Tag Archives: Gotham

Let’s Talk Streaming Subscription TV

Netflix is due to land in Australia next year
From Melrose Place to Greys Anatomy and Criminal Minds, Netflix lands in Australia next year

With the news that another pay subscription streaming TV service is about to hit our shores next year, it’s starting to feel a little “when it rains it pours”.  From Foxtel Go to Netflix, Stan and now Presto Entertainment, it’s time to sit down and look at just is ‘streaming subscription TV’ and is it something you’ll want?

Subscription TV isn’t a new thing here in Australia.  We’ve had Austar and Foxtel and Optus TV streaming all kinds of television shows into our homes for years all for a monthly subscription fee but we were restricted to programming schedules and having to buy channel packs containing shows and channels we really didn’t watch.  Free to air TV also offers us a wide range of shows, though once again, we’re restricted to scheduling, delays, changes in programming, adverts and more.  We turned to illegally downloading our favorites programs in an attempt to keep up-to-date with our US counterparts so as to stay informed and join in the conversations on social media and to also avoid spoilers.

Subscription TV on a streaming basis however is only just starting to make it’s mark.  Netflix is easily the biggest of the names making the move to break into Australia while Presto, while known and already in the market, only offered movies – until announcing a joint deal with Channel 7 and Foxtel to bring TV programs today.  Stan, the newest of the bunch, is still in baby steps, keeping their content and cards closed off.

Netflix, when it launches will offer a mass library of television shows and movies (that they plan to expand after it’s initial release), though in general, their extensive catalogue consists of content that is usually a year, or a season, behind it’s first run. (hence it’s adoration by binge worthy viewers)  They have the rights to air Batman prequel series Gotham, but can’t make it available until a year after it’s premiere on channel 9 – so October 2015 and aside from it’s original content of Orange is the new black and House of Cards, all programs are usually classed as second-run series.  Netflix is set to launch in March 2015 and will cost subscribers approximately $10 a month

Stan is a joint venture between Nine Entertainment Co and Fairfax Media and plans to make available new content as it becomes available to subscribers.  While not revealing too much, Stan announced they’ll have exclusively the entire series run of Breaking Bad and it’s highly anticipated spin-off series Better Caul Saul. As CEO, Mike Sneesby (speaking to gizmodo.com.au) states “Nobody else will have that.  Not Foxtel, not Netflix, not broadcast.  We make a deal that sees us put it onto Nine, but only if we say so.”  “If it’s big on BitTorrent, if it’s big on Netflix, we wanted it.”  Stan is set to launch in February 2015 and will cost subscribers $10 per month with no lock-in contracts.

The newly announced Presto Entertainment is a joint venture between Foxtel, Seven West Media and Presto to bring a  “broad range of locally commissioned and internationally acquired content including drama, comedy, factual and entertainment programming”. No content has been announced and no start date either.  Price wise, don’t be too surprised if it matches Presto’s current $9.99 per month it has for it’s streaming movies offer.

So the big question is, which one do you subscribe to?  All will feature content and all will be less than $10 per month.  When they all arrive, do your homework.  Each plan on offering different and exclusive content so know what you want and see who is offering it.  Also, be wary of minimum subscription periods.  Netflix allow users to cancel at will while Presto and Stan are yet to reveal if they will allow this.

So what’s the end game of subscription streaming TV?  Namely, it’s an untapped market in Australia, but it’s also a plausible solution to stop the mass of torrenting that’s occurring here.    Streamco (Stan) while doing research on streaming subscription tv  found that “half of pirates it surveyed would pay for the content they were downloading if it were available on a cheap and convenient platform.”

Do you plan on heading into the streaming subscription TV area?  Does one stand out better than the others?  Sound off in the comments below!

Update – 20/1/15

Streaming service STAN is set to go live shortly and judging by their updated website, there’s a slew of content ready to go when it launches.  Programs including Nurse Jackie, Dexter, Hannibal, Californication, The Bridge, The Tudors, Orphan Black, Doctor Who and Masters of Sex are all featured in the sites background image.

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Pilot Review: Can Gotham Survive Without It’s Batman?

GOTHAM: Robin Lord Taylor as Oswald Cobblepot.   ©2014 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Michael Lavine/FOX
GOTHAM: Robin Lord Taylor as Oswald Cobblepot. ©2014 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Michael Lavine/FOX

Batman prequel series, Gotham premiered last week in America to strong audience of over 8 million viewers, but how many will stick around in a Gotham that doesn’t have it’s Batman?

