Category: TV

 

Stan today announced that every episode of Normal People, the adaptation of Sally Rooney’s best-selling novel, is coming exclusively to Stan on 27 April.

Following Rooney’s critically-acclaimed debut novel Conversations with Friends, she received 2017’s Sunday Times Writer of the Year Award. Normal People was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2018 and recently, it won 2019’s Book of the Year at the British Book Awards. Normal People also entered the New York Times Bestseller list at #3.

Adapted for television by Sally Rooney, alongside writers Alice Birch and Mark O’Rowe, Normal People is a 12-part drama which stars Daisy Edgar-Jones (Cold Feet) as Marianne and newcomer Paul Mescal as Connell, in an exquisite and compulsive modern love story about how two people can profoundly impact each other’s lives.

Normal People tracks the tender but complicated relationship of Marianne and Connell from the end of their school days in small-town West of Ireland to their undergraduate years at Trinity College, Dublin. At school, he’s well-liked and popular, while she’s lonely, proud and intimidating. A strange and indelible connection grows between the two teenagers – one they are determined to conceal. A year later, they’re both studying in Dublin and Marianne has found her feet in a new social world, but Connell hangs at the side lines, shy and uncertain.

Honest, smart and intoxicating, Normal People sees the pair weave in and out of each other’s lives and explores just how complicated intimacy and young love can be.

Joining the cast are Sarah Greene (Dublin Murders) and Aislín McGuckin (Outlander) alongside some of the most exciting young acting talent in the UK and Ireland.

The series, which is an Element Pictures production for BBC and Hulu, was shot in Dublin, Sligo, Sweden and Italy with Oscar nominated director Lenny Abrahamson (Room) and award-winning director Hettie Macdonald (Howard’s End) sharing the directorial duties.

Every episode of Normal People will be available only on Stan from 27 April – same day as the U.K.

 

Summary: A group of online friends travel to a Pop Culture convention to try and buy a rare comic they believe can warn them of an upcoming pandemic.

Year: 2020

Australian Cinema Release Date: TBA

Thailand Cinema Release Date: TBA

Australian Home Entertainment Release Date: TBA

Country: United States

Director: Toby Haynes

Screenwriter: Ryan Enright, Gillian Flynn

Regular Cast: Deson Borges (Wilson Wilson), Dan Byrd (Ian), John Cusack (Dr. Kevin Christie), Christopher Denham (Arby), Sasha Lane (Jessica Hyde), Ashleigh LaThrop (Becky), Jessica Rothe (Samantha), Javon ‘Wanna’ Walton (Grant), Rainn Wilson (Michael Stearns)

Guest Cast: Josh Bywater (Carson), Rammel Chan (Starweaver/Josh Chandler), Jose Antonio Garcia (Donald Resnick), Jenna Heffernan (Jenny), Dustin Ingram (Tallman), Farrah Mackenzie (Alice),  Jeanine Serralles (Colleen), Cory Michael Smith (Thomas Christie), Michael B Woods (Rod)

Running Time: 50 mins

Classification: TBC (Australia) TBC (Thailand)

 

OUR THE UTOPIA REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Dave Griffiths’ Utopia Review:

They say that art mirrors life and that has never been more true than when it comes to the brand new Amazon Prime series Utopia. The pilot gives us an early glimpse that a new pandemic is about to spread across the globe, yes it could be plucked straight from our headlines at the moment, but what separates Utopia from the hundreds of other pandemic or post-apocalyptic television shows or movies out there is the fact that here the prediction of the pandemic may have already surfaced in a graphic novel of all places.

Utopia centres around a group of four ‘friends’ who have all met online after they realised a pattern in a strange graphic novel titled Dystopia. When an ultra rare copy of its sequel, titled Utopia, is put up for auction by a naive couple at a convention named FringeCon the four friends – Wilson Wilson (Desmin Borges – Living With Yourself), Ian (Dan Byrd – Easy A), Becky (Ashleigh LaThrop – Fifty Shades Freed) and Samantha (Jessica Rothe – Happy Death Day) – all travel to the convention with the intention to buy Utopia so they can explore their theory that the comics predict the world’s pandemics.

