It’s the last streaming guide for 2018, and the last for a while. This blog has been mostly dedicated to pop culture in the time I’ve had it, but this is going to be a little more of a life update.
Hi everyone, how are you? I moved to Sydney two days ago, and the past week has been pretty intense. Amongst all that, I managed to see a couple of shows that are premiering this week. Last night I went to the Will & Grace premiere at a drag bar – I’d never seen the show before, and I didn’t know anyone. Here’s what I can say: it’s a good throwback sitcom, and Will is my favourite (being a good straight man – comedically – is difficult). I also think David Schwimmer did a great job, and I hope he’s around for at least a few more episodes.
I also saw the All American pilot, which I really enjoyed. It’s based on the life of Spencer Paysinger, an NFL player from central Los Angeles who was recruited to play for Beverly Hills High. Because it’s on Stan, I looked up which network it’s on in the United States, and it’s The CW. This isn’t a bad thing, I watch a lot of CW shows. But there are certain points at which you can tell. The other thing is that people are going to compare this to Friday Night Lights, a fantastic show that for some reason became a comedy in its second season. They’re both about high school football, and while Friday Night Lights does some great work with class divisions in seasons four and five, that’s what this entire show is about. So as long as it sticks to these aspects, and doesn’t lean too much into it’s CW-ness (you’ll see what I mean), I’m going to keep watching.
Speaking of shows that lean too much into their CW-ness, Riverdale is back! I’m hoping that the third season rights the ship a little bit – the first season was one of my favourite shows that year, and I fell off around season two. The thing about Riverdale is that the first season was made in a vacuum – they’d filmed the whole thing before it went on air – and then they had feedback for the second season. Yes, people liked the twists, but in season one they were informed by character, and in the second season it was a twist for the sake of it. I love this show, and I’m looking forward to it coming back. Remember this great moment?
I’m also interested in Trust, which FX has renewed as an anthology series about the Getty family. If you have Foxtel and want a little more Getty content, All the Money in the World is about the same story and was added last week.
The Good Place is back! There’s a lot of stuff happening this week, but that’s the important one. And I think I’m going to have to mute the hashtag on Twitter so I don’t get spoiled by the time it drops on Netflix tonight. I’m also finally going to have the chance to catch up on season 5 of Brooklyn Nine-Nine before it comes back in January. I watched the first episode of the Heathers series the other day, when I thought I would be in Sydney but wasn’t – you can find that story over on Twitter. I have reservations about the show but don’t want to pass judgment after only watching the first episode. I might have a look at some other reviews this afternoon.
I also just queued up the third episode of The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair, and it’s interesting, but Marcus Goldman is such a pretentious douche that it’s difficult to watch. Also he’s pretty willing to defend his mentor who was an adult in some kind of relationship with a 15 year old girl (Patrick Dempsey claims he loved her but nothing happened. This whole thing is icky.) I want to know what happened so I’ll keep watching for now, but I have my hackles up.
I’m looking forward to watching Jane Fonda in Five Acts, and I really need to get onto the French Agatha Christie show. I also have a lot of things that I need to do right now. Until next week!
It’s a quieter week, although there’s a lot happening on SBS. It’s really just the calm before the storm of next week, when Netflix adds season 5 of Brooklyn Nine-Nine and the new season of The Good Place begins. As far as this week goes, I’m really looking forward to Maniac after this week’s Storm of Spoilers podcast (I didn’t listen to the spoiler section. Be nice), and I might watch Paddington 2 this weekend after nearly buying it last week. Happy watching!
Also between Paddington 2 and A Very English Scandal, it’s quite a good week for Ben Whishaw.
This was quite a fun one to write. Some of you may be wondering how I came across Raphael Bob-Waksberg’s description of BoJack Horseman Season 5. To start, I want to say that I’ve never seen the show, and I realise I would probably like it if I saw it. As a result, I didn’t ask for screeners when the Netflix publicist sent out an email for screener requests. I know that this is a show many people (including friends) love dearly, so I couldn’t not include it, but I’d never seen it, so how could I describe it? So, I went through my emails for a press release, found that same screener request email, and Raphael Bob-Waksberg had written a description about some stuff that BoJack’s going through, but the main thing that happens is Diane gets a haircut. It was perfect, and everybody needed to see it, so I put it in, and I’m going to put it in here as a quote again.
