Netflix ad-tier coming sooner
And Mel Brooks' wild 'History 2' casting offers
What to know
Netflix might launch its ad tier later this year… Hmm, I wonder why?! It couldn’t have anything to do with that subscriber drop off, could it? I’m not surprised Netflix is working aggressively to make this happen sooner rather than later. It sees the writing on the wall and knows it needs to attract more subscribers at a lower price point. 🍿
Mel Brooks wants a star-studded cast for History of the World Pt 2 series… First Brooks, 95, got Nick Kroll, Ike Barinholtz, and Wanda Sykes to help him write it. Now he’s gone off and cast Malcolm Barrett, Jillian Bell, D’Arcy Carden, Rob Corddry, Robby Hoffman, Mitra Jouhari, Joe Mande, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Seth Rogen, JB Smoove and David Wain — while sending out offers to [DEEP BREATH] Adam Sandler, Steve Martin, Martin Short, Ted Danson, Natasha Lyonne, Tim Robinson, Kumail Nanjiani, Keke Palmer, Michael Keaton, Johnny Knoxville, Taika Waititi, Danny DeVito, Hailee Steinfeld, Dove Cameron, Jacob Elordi, Charles Melton, Zazie Beetz, and Idina Menzel. Not all of them are going to sign on, but still if even a few do, that would be wild. It’s good to be the king. 👑
Netflix releasing at least 10 specials from its LA comedy festival… One department at Netflix seems to be doing alright: Stand up comedy. Despite Dave Chappelle being attacked on stage, the Netflix Is a Joke comedy festival seems to have been a big success for the streamer. The fest included more than 300 comedians in 288 shows at more than 35 venues across Los Angeles, and now at least 10 of those shows will be available on the streaming platform. It’s been trending this way for years, but if you love stand up Netflix is the new Comedy Central. 🎤
Never Let Me Go series in development at FX… While it might be hard to top Carey Mulligan, Keira Knightley, and Andrew Garfield, not to mention writer Alex Garland and director Mark Romanek — the bones of this story lend itself well to an ongoing series. Who knows, maybe this will take a Fargo approach and just be inspired by or set in the world of the novel/movie? 🤔
Apple officially kills the iPod… The iPod might have been the perfect piece of technology. It was futuristic and convenient—all your music and eventually some videos in your pocket—with none of the bloat that came once devices could connect to the internet. The wondrous halfway point between analog and where we are now. Rest in peace beautiful technology, you were much too pure for this world. 📱
/Film: “I saw Doctor Strange 2, But Nothing In It Was As Exciting as the Avatar 2 Trailer”… This is exactly what I was trying to say in my write-up of the Avatar trailer yesterday. Never bet against James Cameron. 🐟
James Cromwell super-glued himself to a Starbucks counter as part of a protest against vegan milk surcharges… That’ll glue pig, that’ll glue. ☕️
Hacks s2 — May 12 | HBO Max comedy series | 🍅 100%
The Time Traveller’s Wife — May 15 | HBO drama series | 🍅
What to watch
If comedy is your thing but you’ve grown tired of the typical workplace and family fare, avast ye and come aboard HBO Max’s Our Flag Means Death. Fans of What We Do in the Shadows will feel right at home aboard creator David Jenkins’ pirate ship as he makes swashbuckling, surprisingly heartwarming misfit merriment. With a pilot directed by Taiki Waititi (who also appears as Blackbeard) and a distinct cast of comedic talents (led by the hilarious Rhys Darby), Jenkins proves that big laughs can be found anywhere — even the high seas of the 1700s. Casting is so crucial on broad comedy series like this and Our Flag absolutely nails it, giving international character actors like Joel Fry, Samson Kayo, Nat Faxon, Matthew Maher, and Kristian Nairn (HODOR!) a ton to chew on. The show then wisely fills up the margins with recognizable cameos, we’re talking Leslie Jones, Fred Armisen, Nick Kroll, Kristen Schaal, Will Arnett, Tim Heidecker. But what really caught me off guard is how this raucous pirate romp has a gooey center, in which a band of hardened sailors who think they’re aboard to just do the job learn to become a family. Wait a second, maybe this is a workplace and a family and a pirate comedy?
For all past ‘what to watch’ recommendations, see the full list here!