But they are not the only people after Utopia after a rich art collector wins the auction suddenly a young boy called Grant (Javon Walton – Euphoria) breaks into the penthouse to steal it while at the same time two assassins – Arby (Christopher Denham – Argo) and Michael Stearns (Rainn Wilson – The Office) – also pay a visit to the penthouse to retrieve the valuable item.

The best way to approach the Utopia remake is to have never seen the original British series. From the pilot episode you can tell that this is a series that is going to have many twists and turns throughout – so not knowing what is going to happen next is going to be key. Especially with the cliffhanger of the pilot which sees a character turn up that may just hint that everything in the graphic novels is based on real life.

Tone wise Utopia feels like a nineties show such as Buffy but with some edge. As soon as Samantha drops the ‘c’ word you know that the show is going to go into adult territory, the head shots that the assassins deliver as they hunt their victims later on only enhance that theory. Having said that though there is a deep intelligence to the show. The theory that the graphic novels can predict what pandemics are to come gives the show a real suspense element that you feel is only going to get expanded even further and a brief news report we hear hints that a pandemic is just starting as well.

The key to the show working though are the characters and whether they are interesting to the audience, luckily Utopia seems to have that problem well and truly solved. Wilson Wilson seems to be one of the most interesting characters to have surfaced on television for awhile, while the other three friends also could easily carry the show. After the pilot the relationship between Ian and Becky is not so much ‘will they’ but instead ‘what will they do now’ while the great acting that we know Jessica Rothe is capable of also means we are very curious to see what happens with Samantha next.

Keeping the acting in mind the casting of Rainn Wilson in such a sinister role is also a stroke of genius. We are so used to seeing his comedy side that his cold-heartedness here is a bit of surprise and there still seems to be a lot of room to further expand his character as well.

There is little doubt that once you start watching Utopia that you will continue to watch. There are just too many questions that are left after the pilot for you not to want. Questions around who the hell Grant is, what the four friends will do next and even whether or not the assassins will go after them are more than enough to keep you watching. And then there is of course the big mystery – who the hell is Jessica Hyde and is she real? Yes television fans I think our answer to iZombie has finally landed.

 

 

 

 

KEWL Studios are excited to finally lift the veil on their debut mini series, Sex & Death. Released online today, Sex & Death follows aspiring but hopeless actress Charlie and her lost cause attempts at romance. Produced by Tobias Willis (Now Sound 2018) and starring Actor, Writer and Director Kathleen Lee (Bush Trip 2016) as the protagonist, the six-part comedic web series explores relationships, virtue, self-discovery and self-expression in a semi-autobiographical exploration into the neurodiverse life and brain of Kathleen Lee.

Following the immediate success of the 2018 Melbourne International Film Festival documentary premiere Now Sound: Melbourne’s Listening, Producer Tobias Willis has cemented himself as a leading creative force within the Melbourne film industry and beyond. Establishing a formidable career across music and the arts, Tobias founded his own studio KEWL in 2017 and has produced notable commission projects for Laneway Festival, Melbourne Music Week, Play On Melbourne, Melbourne Knowledge Week and many more. Through his explorations of the music industry, he has had the chance to work directly with Australian artists including Courtney Barnett, Kirin J Callinan, Sui Zhen, Client Liaison, Jen Choler, KLLO, Totally Mild and Jess Ribeiro and regularly collaborates with fellow film collective Banalarama Studios. Teaming up with Writer, Director, Actor and long-time friend Kathleen Lee, with principal production investment from Screen AustraliaTobias is thrilled to present KEWL studios’ first ever web series, Sex & Death.

