Streaming Guide July 14 – July 20


One of the many gorgeous images from Chasing Coral. Image courtesy of Netflix.

via What’s New In Streaming For The Next Seven Days — DeciderTV

I made a choice a few years ago to not be political online. There are plenty of reasons for that which I won’t go into, but every once in a while I highlight shows and films on the streaming guide I think are important. This week I chose Chasing Coral which premiered at Sundance, and is about the attempt to visually capture coral bleaching, and Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty. I haven’t seen Bigelow’s films because I’m not very into war as a genre, but she’s also the only female director to have won the Oscar for Best Directing. That surprises me, but also it doesn’t. Aditi Mittal is one of the first women to perform stand-up comedy in India, another thing I didn’t know.

As for my other choices, Broad City and Game of Thrones are two of my favourite shows. Broad City deserves a highlight for that fantastic DMV episode (I renewed my licence last week, which you can now do at the post office. It’s the Australian equivalent of making an appointment), and there’s no season like GoT season. My podcasts are coming back, and I’m figuring out how to deal with this strange book/show world we live in. I’m happy that A Storm of Spoilers has a separate section for production spoilers, and stopping the podcast early is going to be an exercise in self-control. At the time I’m writing, George hasn’t followed up on this possibly fortuitous Live Journal entry, so that’s something to watch. I’m also going to be keeping an eye on any possible #BlackThorn evidence. Let me know if you find anything.


Streaming Guide March 3 – March 9 | DeciderTV

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I’ve made some changes to the streaming guide! Stan has been fast-tracking shows from the U.S. for two years now, and Netflix is doing the same with CW shows and Designated Survivor. SBS OnDemand and iview have been doing this with specific shows for a while now, namely Orphan Black and Doctor Who. As streaming grows in Australia, I’ve added more columns to my spreadsheet, and the list of titles gets longer most weeks. I’ve added a section for shows with weekly episodes. Designated Survivor and Underground both return next Thursday (I wanted to watch them yesterday because I’m thinking a week ahead when I write the guides), and Foxtel Play has replaced Presto, which means there are weekly episodes of Big Little Lies and Girls, as well as Foxtel originals including the local Real Housewives franchise. Plus Angie Tribeca, iZombie and Better Call Saul are returning in March, all of which I’m looking forward to to various degrees.

I don’t highlight everything I want to – Designated Survivor is a show that’s more fun than it has any right to be, and Greenleaf is an import from the Oprah Winfrey Network about a family that runs a Megachurch, which sounds like the perfect spiritual successor to Big Love (Bill Paxton, you are missed). Also The People Vs O.J. Simpson is on Netflix as of Monday – it’s a really good week and you can’t include everything. Until next week!

I almost forgot – Donald Glover’s Atlanta has finally come to Australia, and you can watch all of it now on SBS OnDemand. If you prefer the traditional method, two episodes air every Tuesday on SBS Viceland.

Streaming Guide February 17-23 | DeciderTV

via What’s New In Streaming for the Next 7 Days — DeciderTV


Is this Bob Benson? (Update: Yes it is) The Billions stills are delightful.

Amazon is starting to roll out its Original Programming for Australians, and this week is the Billy Bob Thornton vehicle Goliath. February has been a relatively quiet month in streaming, but it’s started to pick up again. Stan’s dropping up to four titles a day, and Netflix has started releasing everything on either Tuesday or Friday, so those days are particularly packed. From what I can tell, Netflix is dropping at least one standup special a week – and this week’s comedian is Trevor Noah! The most important thing is that Billions is back, so the Billions podcast will be back to take on Fighting in the War Room. It’s my favourite podcast rivalry.


Fighting in the Billions room.

Streaming Guide February 10-February 16 | DeciderTV

via What’s New In Streaming for the Next 7 Days — DeciderTV

In some ways this was an easy streaming guide to write, in others, not so much. I like that there were four different streaming platforms dropping new content this week, and it was easy to balance it out with one title per platform. It was easy for Foxtel and Amazon, because they had one title each. As for Netflix, Girlfriend’s Day sounds like a perfectly bizarre film to watch on Valentine’s Day. It was going to be Downton Abbey, but a Bob Odenkirk vehicle about a world where greeting card writers are celebrities is a more cynical version of Her. The thing I’m most excited about is Fleabag, which may finally be the thing that pushes me into buying a Prime account.

On the note of fast-tracked content, Girls starts next week on Foxtel Play/Go, and it’ll be interesting to see where the final season ends up. It’s a show that was very important to me in its first season, but came less relatable as it went on. I’ve enjoyed The CW’s Riverdale, which is on Netflix outside the US, and there will be a new episode going up sometime tonight. I remember being very impatient last week. Yesterday I also checked out Imposters on Stan, which is a fun show that very much knows how to use Parker Young. Until next time!

Fun fact: Alex Karpovsky of Girls fame – Old man Ray – is also in Girlfriend’s Day.

