Angry Robot

Syfy Rebrands as Science Fiction Content Hub

So this is the US cable channel formerly known as SciFi, which rebranded as SyFy to get away from messy associations with nerdy sci-fi, which now wants the nerds back

US cable could lose 1 million subscribers in one quarter.

The Apocalypse According to “The Leftovers”

A much more powerful description-cum-endorsement here courtesy Emily Nussbaum:

The first season, which was adapted from a novel by Tom Perrotta, struck many viewers, not unreasonably, as a huge downer. It was gorgeous and ambitious, but watching could feel like listening to Portishead while on codeine, recovering from surgery. (Which I’ve done; it has its charms.) A switch flipped in the sixth episode, a wrenching, witty gem called “Guest,” which focussed on Nora (played by Carrie Coon), a woman who lost her entire family in the Departure. “Guest” had a dreamlike plot—Nora, who works for the Department of Sudden Departure, realizes that her identity has been stolen—that felt newly confident, imagistic and musical. In the second season, the show levelled up again, injecting dark humor and a rude visual playfulness, much of it the contribution of directors like Mimi Leder. Now, in Season 3, “The Leftovers” has become the everything bagel of television, defying categorization. It’s at once intimate and epic, giddy and gloomy, a radical emotional intoxicant. It’s still a hard sell. You try telling people that a drama about dead children and suicidal ideation is a hilarious must-watch, then get back to me. But, as an online acquaintance put it, it’s gone from a bummer to “a bummer party.”

How ‘The Leftovers’ Evolved From Good to Canon-Worthy Great

Don’t read too far into this as there be spoilers. But consider this link notice that you should be watching (should have watched?) this amazing show, especially if you ever liked Lost.

wally tshirt

Bryan Fuller Has Pitched ‘Hannibal’ Season 4 to Mads Mikkelsen

Canadian TV in the Netflix Age: In Defence of the CRTC Television Licensing Decision – Michael Geist

The decision, which set a uniform spending requirement of 5 percent on programs of national interest (PNI, which includes dramas, documentaries, some children’s programming, and some award shows), means a reduction in spending requirements for some broadcasters.

Bell Fibe Alt TV

Lookee here, Bell launched an over-the-top TV service and it’s not terrible. (Full disclosure: I work for Bell Media.) It’s bundled with Fibe Internet which is too bad, but the low end is a $15 skinny basic, and the “good” package for $43/mo is most of the channels most people might want. Sucks that they’re still charging $25 for HBO though.

Amazon Prime members now get exclusive live concerts

The TV business is changing incredibly rapidly at this point.

With 40 New Original Shows, YouTube Targets TV’s Breadbasket

Snapchat lines up media companies to produce original shows for Snap TV

Game of Thrones: HBO developing 4 different spinoffs

HBO is doubling down — no, quadrupling down — on its epic quest to replace Game of Thrones. The pay TV network is determined to find a way to continue the most popular series in the company’s history.

GRRM is involved with two of the four proposals.

The Other Side of Anne of Green Gables

Didn’t realize this adaptation is run by a Breaking Bad writer, Moira Walley-Beckett.

With her TV series, Walley-Beckett is trying to solve a riddle: If everything about “Anne of Green Gables” is what prestige TV usually avoids, how do you adapt it in a way that is both sufficiently sophisticated and yet not a betrayal of the source material? Can Anne Shirley, the yummy pleasure who has flourished by cheerfully gliding above her trauma, be transformed into an almost-antiheroine who, in the fashion of contemporary television, has to grapple with her awful past directly? And can she do so whil

Review: ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Creates a Chilling Man’s World – NYTimes.com

Sounds good.

‘Fargo’: A Guide to the Show’s Coen Brothers’ References

From White Russian drink specials to “Friendo” namedropping – a complete guide (so far) to ‘Fargo’ TV series’ Coen brother movie references.

RIP Denis McGrath

Met Denis in 2001 when he was still working at Space. We have lost a great voice.

Game of Thrones season 7 premiere date, teaser revealed

July 16. No new footage in the teaser

YouTube, the world’s biggest video site, wants to sell you TV for $35 a month

Includes main US broadcast networks plus the cable channels they own, so Fox News, ESPN and Bravo, but no CNN, AMC, HBO. Also includes “A cloud DVR with unlimited storage space”.

Apple Vowed To Revolutionize Television. An Inside Look at Why It Hasn’t

AppleTV definitely needs help. A lot of potential, but not much happening on it right now to justify the price tag

Nirvanna the Band the Show puts Toronto front and centre in hilarious new show for VICELAND

Awesome!

Apple reportedly wants hit TV dramas of its own

Starting a Netflix-style service that would be bundled with Apple Music.

Hannibal

There is a Patton Oswalt joke about the Star Wars prequels – go ahead, give it a listen – in which Oswalt berates Lucas for making the dull origin stories of exciting characters. “Hey, do you like ice cream? Well here’s a big bag of rock salt.” It concludes with Oswalt ranting “I DON’T GIVE A SHIT WHERE THE STUFF I LOVE COMES FROM, I JUST LOVE THE STUFF I LOVE.”

That attitude doesn’t apply to Hannibal.

It’s not that the new NBC show, which recently concluded its first season, is better than Manhunter, Silence of The Lambs, Hannibal (The Movie), or Red Dragon, although it may indeed be better than some of those. It’s that show runner Bryan Fuller realized that a three-page bit of back story from the Thomas Harris novels was actually more dramatic than the front story. Hannibal was, at one time, a psychiatrist consulting for the FBI with his arch-nemesis Will Graham. He was also an active cannibal. It’s almost funny to realize that before this show, the character had spent most of his fictional time in jail.

Hannibal in this series is a different creature from the increasingly hammy Anthony Hopkins. At first, I found Mads Mikkelsen wooden. Gradually, I realized he was actually extremely subtle. The moments that Hannibal expresses emotion are notable for their extreme rarity and telling context.

Hannibal isn’t the main character, though. That honour goes to Will Graham (Hugh Dancy), who is as I mentioned a consultant; in the pilot, he’s lured from his teaching job by Larry Fishburne because he has an uncanny ability to empathize with serial killers. Hannibal becomes his analyst. Those two points – Graham’s empathy and his psychopathic shrink – become this series’ greatest strengths. When he struts onto a crime scene, Graham enters a kind of Empathy Mode where he gets into the killer’s mind. This allows the show some great liberties with visualization that it exploits adroitly. Furthermore, Graham’s empathy with horrible minds makes him increasingly fragile as the show goes on, an arc that propels a lot of drama, and keeps visual interest even away from the crime scenes.

But if Graham’s visions lend the show its visual flair, it is grounded in riveting dialogue, thanks to the emphasis on talk therapy. The Graham-Lecter discussions are captivating, but many other shrinks are in play: Graham has a crush on a co-worker who is also a shrink (Caroline Dhavernas), and many amazing scenes are of Lecter visiting his own therapist, played by Gillian Anderson. The dialogue is generally very strong; it reminded me of the late, great In Treatment.

I suppose I shouldn’t conclude without mentioning dramatic irony. It’s interesting to see a whole show powered by it. We know going in, by the name, that this show features one of fiction’s most renowned killers. How frustrating, then, to see so many lawmen completely unaware of it. It makes you want to yell at the screen at times.

You might assume, like I had, that a show with this name on NBC had to be a G-rated candy-ass cynical cash-in. It is not. It will surprise you. Watch it.