As it is with pretty much every re-telling of the Batman origin, Gotham starts off with a scene most familiar to fans of the DC comics hero – Martha and Thomas Wayne brutally gunned down in a dark alley by a man in a ski mask, sparing the life of a young Bruce Wayne.  It’s been done many times over though Gotham offers us  a slight twist on the traditional story with a young Selina Kyle, perched high on a ledge on the buildings above, to witness the tragic event.

One could be forgiven for thinking that following this start, the rest of the show will just go with motions, being utterly predictable and boring but thankfully, this is pretty much where the ‘what we know’ ends and we’re opened up to a new representation of Gotham, this time, living life before Batman.

The city itself in Gotham is dark and moody and filled with an assortment of unsavories, much like the Gotham seen in Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman film though thankfully, it’s not as kitschy. Those familiar with the world of Batman will delight in seeing nods to known characters including Selina Kyle/Catwoman (Camren Bicondova), Ivy/Poison Ivy (Clare Foley), Oswald Cobblepot/The Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor), Edward Nygma/The Riddler (Cory Michael Smith) and of course Bruce Wayne/Batman (David Mazouz)

There’s also possible winks to future characters including Batwoman (James Gordon’s fiancee Barbra Kean, played by Erin Richards) and even the Joker, but to-date, it’s only speculation.

A young James Gordon (Ben McKenzie), recently new to Gotham, is finding out the hard way that his idealistic views of crime and punishment are no where to be seen in a police force that’s filled with corruption. He’s taken to solve the Wayne murder with drunkard partner Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue) who happens to have connections to the underworld and local mob members who may have information that may help solve the murders.

As Gordon, Ben McKenzie starts off solidly with his woe-is-me eyes as he struggles to maintain his morality in a city that has none.  Logue’s Harvey Bullock is a weary and dreary detective, too caught up in the darkness that has enveloped Gotham.  Bicondova and Mazouz don’t really have much to do in the pilot – there’s some tears, some climbing, some ‘let’s feed stolen milk to some stray cats so you know i’m future Catwoman’ – it’s meager stuff – at the moment.

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In this image released by Fox, Robin Lord Taylor, left, and Ben McKenzie, are shown in a scene from “Gotham” (Jessica Miglio / AP)

The ones to watch however is Jada Pinkett-Smith as Fish Mooney and Robin Lord Taylor as Oswald Cobblepot aka the future Penguin.  As power crazy night club owner Fish Mooney (Mooney is a character created for the show and not from the Batman world), Pinkett-Smith shines in pretty much every scene she’s in, chewing through lines and swinging baseball bats all whilst still maintaining perfect nails and harsh one liners.  While Gotham, it seems, is  trying to eke out the camp factor, Pinkett-Smith’s Mooney is the perfect playoff, possibly channeling a 60’s-Batman era Eartha Kitt.

Lord Taylor’s Oswald Cobblepot is just downright deranged.  The first moment you see him you can tell he’s got more than a few screws loose up top as he takes pleasure in being offered the chance to take a baseball bat to a thief.

Gotham is aiming high, hoping to lure in those new to the world whilst trying to keep dedicated Batman fans happy.  It doesn’t seem like an easy task..asking Batman fans to watch a show that’s about Batman but doesn’t star Batman…asking viewers to tune into another comic-come-TV-series…yet as a whole, Gotham actually works as a dark and slightly erratic drama about one man’s mission to rid his city of corruption and crime while peppering the scenery and story lines with weird and unusual characters.

Gotham premiere’s soon on Channel 9.

8/10

No Fast-Tracked TV Shows Coming Our Way?

Debra Messing and Josh Lucas star in the new Mysteries of Laura
Debra Messing and Josh Lucas star in the new dramedy The Mysteries of Laura.  Source: Provided

This time last year, you might recall being inundated with ads for new shows like The Blacklist and Marvels Agents of Shield and previews featuring the words “Fast-Tracked from the USA” or “Airing the same day as America” but for some reason, these ads pushing for new shows are quite visibly absent from our screens especially seeing that the new batch of shows are due to start airing from Wednesday the 17th right through to mid October.

FX are fast tracking the new season of The Walking Dead on October 13th – which of course is to be expected, but to-date, with the slew of new shows due to hit US screens within the next two weeks, only Channel 10 have made any announcement as to any new US programming including drama Scorpion starring Robert Patrick and Katherine McPhee and new political drama Madam Secretary starring Tea’ Leoni and Tim Daly and is being touted as a mix between Homeland and Scandal.

