Your weekly, stream-of-consciousness hello.
Hello and Happy…Monday to you, folks!
We can now officially say that this newsletter lives up to the “Every Sunday. Ish.” tagline.
My apologies for missing our usual Sunday Morning at 10:30am Eastern delivery time – this past weekend was a crazy one for me. A Saturday filled with overseeing the 2019 tryout session for Super Art Fight(spoiler: There are some cool people with crazy awesome personas waiting in the wings), a Sunday of Father’s Day, spent first by receiving a card from my cat children (I have a hunch my wife helped them on that) and then having dinner with my Mother and awesome Stepfather, the weekend just blew by.
And then this morning, sitting in my to-do’s list in Things …was a bright, red number waiting for me.
I forgot this darn newsletter.
I know, I should do it during the week and have it ready, but I’ve enjoyed the process of writing this out at the end of the week. I’ll do my best to not allow this to happen again, dear readers!
Onward to the stories.
Every week, I’ll toss a few thoughts out on what I felt the biggest story of the week was.
On paper, it should’ve been an amazing success.
A shared universe. A hot streaming service. A culmination of heroes. A fanbase rabid for more.
But yet, this week the Marvel-era of Netflix series ended with the third season of Jessica Jones, and at best, it’s gone out with a whimper, instead of a bang.
Sure - most of it was good: the genius of Charlie Cox’s grim-and-gritty Matt Murdock in Daredevil, the street-level style of Luke Cage, the accessibility of Jessica Jones, but the quality always seemed hamstrung by the length. Each season felt drawn out. Iron Fist was a miss. The grand team-up of The Defenders leaving fans shrugging more than cheering as they have every time The Avengers came together.
As soon as the screening was done, I rushed to the lobby to get reception and email my editor like an old-timey reporter clamoring for a pay phone just after getting a hot scoop. “I have seen the future of superheroes”, I thought, “and it is Marvel Netflix”.
So what went wrong? The ever-brilliant Abraham Weismann over at Vulture takes a look at how the grand plan never came together for the Marvel Netflix shows how fans and creators alike wanted.
So, what the hell happened? As far as I can see, the enterprise was doomed by three factors, two of them creative and one of them entirely corporate.
It’s a perfect storm of can’t-miss ideas, flashes of brilliance and the fast-changing streaming landscape. And maybe the truest sign of where serialized storytelling is going…siloed into the loving arms of the studios who birthed it.
Another story which grabbed my eye from the week.
At what point does fandom become obsession?
It’s something I’ve wondered about in prior issues of this newsletter, as fans wrote up petitions asking for re-done TV Seasons and replacement actors, but this past week, another element of the dark side of fandom was seen…the need for total, complete access.
From Marc Hogan at Pitchfork, a look at what happened when a fan obtained SIXTEEN HOURS of Radiohead’s demos for 1997’s classic album OK Computer and decided to see if they could fleece the fanbase for thousands of dollars to leak them.
How did this treasure trove of music, made more than 20 years ago by one of the most critically acclaimed bands of all time, find its way to the internet now? It involves a black-market rap leaker being outmaneuvered by one of the internet’s most active musical fanbases.
It’s an interesting problem to ponder – should we only ever see the art which an artist deems proper for release? Or should we be able to ingest it all? The Internet allows us more access to our favorite creators than ever, but at the same time, the lines of access are harder and harder to keep up.
The fun post-script here is - you can buy those same leaked demos direct from Radiohead today, with the money going towards charity. (Me? I was just fine with the OKNOTOK songs on the 20th Anniversary Re-Release.)
A bunch of cool links what I read this week, typically culled from my ever-growing Instapaper queue.
Every week, I’ll make a recommendation of something to read, to watch, or to listen to. I’ll even link to where you can check it out.
This week’s recommendation:
David Tennant. Michael Sheen. Jon Hamm. Francis McDormand.
Those are four names of actors who I would watch in pretty much anything.
Now, tell me that they’re in the new-to-Amazon-Prime series adapting the beloved novel Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett ?
Yeah, I’m there.
For those unfamiliar with the book, here’s the setup:
Aziraphale and Crowley, of Heaven and Hell respectively, have grown rather fond of the Earth. So it’s terrible news that it’s about to end. The armies of Good and Evil are amassing. The Four Horsemen are ready to ride. Everything is going according to the Divine Plan…except that someone seems to have misplaced the Antichrist. Can our heroes find him and stop Armageddon before it’s too late?
Sounds fun, right?
We’ve just started watching this series, and it’s easy to say that if you’re a fan of the book, you’re going to love how the show has turned out…and if you’ve never read it, you’re in for a hilariously scripted, brilliantly shot, absolutely enjoyable trip through the End of Existence.
Check it out!
Good Omens (2019) (TV Series): Watch on Amazon Prime
Have yourself a wonderful week, dear reader. See you in just six days. Wonder what this week will bring for all of us? Hopefully something really, really cool.
Don’t let the bastards bring you down.