Always Be Watching - 16 June 2017
This email has got Claws!
You may have noticed that it's been a few weeks since the last newsletter. There are both good excuses (being sick) and bad (being upset over The Leftovers finale) for this. But I promise not to make it too much of a regular occurrence.

Something that has been interesting me the last couple of weeks, and I think this is actually an absolutely new phenomena, have you noticed how dry the conversation surrounding The Handmaids Tale, Fargo, and The Leftovers has been since the fortnight after each of them launched? People are still watching the shows. People are still enjoying the shows. People are still recommending their friends watch. But they're just not discussing them in the way they were previously?

Has the increased Netflix output over the last twelve months shifted the way we talk about TV? Is the conversation surrounding TV now limited only for the opening weekend like with a film? 

Something to keep an eye on...
Your weekly guide on the TV shows that launched this week in the US, UK, and Australia. 

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New & returning shows this week
Claws - TNT (US)
Every couple of years a new show comes along that is OTT that captures the world's attention for a season or two before the novelty passes. It feels like it has been a while since we've had a show like that (Empire?), so maybe the time is right for 'Claws'

Desna and her girls take pride in doing nails at the Nail Artisans of Manatee County, but amidst painting hooves and dreaming of a better life, she finds herself entangled in a money laundering scheme with the Dixie Mafia.
Blood Drive - Syfy (US)
Every Syfy effort to tap into cult genre always feels too try-hard and lacking authenticity. This is no exception.

In the dystopian future of 1999, Arthur Bailey is the last good cop among a horde of corrupt officials, living in desolate downtown Los Angeles. He's about to get caught up in a race where the cars run on human blood and the last participant to arrive at each checkpoint has their head explode. If you're a fan of Grindhouse, sexploitation, and ridiculous insane action, lube up!
Fearless - ITV (UK)
There is obviously viewer interest in these sorts of shows from the UK. But, do all of them need to look and feel exactly the same?

Emma Banville, a human rights lawyer known for defending lost causes, sets out to prove the innocence of Kevin Russell, who was convicted of the murder of schoolgirl Linda Simms 14 years earlier. Firmly believing there has been a miscarriage of justice, Emma is determined to reveal the truth behind Linda's death and is prepared to go to extreme lengths to discover what happened and free Kevin.
Ronny Chieng: International Student
It is exceptionally rare to see university life depicted in Australian movies and TV shows. The country is so obsessed with battlers that shows about people trying to lift themselves up academically never seem to get any traction.

The comedy style of this show won't be for everyone, but it has regularly given me some laugh out-loud moments. Hopefully the show gains a strong-enough viewership.

International Student is the hilarious story of Ronny Chieng, a Malaysian student in Australia to study Law. Only making friends is not part of the curriculum.
The Carmichael Show controversy
The Carmichael Show is constantly airing episodes that riff on topical subject matter, and the one that was scheduled to air last night was eerily on the nose. 
The episode, which I watched a screener of last month, doesn't depict violence. There's never an image of anyone wielding a gun. It's about the aftermath, the trauma, the way people talk about violence, and the way they come together and help each other after violence occurs.
I thought that [the] episode would have an opportunity to talk about these tragedies in a meaningful way, to really lend itself to conversation. A lot of times when things like this happen and someone wants to talk about it in an outlet that’s not the news, people will say “too soon.” But when is it not too soon? 
One more thing...
For media nerds, one of the absolute must-listens every week is the Recode Media podcast. This week host Peter Kafka spoke with analyst Rich Greenfield from BITG about what what an analyst does and his current thoughts on the media.

To my mind, the two most interesting things he discussed were actually two sides of the same coin: 
1) Why some content providers (ie Disney) are missing out on a huge opportunity by not going direct to consumers and gathering data on them now?
2) Why other content providers (ie HBO) are best ignoring data capture opportunities in favor of getting carriage by platforms like Amazon.

Even if you're only a casual media consumer, I guarantee you'll find this chat interesting and you'll learn a whole lot.
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Dan at Always Be Watching · Mockingbird Lane · Earlwood NSW 2206 · Australia