“What I think is special about this team is that we have all gone through film school together. Graduates of Film & Television at the Swinburne University of Technology we formed relationships that have carried on for years. I started KEWL studio in 2017 and it has brought us all together again. It’s been wonderful to reconnect and start creating together each as established professionals in our own right. Over the years we have all worked on countless short films, music videos, TV series, features and commercials and Sex & Death is a concentrated effort to establish our own voice as creatives and filmmakers together.” – Tobias Willis

With a knack for intimate character development and sharp dialogue-focused filmmaking, Kathleen Lee’s offbeat romantic comedies present a vital and leading voice in Australian film. Sex & Death accentuates Lee’s instinctive compulsion to depict eccentric but warm characters that celebrate the zeitgeist and landscape of the world around her. Haunted by duplicitous lovers, selfish friends and a tyrannical acting coach, Sex & Death follows Charlie (Lee) on a tumultuous journey to emotional liberation and expressive freedom; drawing directly on Lee’s experience living with undiagnosed Autism Spectrum Disorder. Featuring notable performances from Isabella Giovinazzo (Home and Away) and Raw Comedy winner Jonathan Schuster (Fancy Boy, Fresh Blood), and a few cameos from Tobias himself, Sex & Death is a fresh take on modern day relationships from an essential and underrepresented new viewpoint.

“Since writing Sex & Death I have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and am currently writing another show explicitly exploring this. However, Sex & Death is also about my experiences leading up to my diagnoses before I had the language to express it in those terms. Charlie is a person who is innately different trying to navigate how to fit into a world where she doesn’t seem to belong. What’s interesting and different about this story is that it is the main character, the observer, the eyes through which we see the world that is the weird, the different, the neurodiverse character and because of this, it’s the neurotypical people around her: Damian, Tanya and even Greg who become the absurd characters.” – Kathleen Lee

Sex & Death is out now via www.sexanddeath.online/

Sex and Death is a KEWL production. Principal production investment from Screen Australia.

 

Hot Mess was inspired by my own head spin of a crisis, and once the dust settled, it became of deep importance to me to tell what I recognised as a very generational tale,” says writer, director and producer Lucy Coleman of her alternately gut-busting and heartbreaking debut feature film. “Growing up in a fervent time of unearthing your most gutsy feminist self, it can be an awkward and embarrassing paradox, when the road gets rocky and you feel like you’re ready to throw it all away for a guy and a false sense of stability.”

Funny, sweet, charming, rambunctious, and blushingly candid, Hot Mess is the utterly contemporary tale of 25-year-old Loz (Sarah Gaul), a wannabe writer who seems intent on sabotaging her own success. Tipped to receive a coveted writer-in-residence gig with a cutting- edge theatre group, the talented Loz continues to offend the artistic director (played by Terry Serio), by coming up with graphic and confronting feminist-minded material. Discouraged by her disapproving mum (Zoe Carides), the hopelessly adrift Loz sees an unlikely saviour in the form of Dave (Marshall Campbell), a nice guy who might just be the solution to her permanently messed up love life. But is he too good to be true?

Hot Mess is a mid-twenties coming-of-age tale of going about love, career and self-fulfilment all the wrong way,” laughs Lucy Coleman.

Packed with vibrant, honest performances and all-too-real characters caught up in the kind of emotional tripwires that anyone in the audience could recognise, Hot Mess announces a deft and original writing and directing talent in Lucy Coleman and a one-of-a-kind on-screen presence in Sarah Gaul. It’s a fresh and funny charmer, announcing a talented filmmaker and performer who you will be hearing a lot more from in the future.

Hot Mess is available to rent or buy on Apple TV, Google Play, Fetch TV and YouTube now.

 

Originally slated to land in Australia for the very first time this Valentine’s Day, American comedian and musician Creed Bratton has unfortunately been forced to reshuffle his Australian tour dates to June.

Due to unforeseen circumstances outside of the artist or promoters control, Creed’s variety show tour – which had already sold out its Melbourne date at The Corner – will now take place in early June, and will also include two special shows in New Zealand, in Wellington and Auckland, due to public demand.

