Oh to be a Shibu Inu in a swing …
Here’s A BUNCH OF TV News
Tomorrow we will be one month from the premiere of House of the Dragons on HBO and HBO Max, so just strap in, it’s going to be a media blitz between now and then while HBO tries to get the Game of Thrones hype machine back up and running at full speed.
First up, we have the first full-length trailer, which is just CHOCK FULL O’ WIGS:
The Hollywood Reporter has a lengthy, and illuminating, two-part piece on the upcoming series.
The first part tells the story of how House of the Dragon came to be, and sheds some light on the prequel series, code name Bloodmoon, that never was. (I actually managed to glimpse some of the actors on the set of that one back in 2019 when my family went to Ireland. ~sigh~) According to the piece, HBO originally wanted to do something vastly different than Game of Thrones, but Bloodmoon, which was set in pre-White Walker days was too different, and there was too much world-building to do.
Except Martin had published only about eight lines of text about the time period of the show, leaving Goldman little to build from. “Bloodmoon was a very difficult assignment,” Martin says. “We’re dealing with a much more primitive people. There were no dragons yet. A lot of the pilot revolved around a wedding of a Southern house to a Northern house and it got into the whole history of the White Walkers.”
Martin made his worries clear to HBO and one insider admits, “Having a show that’s pure invention and had George scratching his head at various moments was troubling at times.”
According to HBO, the pilot wasn’t bad — and in fact, it “looked extraordinary,” but it was too far removed from Game of Thrones. To this day, even George R.R. Martin hasn’t seen it.
While all of that was happening, House of the Dragons showrunner Ryan Condal pitched a Dance of the Dragons series to Martin, and with Game of Thrones director Miguel Sapochnik agreeing to the project with a “if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it” approach, HBO was on board.
The piece also reveals that some of the other Game of Thrones spinoffs that were pitched included one that imagined the Seven Gods as real people, and one that imagined Aegon the Conqueror as a drunk. I would very much like to see that last one.
The second part of the piece explores House of the Dragon, has interviews with the actors and gives a glimpse at what viewers can expect. It’s a fascinating look at the thought process of bringing this different Westerosi era to life, including things like dragon infrastructure. It also touches on the sexual politics of the series, and how it wants to avoid glorifying sexual violence while at the same time recognizing the reality of it.
There is also a focus on childbirth and its inherent dangers, a story thread that feels timely in the wake of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade. “The child bed is our battlefield” is how one female Dragon character puts it and, indeed, the first season does for giving birth what Game of Thrones did for weddings.
“In medieval times, giving birth was violence,” Sapochnik says. “It’s as dangerous as it gets. You have a 50/50 chance of making it. We have a number of births in the show and basically decided to give them different themes and explore them from different perspectives the same way I did for a bunch of battles on Thrones.”
Sapochnik says the production also “pulls back” on the amount of sex in the series while adding glimpses of how sex is a nonchalant aspect of Targaryen life. Sexual assault is still very much part of the world. Sapochnik says the duo’s approach is done “carefully, thoughtfully and [we] don’t shy away from it. If anything, we’re going to shine a light on that aspect. You can’t ignore the violence that was perpetrated on women by men in that time. It shouldn’t be downplayed and it shouldn’t be glorified.”
And it reveals that Steve Toussaint endured racial abuse on social media when it was announced he had been cast as the Sea Snake. Because of course he did. Fans be toxic.
This story in House of the Dragon is only expected to span three or four seasons, but if it is successful, it’s possible the series could explore other stories in the Targaryen history.
Finally, the piece also reveals that Martin and HBO write off much of the backlash to season eight of Game of Thrones to “the fucking toxic internet.” Which I fully disagree with. However, I do agree with them that even if fans still have hard feelings about how Game of Thrones ended, they’ll still tune in to House of the Dragon. God knows I will.
In other TV news, as expected, Netflix lost fewer than one million subscribers this past quarter which is far less than was expected. In fact, Netflix accounted for 7.7% of all TV viewing last month. Thanks, Stranger Things!
As for Netflix’s ad-supported tier, it’s expected to launch early next year. But be aware: it might be cheaper, but not all the content will be available there.
Jeopardy! is being all willy-nilly with their rules regarding handwriting legibility. Just give them keypads already!
2023 is going to be a rough year in Hollywood with the Writers Guild, the Directors Guild, and SAG-AFTRA contracts expiring, and the entire industry’s economic environment in upheaval thanks to streaming. This is a long, but good explainer for how the battle for paying TV creatives is going to be rough.
