There’s more good news than bad news this week, so I’ll rip the bandaid of bad news off quickly first then get to the more positive stuff. The best news is that there are only 14 days before we can put the dumpster fire of 2020 behind us. My friends who follow the celestial patterns say there’s a new moon in Sagittarius and this is the week to sweep all the negative energy out of your dwelling, which sounds like a lovely ritual to me regardless of how you feel about moons. Maybe this would work to cleanse the White House come January 20, 2021… (There are 34 days until Inauguration Day in the U.S. Just in case you were wondering.) Now, here’s the news for all the screens – big, small, and streaming!
Hulu canceled another show after just one season. Marvel drama Helstrom has joined the ranks of High Fidelity as another one and done to fall this year. Why can’t streaming services give shows a chance to build a following before they drop the axe? Damn shame. And both Hulu and Netflix were notorious for this well before the pandemic, so I don’t think all the blame should go to the pandemic. [THR]
Cast and crew members spoke out against Mythic Quest‘s producer and star Rob McElhenney’s statement that there was no evidence the positive COVID outbreaks happened while on set. The CBS Radford lot in Studio City has become a breeding ground for the virus and 12 cases so far are associated with this show in particular. [Variety]
Fox News recently ran a story on one parent at Kent State University getting up their feels about the book Anime from Akira to Howl’s Moving Castle being assigned to dual-credit students. The book is a critical overview of selected anime written by Dr. Susan J. Napier, professor of East Asian Language and Culture at Tufts University. It was published in 2005 after interest in Japanese animation started to grow with Spirited Away‘s Oscar win in 2002. In a hand flailing episode that reminds me vaguely of the turmoil around Fredric Wertham’s Seduction of the Innocent, local politicians weighed in calling the material “pornographic” and promoting “sexual violence”. *eye roll* Hopefully this is an isolated incident and not a new trend. (A valid question would be why a book over 10 years out of date is being assigned, but you didn’t hear that from me.) [Fandom Post]
This article from Vice reminds us of all the times that celebrities showed their either bad or just totally oblivious selves this year. If you like watching videos of people falling off trampolines or being hit in the face, maybe you’ll like being reminded of just how hollow most celebrities are. Instead, I think I’ll watch Dolly Parton’s holiday special and remind myself of the celebrities who are actually decent people.
Leonard Roberts (American Crime Story) wrote a reflective piece for Variety on why the 2006 NBC show Heroes didn’t launch his career as it did for many of his co-stars. This is an important essay for the industry to understand first hand the long term affects lack of representation on multiple levels of production can cause for Black actors. I highly recommend this read. [Variety]
Michael Bay helped make a pandemic movie… because of course he did. Songbird was thought up in the fever dream that was the beginning of the pandemic by director Adam Mason. It stars Riverdale‘s KJ Apa and shot over 17 days this past summer. Slate has an interesting philosophical take on where it stands among movies that should have but didn’t prepare us for the pandemic but overall sums up that it was terrible. [Slate]
The HBO Max app is finally coming to Roku devices just in time for Wonder Woman 1984‘s release on streaming next week. [Vulture]
Speaking of WW news–director Patty Jenkins and star Gal Gadot will receive $10 million dollar payouts to compensate for the usual revenue stream they would be anticipating from the backend of a big box office release. While WB managed to negotiate with one creative team before announcing their upcoming slate was going direct to streaming, negotiation deals for the other 17 films affected by the studio’s ground-breaking decision have yet to be announced. [ScreenRant]
We got a first look this week at this rad new family adventure movie coming from Netflix in January, written by Christina Strain, best known for her work on the show The Magicians and the 2017-2018 run of the comic Generation X (with Amilcar Pinna).
Christina Strain set out to write "a Goonies style movie in Hawaii that was about family, culture, and heritage.”
That film is Finding 'Ohana, it premieres January 29 and here's your first look at director Jude Weng’s gorgeous visuals! pic.twitter.com/g7gaIrXIGY
— Netflix (@netflix) December 16, 2020
It’s looking like 2021 will continue to be a year that shows how the market for digital content has grown. Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have signed a deal with Spotify to produce podcast programming that “uplifts and entertains audiences around the world.” There’s been much speculation about where the royal couple would land and it looks like they also see the potential in the podcast market. [Page Six]
The Sundance Film Festival will be accessible to more people than ever before in 2021 through a special streaming platform. Cinephiles can check out the lineup now and plan out their watching schedule. The films will be available online from January 28 through February 3rd and at some in-person locations, socially-distanced or at drive-ins. [Pajiba]
After last week’s deluge of Disney + news last week, I didn’t expect another announcement worthy of mentioning. But I would be remiss to not mention that the premiere puppet sitcom of the early 90’s, Dinosaurs, is on its way to the streaming service. You bet I’ll be reliving all its campy and kooky goodness come January. “Not the mama!” [Nerdist]
One good thing to come out of 2020 was growing LGBTQ presentation in animation. Polygon rounds up all the best moments from a sweet coming-out story to ships finally coming true. Here’s one 2020 recap I won’t mind reading. [Link]
There have been a slew of casting announcements the two biggest we’ve been celebrating are Naomi Ackie (Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker) as Whitney Houston in the upcoming biopic by Bohemian Rhapsody writer Anthony McCarten (okay, maybe less excited about that part), and Quintessa Swindell (Trinkets) as Cyclone in Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam. [Shadow and Act] [THR]
In breaking news, the popular YA fantasy Grisha trilogy by Leigh Bardugo will be coming to Netflix next April! This teaser trailer was dropped on Twitter today.
You and I are going to change the world. Shadow and Bone is coming April 2021, only on Netflix. pic.twitter.com/kXQm0NVGq0
— Shadow And Bone (@shadowandbone_) December 17, 2020