Raphael Bob-Waksberg, creator of BoJack Horseman: All right, season five of BoJack Horseman, here we go. Has it really been five seasons? Where does the time go, huh? Anyway, this season finds BoJackstarring in a new TV show called Philbert, playing a character with disturbing parallels to BoJack’s real life, echoes that force BoJack to confront himself and his past in ways large and small, but the main thing that happens this season is Diane gets a haircut. We spent a lot of time figuring out the haircut — the style, the volume, the bounce, the sheen — and we’re really proud of the way it came out. We really think people are going to like this new season, and Diane’s new haircut!
It’s just a couple of sentences, but it there’s so much happening: it teases the show without spoiling it – BoJack gets a new job that makes him examine his decisions, Diane gets a haircut – each of these won’t be the only thing that happens to these characters during the season, and they’re not the only characters in the show. What’s happening to BoJack may seem more important to viewers than Diane’s haircut – and at first you think that’s the joke – but this is an animated show, so it’s not as simple as giving an actor a haircut. The artists needed to come up with a hairstyle that worked, which then became the new design for that character – in every frame she’s on screen. Bob-Waksberg writes all of this as if it was a joke, but everything about the haircut process is probably true. It’s funny, a character confronts his emotions, and there’s a lot more happening than you think. It’s what everyone has told me is so great about BoJack Horseman, and this short description is what has convinced me to watch the show (I’ll admit that the silent episode came close), because it’s a perfect piece of writing.
- I don’t usually do this for streaming guide posts, but I am today. Unfortunately highlighting BoJack meant that I didn’t have room for American Vandal, another show I haven’t watched but would probably love.
- I chose the least spoiler-y still I could find on the Netflix PR site. Unless there’s some significance to lightbulbs of which I am unaware. It doesn’t matter, the season has dropped! Go and watch it.
- I’ve watched half of a season of American Horror Story (Roanoke, for those of you who are interested), and it’s not necessarily my thing. If it hadn’t been for my new obsession with a paragraph of writing, I might have said more about Ryan Murphy, anthology series and what his move to Netflix means.
- Currently watching: Schitt’s Creek (just finished season 3), The Great British Bake Off (series 8), probably something else I’ve forgotten.
There’s so much new television! This week’s guide isn’t QUITE as long as last week’s, but there’s a lot. I’m interested to see Kidding, and was surprised to learn that Jim Carrey doesn’t have an Oscar. I love The Truman Show. There are two other shows starting on Stan this week, and I had to put in The Purge on Amazon Prime because I didn’t have space for it last week. The entire month of September could be described as ‘Here is a thing that started last week but I didn’t have room for it, so it’s here now!’ Sorry to Warriors of Liberty City.
I’ve been in Sydney this week for reasons that I may or may not talk about in the future, and staying with my friend Gabby. The entire week has been a Bake Off bonanza. One day I watched four episodes of three versions of the show, which I can safely say is too many for one day, especially since two of them were bread themed, so I couldn’t remember which show was which.
I also saw Calamity Jane at Belvoir St theatre last night, and it was wonderful. I’ll write more about that soon, because I have a lot of thoughts (including some issues I’ve always had with the script that has no bearing on this particular production). Either way, if you’re in Sydney, it’s on until the end of the month, so you should definitely see it. Until next week!
Yes, there is a French show set in 2026 in which clothing has been outlawed. I watched about 5 minutes of it, but the subtitles weren’t working, and it’s been 10 years since I studied French. Anyway, I’m looking forward to this one because the premise is interesting – I don’t know yet what happens in winter – and it’s somehow in the Venn diagram intersection of all the things SBS loves. And it’s a murder mystery.