I mean, I guess I understand why people want to fit a romantic relationship around every male/female pairing on a show, but I often find platonic relationships between men and women far more compelling. Maybe because I’ve always had solid relationships with men without it ever being weird between us. Give me a Jack and Liz, or Ron and Leslie, or Don and Peggy anytime.
Bless Stephen King, eternal optimist. Keep hoping they’ll become better writers, Steve! It might happen one day!
I hope they can avoid "It's complicated" and "Trust me." Otherwise, I can't wait. https://t.co/JPNhvWg621
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) July 15, 2022
- I Am a Killer has been renewed for a third season on Netflix.
- Mo’Nique will have a new comedy special and star in The Deliverance on Netflix after having sued them for discrimination.
- Candy Cane Lane, a movie starring Eddie Murphy, is in the works at Prime Video.
- The video game Grounded is being adapted into a TV series.
- The YA novels We Were Liars; Family of Liars; and Again Again have been optioned to be developed into a TV series.
- H.E.R. will play Belle in the upcoming live-action/animated special, Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration on ABC.
- Alexis Floyd is joining the cast of Grey’s Anatomy on ABC.
- Hugh Jackman has joined the cast of the animated comedy Koala Man on Hulu.
- Mena Suvari and Greyston Holt will star in House of Chains on Lifetime.
- Daniel Francis, Sam Phillips, and James Phoon have joined the cast of Bridgerton on Netflix.
- Jelani Alladin, Noah J. Ricketts, and Linus Roache are joining the cast of Fellow Travelers on Showtime.
- Olivia Colman, Luke Evans, and Jessie Buckley will lead the voice cast of an animated version of A Christmas Carol on Netflix.
Mark Your Calendars
- Welcome to Wrexham will debut on FX on August 24 and Hulu on August 25.
- They/Them will premiere on Peacock on August 5.
- Mike will premiere on Hulu on August 25.
- Hotties will debut on Hulu on August 16.
- Look Both Ways will debut on Netflix on August 17.
- This Fool will premiere on Hulu on August 12.
- Not Just a Girl will debut on Netflix on July 26.
- Clusterf*ck: Woodstock ’99 will debut on Netflix on August 3.
- All or Nothing: Arsenal will premiere on Prime Video on August 18.
- The Hillside Strangler: Devil in Disguise will debut on Peacock on August 5.
- Merch Masters will premiere on MTV on July 21.
- Jesus Sepulveda: Mr. Tough Life premieres on HBO Max on August 5.
- BattleBots Champions will debut on Discovery on August 4.
- School Tales The Series will premiere on Netflix on August 10.
- Lightyear will debut on Disney+ on August 3.
- Ghosts of Devil’s Perch premiered on Discovery+ on August 21.
- The Culture Is: Latina will air on MSNBC on August 7.
- The Academy of Country Music Awards has been set for May 11 on Prime Video.
- Reasonable Doubt returns on ID on August 9.
- 28 A24 films will be available on HBO Max on August 1.
- Disney+ is adding seven new sing-alongs: Moana and The Little Mermaid on July 22; The Lion King and The Lion King II on August 5; Both Beauty and the Beasts and Tangled on August 19.
Chris Nassif, Talent agent and producer and brother of Dr. Paul Nassif of Botched and formerly The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
Charles Johnson, A former Super Bowl champion
American Horror Stories: Season two of the weekly anthology series. Hulu
Virgin River: So who’s the father of Mel’s baby? Jack or Mark? Season four. Netflix
grown-ish: Zoey returns to the U Cal campus for Junior’s first day, and realizes she might miss it more than she realized. Season premiere. 9 p.m., Freeform
The 2022 Espys: Prizes for people who literally compete for a living. Steph Curry hosts. 7 p.m., ABC
- Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon: Daniel Kaluuya, Sarah Hyland, Denzel Curry
- Late Night with Seth Meyers: Katie Holmes, Joe Pera, Andrew Marshall
- The Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Ice-T, Michael Pollan
- Jimmy Kimmel Live: Dwayne Johnson, Derek Jeter, Wiz Khalifa, Lizzo, guest host Kerry Washington
- The Daily Show: Jenny Slate
- Watch What Happens Live: Sutton Stracke, Lesa Milan
|ABC||The 2022 ESPYS
|The Challenge: USA
|So You Think You Can Dance