“Since I first came up with the idea for this variety tour a few years ago” Said Creed Bratton “I’ve always wanted to head Down Under and perform it for Australian audiences. I couldn’t be happier to announce that I’m finally making my way there”

Having been performing solo shows for over decade, Creed Bratton, who played an over the top version of himself, as the mysterious, quality-assurance director that smells like mung-beans, lives for scuba diving and can’t tell the difference between an apple and a potato, is now heading to both Australia and New Zealand.

The variety show – which includes live music, stand-up comedy and untold stories from both his life and time on ‘The Office’ – will land in capital cities around Australia, including Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Canberra and Perth.

While many will know Creed Bratton as the mysterious, eccentric and hilarious character
from the hit TV series ‘The Office (US) and for roles in comedic hits like The Mask, the US comedian is also an established musician, with a career in music that spans nearly five decades.

As lead guitarist for legendary American rock group the Grass Roots, Creed played on the band’s first four albums, shaping their folk rock/psychedelic pop sounds, before breaking away in the 1970’s to pursue a solo career and comedic work.

In addition to live music from Bratton’s longstanding career, the live show will also include annecdotes from Creeds time on set of ‘The Office’ as well as the highs and lows of a careers that has to be heard about first-hand to be believed.

 

AN EVENING OF MUSIC & COMEDY WITH:
CREED BRATTON
From The Office

Tuesday 02 June – San Fran – Wellington, New Zealand [New Show]
Wednesday 03 June – Neck of the Woods – Auckland, New Zealand [New Show]
Friday 05 June – Corner – Melbourne, VIC [50 Tickets added]
Saturday 06 June – Factory – Sydney, NSW
Sunday 07 June – The Triffid – Brisbane, QLD
Tuesday 09 June – The Basement – Canberra, ACT
Thursday 11 June – Freo Social – Perth, WA

 

Inspired by Peter Carey’s Man Booker Prize winning novel and starring George Mackay (1917), Essie Davis (The Babadook), Nicholas Hoult (Stan’s upcoming The GreatThe Favourite), Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy) and Russell Crowe (Stan’s The Loudest Voice), Justin Kurzel’s True History of the Kelly Gang shatters the mythology of the notorious icon to reveal the essence behind the life of Ned Kelly and force a country to stare back into its brutal past.

Spanning the younger years of Ned’s life to the time leading up to his death, the film explores the blurred boundaries between what is bad and what is good, and the motivations for the demise of its hero. Youth and tragedy collide in the Kelly Gang, and at the beating heart of this tale is the fractured and powerful love story between a mother and a son.

Stan Original Film True History of the Kelly Gang premieres this Australia Day.

Stan’s epic supernatural thriller “Preacher” invaded San Diego Comic-Con this weekend with a panel featuring Executive Producer Seth Rogen, in addition to cast members Dominic Cooper, Ruth Negga, Julie Ann Emery and Mark Harelik, celebrating with new images and the official trailer for the upcoming fourth and final season which premieres on Monday, 5th August only on Stan – same day as the US.

“Preacher” stars Dominic Cooper, Academy Award® nominee Ruth Negga and Joseph Gilgun, along with series regulars Ian Colletti, Graham McTavish, Pip Torrens, Julie Ann Emery, Noah Taylor, Mark Harelik and Tyson Ritter, with AACTA Award® winner Lachy Hulme also guest starring this season.

 

Filmed at Docklands Studios in Melbourne, Australia, Season 4 sees the series inching closer to its finale, with God’s endgame for the universe beginning to click into place. Trapped between heavenly prophecies, hellish prisons, and all-out nuclear war, Jesse, Tulip, and Cassidy make their bloody way to the Most High. Whether they can reach God in time — or whether all this carnage is part of His divine plan — will soon be revealed as “Preacher” barrels towards the end of the world.

 

The Sony Pictures Television-AMC Studios co-production is developed for television by executive producer and showrunner Sam Catlin and executive producers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg.