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Inside Streaming (Apr 3rd, 2019)

1. According to Vulture, CBS All Access has put in a bid with Sony Television to produce at least one more season of "One Day at a Time." The re-imagining of Norman Lear's classic '70s sitcom ran for three seasons on Netflix before being canceled last month. Netflix's deal with Sony allows the streaming platform to reject any move to a competitive streaming network for up to two years. Vulture reported that iconic TV producer Lear reached out personally to Netflix's chief content officer Ted Sarandos, in the hopes of moving the deal forward, but Sarandos would not budge. Nonetheless, the companies are apparently still searching for some way to move forward that would keep the show alive. The CW - which is co-owned by both CBS and WarnerMedia - has supposedly also expressed interest in potentially picking up "One Day at a Time." – VULTURE

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2. Theatrical exhibitors gathered in Las Vegas this week for the annual CinemaCon event, and presented a united front against Netflix. Exhibitors expressed some optimism that Netflix would relax its attitude toward theatrical distribution windows generally, and that consolidation of the massive streaming market to a few large corporations will make future negotiations easier. Though many panel audiences applauded at the mere mention of Steven Spielberg's battle against Netflix to preserve theatrical windows, Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) chairman Charles Rivkin encouraged more collaboration between theater owners and streaming platforms during his presentation. In his speech, Rivkin said, "We are all stronger advocates for creativity and the entertainment business when we are working together…all of us." In his speech immediately following Rivkin's, National Association of Theater Owners CEO John Fithian argued that "theatrical exhibition is the keystone of this industry." From stage, actress Helen Mirren memorably yelled "I love Netflix, but f*ck Netflix." – INDIEWIRE

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JARGON WATCH

In this new occasion feature, we'll highlight buzzwords floating around the streaming world and provide readers with the definitions.

NETFLEXTING (verb): The act of watching a show along with someone in a different location, and texting them your reactions the entire time. At the dawn of the streaming era, there was concern that the massive spike in "video-on-demand" viewing rather than "appointment television" would make TV a less social, culturally relevant activity. (After all, if we all watch different shows on our own schedule, what will we talk about at the office water cooler the next day?) The advent of "Netflexting" indicates that this behavior only shifted to our phones, rather than out of our lives altogether. 

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3. Netflix released a new, and very different, trailer for "Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile," which stars Zac Efron as serial killer Ted Bundy. An initial trailer, made as the film was touring on the festival circuit, highlighted Bundy's personal charisma and "rockstar appeal." It was widely criticized online for glamorizing Bundy specifically, and violence against women more generally. The new trailer was released by Netflix, which picked up the film at the Sundance Film Festival, and strikes a more somber and serious tone. Netflix will release "Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile" on May 3. – POLYGON

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4. The Department of Justice (DOJ) sent the Motion Picture Academy (AMPAS) a letter cautioning that a ban on Netflix films from competing at the Oscars could violate anti-trust laws. According to the letter, which was first published by Variety, changing the rules about Oscar eligibility in reaction to streaming platforms - and specifically Netflix - could be viewed as illegally suppressing competition. The letter was sent from Makan Delrahim, the DOJ's antitrust chief, to AMPAS CEO Dawn Hudson. It arrived in late March, apparently in response to reports that filmmaker Steven Spielberg would petition the Academy for the rule change. Delrahim specifically cited Section 1 of the Sherman Act, which prohibits competitors from making anti-competitive side agreements. – VARIETY

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WORLDLY WEDNESDAY: "THE WAVE" ON NETFLIX

Though it's based on two real incidents and draws on a surprisingly dense amount of real geology and science to set up exactly how and why its titular tsunami goes down, “The Wave” ends up being a very conventional Hollywood-style disaster film. That's not really a problem at all. It's a QUITE GOOD variation on the Hollywood disaster film, a reminder that formulas exist because they are satisfying when filled with compelling incidents and likable characters.

"The Wave" does exactly that, carefully establishing the picturesque small town and the family-in-peril residing there. In particular, nebbishy well-meaning workaholic dad Kristian (Kristoffer Joner, who kind of looks like a more optimistic, Scandinavian Thom Yorke) - is three-dimensional enough that you fear for him when he's dunked under 300 feet of roiling waters. 

The film was Norway’s official submission for Best Language Film at the 88th Academy Awards, and it deals with a central disaster that’s unique to Scandinavia. The collapse of the Åkerneset crevasse, a real-life fjord, triggers an avalanche which then causes an 80-meter tsunami that levels the (also real) town of Geiranger. It’s then up to geologist Kristian to save his family, and anyone else he can along the way. (The film ends with a warning that these events totally could occur in real life, which must be rather chilling for the locals.)

Director Roar Uthaug wisely escalates the tension and the lengths to which characters will have to go to survive, gradually, slowly transitioning from a natural realism in the first hour to cinematic hero stuff in the back half. But it never comes off as intensely ludicrous or cartoony, like Hollywood variations on this theme such as "2012" (with its planes taking off from volcanic crumbling runways) or "San Andreas" (with its... everything.)

Also, one scene requires determined mother Idun (Ana Dahl Torp) to go WAY beyond what I thought the film would ask of her to protect her son, Sondre (Jonas Hoff Oftebro). That scene (which I would not dream of spoiling here) perfectly illustrates how you can still surprise audiences even within a pretty predictable genre storyline.

A sequel, "The Quake," featuring the same central cast and writers, was released in 2018, but I have not yet seen it. You can rent it on Amazon.

THE BASICS

Title: "The Wave"
Where to Watch: Netflix
Running time: 105 minutes
Genre: Action Thriller
In Norwegian with English subtitles

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5. Popular YouTube channel JunsKitchen combines the internet's love of cooking and cats. The channel, which boasts over 3.4 million subscribers, features Jun Yoshizuki preparing gourmet Japanese dishes in front of his two cats, Nagi and Haku. Yoshizuki, who is not a professional chef, also highlights his native Fukuoka prefecture in Japan and runs a separate, more personal channel along with his wife, Rachel. The Washington Post notes that his videos are less about instructing viewers in how to prepare dishes, and more of a calming, pleasant slice-of-life. – WAPO

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6. Netflix's first European production hub opens in Madrid on Thursday. CEO Reed Hastings, Netflix's VP for Spanish Originals, Francisco Ramos, and representatives of the Spanish government will all be on hand for the production facility's inauguration. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Spanish film and TV producers have been more receptive to Netflix over the past few years than their counterparts in countries like Italy and France. Netflix has also opened international offices in Paris, Mexico, and London, and hopes to take on additional facilities at England's famed Pinewood Studios soon. – THR

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Lon Harris is the writer and editor of Inside Streaming, and was the very first person to ever write an Inside newsletter. He lives in Los Angeles, California, and also writes about TV and film for Fandom, Screen Junkies, Rotten Tomatoes, Gamma Ray and others. Plus he has a Game of Thrones podcast called "Casterly Talk" and competes on The Movie Trivia Schmoedown as "The Professor." You can follow him on Twitter @lons

Inside Editor: Susmita Baral (recent bylines in NatGeo, Teen Vogue, and Quartz. Runs the biggest mac and cheese account on Instagram).

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