Among the myriad of new shows that are making news include Debra Messing’s The Mysteries of Laura, Katherine Heigl’s State of Affairs, Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes new How to Get Away with Murder, Kate Walsh’s Bad Judge, Batman prequel series Gotham and comedy Fresh Off the Boat about an Asian families foray into American society.

So why the vacancy of fast tracked programming to our screens?

While only speculation, one could possibly put it down toe due to the high levels of reality programming currently assaulting our screens right now.  Between The Block Glasshouse, Big Brother, X-Factor, The Bachelor and Amazing Race Australia, there’s not much screen time left on free to air prime time network television.

Watch this space for news on what’s coming out way!

Update 22/9 : Channel 9 are bringing us Gotham

Madam Secretary premieres Thursday Oct 2nd, 9pm on Channel 10

Fox Releases New Gotham Trailer

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Not only have FOX announced a 13 episode order of their new Batman prequel series Gotham, they also today, released a new sneak peek trailer for the upcoming series.

Gotham is a prequel series to the Batman story and will tell the origin of James Gordon (Benjamin McKenzie) as he works his way up to the role commissioner of Gotham City and will introduce us to well-known and popular villains early in their evil careers.  Penguin, Catwoman, Riddler, and Poison Ivy are all set to be featured.

“GOTHAM is an origin story of the great DC Comics super villains and vigilantes, revealing an entirely new chapter that has never been told. From executive producer/writer Bruno Heller (“The Mentalist,” “Rome”), GOTHAM follows one cop’s rise through a dangerously corrupt city teetering on the edge of evil and chronicles the birth of one of the most popular super heroes of our time.”

Along with Benjamin McKenzie, Camren Bicondova will play a young Selina Kyle, David Mazouz, a  young Bruce Wayne, Donal Logue as Detective Harvey Bullock, Zabryna Guevara as Captain Essen, Sean Pertwee as Alfred Pennyworth, Robin Lord Taylor as Oswald Cobblepot aka The Penguin and Jada Pinkett Smith as Fish Mooney.

Let’s hope when Gotham airs in the US fall that it ends up better than what’s been seen in early drafts of the pilot script.  Speaking with a source who had seen an early draft of the pilot script “the dialogue is horrendous and filled with terrible one liners and cliche catchphrases that are reminiscent of a bad 60’s comic book based TV series

Gotham is set to premier in the fall for US viewers.

First Look at Gotham’s Catwoman and Harvey Bullock

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Southland Star Ben McKenzie will play commissioner James Gordon

Warner Bros TV have officially released the first two character portraits from FOX’s Batman prequel series Gotham.

Gotham will follow a young Commissioner James Gordon (Ben McKenzie) and his mentor Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue) as they tackle crime within the city of Gotham.

The first character portrait to be released is that of Logue’s Harvey Bullock, leather trench coat, badge and all.

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The second character portrait to be released is that of Selina Kyle (Camren Bicondova) aka Catwoman.  Selina Kyle is expected to share scenes with a young Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) who at this point in the Batman timeline is a young teenage girl.  Selina Kyle is described as “a teenage orphan, who is suspicious and wholly unpredictable. A street thief and skilled pickpocket, she’s dangerous when cornered.”

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The cast also includes Jada Pinkett Smith as Fish Mooney and Robin Lord Taylor as Oswald Cobblepot (the Penguin).

Batman Prequel for FOX Casts it’s Young Bruce Wayne

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More details are starting to emerge about FOX’s new Batman prequel series titled “Gotham” which centers around Gotham City Police Commissioner, Detective James ‘Jim’ Gordon (Ben McKenzie – The O.C) and his efforts to fight crime in city of ambitious and creative criminals.

While FOX have been clear to note that Gotham is not a prequel to the Batman character, they have announced that David Mazouz (Touch), has been cast as a series regular to play a young Bruce Wayne.  It’s been revealed that when Bruce’s story begins on Gotham, his parents have been murdered he’s relying on help from Alfred Pennyworth and Commissioner Gordon.

Along with the casting of a young Bruce Wayne, newcomer Camren Bicondova has been cast to play a young Selina Kyle who eventually takes on the persona of Catwoman.

Joining Ben McKenzie, Camren Bicondova and David Mazouz is Sean Pertwee as Alfred Pennyworth, Robin Lord Taylor as Oswald Cobblepot aka The Penguin, and Jada Pinkett Smith as Fish Mooney.

Each episode will be one hour, and the pilot will be written and produced by Bruno Heller, a British screenwriter best known for co-creating the HBO-BBC produced drama “Rome,” which explored Ancient Rome’s reign under Julius Caesar and Emperor Augustus.

Gotham has been given a series order by FOX and is set to premiere in the fall.