IT SHOULD come as a surprise to absolutely no one that young people aren’t watching traditional TV.
Roy Morgan research published by Fairfax shows that every “psychographic” demographic is watching less linear TV, especially “young optimists” with a third of them eschewing free-to-air commercial TV all together.
The only group that is watching more traditional TV is what the research has termed “basic needs” households – a nice way of saying people who don’t have enough disposable income for advertisers to care about. Bummer for them.
So where did everyone go? The interwebs, obviously. Which really is just a roundabout way for me to remind you that all the broadcast TV shows listed here every week is available on catch-up streaming apps so you can watch it whenever you want and not be beholden to someone else’s rigid schedule. Go forth and be free(ish).
(SBS Viceland – Tuesday, August 7 at 9.30pm)
Fans of Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement’s What We Do in the Shadows is going to froth over Wellington Paranormal, a spin-off from the very strange, very funny vampire movie. The mockumentary series follows O’Leary and Minogue, the two cops who showed up at Viago’s lair, as they’re recruited by their captain to serve the Wellington Police Force’s paranormal division.
Battling possessed people chundering what looks like 600 litres of Mountain Dew, 70s-era party ghosts and copycat alien plants, Minogue and O’Leary expose the supernatural underbelly of what we had all, wrongly, assumed was the sleepy city of Wellington. Plus, there’s a return of an old friend.
It’s like The X-Files cross COPS, but not that crossover episode of The X-Files/COPS. But they’re no Mulder and Scully. Well, dunce-y Minogue is definitely not Mulder. The as-dry-as-a-martini humour is as droll as you’d expect from a Kiwi comedy, especially a Waititi/Clement production – it’s the very definition of laugh-out-loud funny.
BETTER CALL SAUL
(Stan – Tuesday, August 7)
After three seasons as the goofier cousin of Breaking Bad, spin-off Better Call Saul is ready to play hard and dark. The transition from Jimmy McGill to Saul Goodman is getting closer, but not before we make a detour to the world of Gene – Christ, the guy does love an alias and a reinvention.
The Saul Goodman origin story continues to be one of the sharpest shows on TV with a cast that gets better with age – the writing is on point as its tone manages to balance cheeky schemes with its characters’ often pernicious actions. As the show drives towards its inevitable collision with Breaking Bad, the writers have charted a journey that you can’t glance away from.
(Netflix – Friday, August 10 from 5pm AEST)
Netflix made a serious misstep when it cut together the trailer for Insatiable, a new dark comedy dropping on the streaming service this Friday. The trailer was met with howls of outrage with its depiction of a former overweight teenager turned aesthetically beautiful and thin teenager exacting her revenge on those who bullied her.
The cast and writers pleaded for audiences to watch it before judging it, that the trailer didn’t represent the show. They’re right in a sense. The show itself is much less about those moments in the trailer and more about the weird world of beauty of pageants in the American south and two outsiders trying to find redemption. I can’t say more about Insatiable right now without breaking the review embargo but come back later in the week for a full review.
(Fox Classics – Sunday, August 12 at 8.30pm)
Forget about all the paranoia-driven thrillers of today, on screen and on page, because not one of them comes close to topping Alfred Hitchcock masterpiece Rear Window. One of Hitch’s best films, you’ll never forget the moment Grace Kelly comes into view as Jimmy Stewart’s Jeff blinks his eyes open, making us complicit in the film’s intoxicating voyeurism.
Stewart’s Jeff, a photographer trapped in a wheelchair, can see into his neighbours’ apartments from his window. In his boredom, he observes them obsessively, making up stories about the lives he thinks they’re living. One night, he hears a woman’s screams, followed by the sound of broken glass. Then he sees one of men living across the way from him, a hulking fellow, leaving his unit, carrying a case. When the man’s wife disappears, Jeff thinks he’s stumbled onto something, or has he?
DRAIN THE OCEANS
(National Geographic on Foxtel and Fetch – Tuesday, August 7 at 8.30pm)
Considering the Earth’s surface is 70 per cent water, is it any wonder the mysteries of what lurks beneath us have captivated every civilisation – and not just because there’s oodles of sunken treasure down there somewhere. This new Nat Geo documentary series seeks to reveal what’s hiding in the deep, from the mundane underwater cables to the eternal search for the Lost City of Atlantis.
Over the series, it’ll explore shipwrecks, the Ring of Fire, the lost wonders of Egypt and tell the stories of war, piracy and ancient worlds. The first episode will look at the Nazis’ secret war across the world’s oceans.