2016 Logie Nominations: How do they work?

Australia’s Logie Awards are a strange beast. Sponsored by TV Week magazine, the Australian television industry’s awards combine People’s Choice awards in the “Best” categories, and industry voted awards in the “Most Outstanding” categories. The first awards, which were then known as the TV Week awards were held in 1959, after the magazine attached voting coupons to its editions in late 1958. Australians can nominate their favourite shows and television personalities by snail mail, as well as via text message and online. The eligibility of a show is fairly simple: it must be produced in Australia and have a predominantly Australian cast. It’s fairly straightforward, at least until you get into categories.

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The Great Australian Bake Off, Season 1 Episode 1: Cake

The Great British Bake-Off is one of Britain’s favourite television shows, and it airs on the BBC. A couple of years ago Nine produced one series of a local version, which was never renewed. Earlier this year, the Lifestyle family of networks announced that they were going to reboot The Great Australian Bake-Off on Lifestyle Food, for Foxtel. I have great affection for The Great British Bake-Off, which serves as an explanation as to why I’m going to be so hard on The Great Australian Bake-Off, or at least the judges. This is my first attempt at reviewing a reality show on a weekly basis, so it should be an interesting ride. The formula and music of The Great British Bake-Off were there, and I enjoyed Mel and Claire as hosts, but I felt that it was a little bit poorer for the lack of Paul and Mary, but we’ll get to that later.

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Stan provides a legal way for television fans in Australia to watch “The Shield” without buying all seven seasons

Online piracy of movies and television shows is a big problem in Australia; people don’t watch shows when they air because they probably watched them illegally two months previously. There are several factors as to why Australia has these problems: our television season (February to November) doesn’t match up with the American television season (September to May), and even when Australian networks are willing to fast track television shows, they’ll take December and January off because it’s the non-ratings period when no one watches anything but sports.

Another reason that piracy is rampant here is that Australians just don’t like paying for television. After Channel Seven cancelled A Place to Call Home, it was picked up by the Australian cable provider, Foxtel. Cue the letters to The Green Guide (and probably other television guides, but I don’t read them), complaining that they’ll have to pay for Foxtel or wait for the DVD. The show was averaging over 1 million viewers in its second season, which is exactly why Foxtel decided to pick it up – everything Foxtel does is a marketing decision to attract subscribers. If you don’t want to pay for Foxtel, that’s okay, but if you want to watch it when it airs, the subscription fee is only $75, and there’s other good television on Foxtel as well. Foxtel also did a deal with HBO in order that Game of Thrones wouldn’t be available for purchase on iTunes, beginning with the fourth season. During its third season, Game of Thrones was always at the top of the iTunes television charts. Foxtel know what they’re doing, and if non-subscribers don’t like it, they can pay a subscription fee, or break the law. Guess what’s happening.

The third factor is related to the second, and it’s that if Australians want to legally catch up on an older television show, whether it’s The Shield or Lost, they have to buy the entire season on DVD or iTunes. Australia has been woefully behind the rest of the world when it comes to online streaming; Netflix announced last year that they would be launching in Australia in March 2015, but it’s not the first streaming service on the market. As I wrote hastily last week, the Channel Nine/Fairfax streaming venture Stan launched on January 21, and suddenly Australians have options. As a fan of television, I knew that I should be watching The Shield (Alan Sepinwall‘s book, The Revolution Was Televised is essential reading for any television fan), but I was unwilling to cough up the $16 for the first season of The Shield just in case I didn’t like it. Then when I was browsing the Stan library last week, I learned that all seven seasons of The Shield are in their library! That’s convenient, especially since when you sign up, you receive a 30 Day Free Trial, and after that the monthly subscription fee is $9.99. If you end up watching the entire series in two months, it costs $10, as opposed to over $100 on DVD. It could take up to a year to watch the entire series, and it would be approximately on par with the DVD retail price. And when you consider that there are dozens of other shows and movies in the Stan library, that price is worth it. I’m looking forward to what else will be available when Netflix launches in March. (There is a third streaming service, Presto, which is a Channel Seven/Foxtel venture, but I have Foxtel so I don’t need this particular service).

On The Shield  pilot, because that’s all I’ve seen so far: it’s great! Because I’ve seen people talk about the show, and read Alan Sepinwall’s book, I was spoiled for the big thing in the pilot, but that doesn’t matter because it’s fantastic. It’s beautifully directed by Clark Johnson, who also directed the pilot for The Wire (a fact I learned from Alan Sepinwall’s book, just buy it already!), which makes perfect sense now that I’ve seen both pilots – his style is well suited to both shows. I’m stunned that Michael Chiklis was my age when he was cast in this show, he looks so much older. I think my favourite character so far is the one played by CCH Pounder, because she’s awesome in everything she’s in. I knew Walton Goggins was in this show, so I wasn’t surprised to see him, but apparently it takes a while for him to be as good as he is in Justified. I’m excited to see where The Shield is going, and I’m happy I have a way to watch it without having to pay over $100 for the DVDs.