern Hemisphere summer. The first season of Patriot drops on Prime Video for Australia today, and I’ve heard really good things about it, so I might check that one out. Now that we’re in May, it’s time for season finales including The Last Kingdom, Billions, The Circus and Underground. This means that I will finally catch up on Underground, as well as Designated Survivor, which has a double-episode finale in two weeks. It’s a relatively quiet week in streaming, and I’m perfectly happy with that. Happy watching!

Wildcard pick of the week:

Handsome: A Netflix Mystery Movie. I have no idea what this will be like, or if it’s any good, but as soon as I saw that Netflix was putting out a mystery movie, I went to tell my friends Regan and Liam, who might watch it for their podcast if we’re lucky. Right now they’re covering Canadian hockey/PI show Private Eye, which I’ve never watched but has a catchy theme song.