'Strange New Worlds,' 'Ten Year Old Tom,' new social media apps, and more
It seems like a lot of these orphan shows will end up on various FAST services like Pluto, Tubi, Freevee etc. I think the economics are different for those services, more of a cost-per-view than fees paid to have the shows on the service.
The sad news is that the golden age of streaming is well and truly over. Obviously the era of big companies burning billions of dollars to grab market share couldn't last forever, but the whipsaw from that model to the one where they squeeze every penny they can out of their subscribers while providing the bare minimum in content has been quite jarring.
Alan, you write that the makers of SNW are giving Anson Mount a lighter schedule because of his new baby (and I've heard this elsewhere too). It surprises me to hear that a studio would be so enlightened as to let its star take this much time off. (I have too many memories of things like Terry Farrell simply being fired after she asked for a considerably lighter schedule on Deep Space Nine.) It also surprises me to hear that the studio would plan for this in advance by writing multiple scripts that don't depend on him.
I'm not trying to advance a conspiracy theory here, or claiming that there's some unstated reason that Mount has played such a small role this season. It just seems a damn shame--because, as you say, he's such a charismatic actor, and his character is so great--and I'm scratching my head about it.
Also, while I'm here, I just want to say that I'm in awe of what a terrific writer you are, Alan. You not only beautifully offer recaps and critiques, but you often introduce complicated ideas in clear, memorable language (as when you've written about the problems that arise when showrunners treat their shows as "ten-hour movies"). Comparable to people like Mick LaSalle and Pauline Kael, you've made reviewing into an art form.
I hope you are feeling better Alan. Thanks for still doing what you do!
I'm assuming the point of all that excited early press for Blue Sky was a push for investor cash but it was a mistake to generate so much buzz and then not be ready to open it up beyond the gated community it currently is. Threads already has all the bad Facebook baggage (they can't launch in the EU because they're hoovering up so much data they'll be in violation of privacy laws) so that's a non-starter for me. And with Twitter cancelling public views, it puts folks like you further and further at arms length. Thank you for the newsletter!
With the writers strike, I was anticipating that I'd be able to get to a lot of the streaming shows I'd missed the first time around (and yes my list is now basically useless) and it feels like these platforms pulling old content is such a major turnoff from subscribing to many of them. I'd be much more likely to pick one like Apple where I like so much of what they put out and just be a completist with their library rather than be inundated with so much that I don't care about like on Max (ugh) and Netflix. Between creating a point of contention with the writers in the midst of the strike and alienating viewers, I can't imagine that the longterm picture is that much better by clearing out their libraries, but like you I'm not a number cruncher so who knows.
In a great example of the chaos at these streamers and the left hand not knowing what the right hand's doing, my Twitter feed was filled with people lamenting the loss of "Single Drunk Female" and then a fewhours later while I was watching "The Bear," Hulu served me up an ad for, you guessed it, "Single Drunk Female"..."now streaming on Hulu!"
I was hoping to hear your thoughts on a good law man who's a terrible Marshall this week
Thanks for this, Alan. I haven't seen the Strange New Worlds episode yet, but it sounds a lot like the wonderful TNG episode Conundrum, in which Picard & company were stripped of their memories and had to figure out their identities--and their sense of ethics--in the middle of a crisis.
What are you guys ethical thoughts on piracy in this cases?
I find it fascinating that you can sometimes still see pulled-from-streamer shows on Airplanes. I was on a flight for July 4th and managed to see episodes from both 'Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies' and 'Star Trek Prodigy.' I didn't love Ladies but there were a lot of elements in the premiere episodes that worked well, esp. the production design. This was a weird, stylish show, one that feels directed.
Prodigy, meanwhile, was amazing, though I wonder if its ties to the larger Trek-verse are more of a double edged sword. It would be cool to see it develop as its own original world or continuity.
Have you seen 'The Lazarus Project', Alan? It's a British show that's (finally) airing Sunday nights on TNT and it's *fantastic* — totally leans into the colossal, heartbreaking ramifications of its premise. My only complaint (other than the dropped-out F-words and sudden commercial interruptions, because U.S. basic-cable television) is that it can't believably end well for various sympathetic characters.
Feel better Alan
Space Daddy. 😂 & ❤️
Speaking of end of an era, with Paramount+ basically absorbing Showtime, what would be your recommend shows from the latter’s history?
Did anyone else watching this SNW episode think “Is there a Starfleet regulation against putting a ship on autopilot?” They will install a self destruct program but not one that can fly the ship if the crew becomes incapacitated?
I was a big fan of last season but this season is reminding me a bit of Star Trek the Next Generation Season 2 in that it is very "hit or miss" and the characters are becoming unfamiliar. I think part of it is the inconsistency in the character interaction. For instance, Ortegas is suddenly turning into an older Wesley Crusher (but instead of brilliant at age 13, she is the best ever pilot in the universe and able to talk back to anyone despite rank). That said, the tainting of a civilization with Starfleet technology and ignoring the Prime Directive while working in its best interests were great Original Series and TNG throwbacks. Also, Rebecca Romijin is just incredible and her interactions with Anson Mount are captivating.