I’m off on holiday from tomorrow for a week, but I’ll be back on 6th June. Feel free to chat away while I’m gone!
In the US: Fridays, Cinemax. Starts June 3
In the UK: Tuesdays, 10pm, Fox UK. Starts June 7
The Exorcist was justifiably proclaimed as one of the best movies of the 70s and perhaps the scariest movie of all time. Despite being about demonic possession of a young girl, its horror comes from the crisis of faith of a young priest who at first tries to explain the possession rationally, before the slow accumulation of facts and his partnership with an older, self-assured priest (Max Von Sydow) on an exorcism force him to acknowledge that the Devil – and God – exists.
This year, we’re facing not one but two TV versions of The Exorcist, both of them airing on a Fox of one kind or another. The first, airing on Fox in the US, is explicitly a remake of the movie:
The second, airing on Cinemax in the US but Fox UK in the UK, is Outcast. Although based on Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead)’s comic of the same name, it’s basically a remake of The Exorcist, with a young man (Patrick Fugit) gradually coming to accept the truth of demonic possession thanks to the sights he beholds while working with an older priest on an exorcism of a child.
Surprisingly, of the two shows, Outcast looks like it’s by far the better remake. Even more surprisingly, Outcast is also a partial remake of 2008 ITV Buffy knock-off shitfest Demons. Because who should be playing the older American demon-hunter of the piece? Why it’s none other than Life on Mars‘ Philip Glenister again.
Here’s a trailer.
The Daily News will return on Monday 6th June
New UK TV shows
- Channel 4 green lights: series of social worker comedy Damned, with Jo Brand and Alan Davies
New UK TV show casting
- Archie Panjabi, Jack Dee and Clarie Skinner join Power Monkeys
US TV show casting
- Brett Donahue joins The Kennedys: After Camelot
New US TV shows
In the US: Sundays, 9pm (8c), AMC
In the UK: Episodes available on Amazon Prime the day after US airing
Maybe I just found Garth Ennis at the wrong time. Hellblazer had been one of my favourite comics at university, thanks to Jamie Delano’s unique blend of horror, politics and a UK setting. When he left the title, I expected more of the same. Instead, I got Garth Ennis.
For many, Ennis was the best writer of John Constantine, combining horror with a knowing playfulness that undercut the action. For me, I was losing amoral tussles with hunger demons as a metaphor for Western consumption and Ethiopia in favour of tricks on the Devil involving transmuted holy water. Horses for courses, but Ennis was definitely not my 3.15 from Aintree.
That’s probably why I never read Preacher, Ennis’ magnum opus. Even to tell you what it was about, I’d have to look at Wikipedia. To a lot of comics fans, that’s tantamount to not being able to explain the plot of Hamlet, but I don’t care – Garth Ennis stole my student Constantine, wah, wah, it’s not fair.
So is AMC’s Preacher, written and exec-produced by (of all people) Seth Rogen and his childhood pal Evan Goldberg, a faithful adaptation of this esteemed comic? Don’t know and don’t care, either. Ennis – pphhtt. Wah.
What I can tell you is that it stars Dominic Cooper (Captain America, Fleming) as the improbably named Texan, Jessie Custer, a bad-as-they-come criminal who returns to become the preacher in his home town when his father dies. Trouble is he’s a very bad preacher who’s not really convinced there is a God. Then one day, just as he’s planning to give it all up and return to his bad, bad ways, he asks one last time for a sign from God of His existence… and, surprisingly, he receives it. And now, whenever he tells someone to do something, they do it – often more literally than Jessie intended. It’s almost like the Preacher now speaks the very word of God.
And that’s basically episode one, which you might have already seen. I’ve left out Tulip (Ruth Negga from Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD), Jessie’s former partner-in-crime, who’s got ‘one last job for him’ and isn’t going to take no for an answer. I’ve also left out Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun from This is England and Misfits), the century-old Irish vampire who’s being chased by a group of religious fanatics.
We can talk about them and the next two episodes after the jump.
The EU’s currently proposing a mandate for online services including Netflix and Amazon Prime to include more EU content. If this means more continental European content on Netflix and Amazon, I’m all for it. If it means more UK content, boo!
Anyway, the proposals include:
- Allowances for member states options to impose financial contributions to on-demand services.
- On demand service must ensure that a minimum share of European content is represented.
- On demand services must also give European content ‘prominence’ meaning changes to user interfaces and recommendation engines.
- Small companies “with no significant presence” and social media sites should not be subject to changes.
- Provisions were also added increasing measures to protect minors from harmful content.
Where does Netflix’s content currently come from, though, you might ask? Here’s a graph. It’s sort of a graph anyway. I think it would have taken about three seconds’ thought to come up with a way of making it clearer, though.
But the general gist is that on the right-hand side, you can see in descending order of hours of content the countries producing the TV and movies on Netflix; in case your grasp of EU member states needs help, the grey and blue lines are an attempt to show you which are non-EU countries and EU countries respectively.
It’s not hugely surprising, given the strength of all the different countries’ respective media industries and Netflix’s English-language bias, but I’m surprised Turkey at least didn’t manage to hit the list at all.
Graph: Netflix Content by Origin (duration)
Source: IHS Technology