Also, this might be the longest streaming guide I’ve put together in the time I’ve been doing them, simply because it’s a new month, and that month is September. I could’ve highlighted at least 10 properties for this week alone – there are new weekly shows starting on Foxtel and Prime Video, and also Magic Mike XXL is coming back to Netflix. I really wanted to highlight The Tale, which I’ve heard a lot about since it premiered at Sundance and aired on HBO. The subject matter is difficult, but I’m interested in the way the story is told. I got an email from Stan this morning to let me know that the first episode of Kidding will drop at 3pm AEST. It would’ve been nice to know earlier, but I also wouldn’t have been able to cut anything out.
Anyway, September is going to be great, and there’ll be a lot for you to watch.
It’s a slow week in streaming. I’m not sure whether this is a good or bad thing given what’s happening in Australian politics at the moment. The Innocents is really good, and I’m looking forward to America to Me. There are also several finales this week, including Sharp Objects, which I’m excited about (I read the book a couple of months ago and it’s great).
If however, you’re looking for something nice to watch to keep your mind off current events, some suggestions:
- Kim’s Convenience: a low stakes sitcom about a Korean-Canadian family who run a convenience store. It’s hilarious. Seasons 1 and 2 are available on Netflix.
- To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before: This is an adorable Netflix original film based on a YA novel. I don’t love Peter Kavinsky as much as the rest of the internet, but he’s a pretty great guy. I also loved the family relationships in this film, and cried about sisters A LOT.
- The Magicians: If you’re in Australia, the first two seasons are on Amazon Prime.
- Younger: I have no idea how realistic this show is in its depiction of the publishing industry, but as I’ve written elsewhere, it’s one of the best representations of female friendship I’ve sen on television. Every episode is on Stan, and the fifth season finale drops Wednesday.
I actually have other things that I need to be doing, I hope you find something you like!
One thing you may not know about me is that I don’t watch a lot of animated comedies. I’m one of a handful of people who didn’t grow up watching The Simpsons – to the extent that most references go over my head – but I like what I’ve seen. It was never appointment viewing though. I really like what I’ve seen of Futurama, but same deal. I’m only talking about Matt Groening shows because they’re the ones I’ve spent the most time with, and I’m here to tell you that his new show Disenchantment is great. It’s a fully realised fantasy world, and the artwork is stunning. The character design is great, but what I loved the most were the wide shots of the kingdom. It’s all 2D, but it’s drawn and composed in a way that conveys depth, and it’s beautiful. I really like the core trio of characters as well, there’s a lot to recommend.
In other news, I really wanted to top last week’s Space Jam shout-out, so I talked around the fact that I’ve never seen Ballers, because I wanted to make a reference to Hello From the Magic Tavern. I love Usidore and Chunt’s interpretation of “Hibbo’s Ballers starring a sentient rock,” which is now my official headcanon for the show. The final season of A Place to Call Home starts this weekend, and Deep State starts on SBS next week. It’s a shame I didn’t have time to preview that one, but I might have a look. Until next week!
Every once in a while a show comes along that I don’t want to highlight. Sometimes I find a way around it, like making sure people have access to the resources that were published for the second season of 13 Reasons Why. When it came to Insatiable, I just put it on the list. The controversy surrounding the show, and Jenna Guillaume‘s fantastic article on Buzzfeed were enough to put me off. Go and read Jenna’s piece, I’ll wait. Meanwhile Ballers and Fear the Walking Dead are back, and there’s a new season of Get Shorty on Stan, but I want to talk about Space Jam. And Mission: Impossible.
Space Jam is the best, I don’t want to hear any bad words about it. Also, here’s one of the greatest moments of early My Brother, My Brother and Me. Listen in full.
I also watched all six Mission: Impossible films in the space of a few weeks, and I really wanted to highlight another great Tom Cruise action flick in Edge of Tomorrow, which was underrated. And underperformed at the box office. I also wanted to highlight Guy Ritchie’s take on The Man From U.N.C.L.E. because of the Henry Cavill factor in Mission: Impossible – Fallout, but I’ve only seen that film once. I enjoyed it but didn’t remember enough to write a paragraph. Space Jam is a better film anyway. Don’t @ me.
Next week: a great new animated show from Netflix, and I make an obscure podcast reference.