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Inside Streaming (Sep 3rd, 2019)

1. YouTube has been removing tens of thousands of videos and channels for violating its "hateful content" policy. In a blog post published on Tuesday, YouTube claimed to have deleted around 30,000 videos containing hate speech in the past month. (The company did not disclose the viewership on the deleted videos overall, but did note that -- combined -- they equaled about 3 percent of the views on knitting-themed videos in the same timeframe). Back in June, YouTube announced an update to its community guidelines, banning videos promoting discriminatory ideologies or content that argued for the supremacy of any group or race over another. The new blog post identifies the June update, and additional changes to the site's harassment guidelines, as representative of a "fundamental shift in our policies." – CNBC

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2. "Rhythm + Flow" -- featuring judges Cardi B, Chance the Rapper, and TI -- will be the first-ever Netflix music competition series. The judges will search for up-and-coming hip-hop talent in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and Atlanta, pitting competitors against one another in a series of auditions, rap battles, music videos, sampling sessions, and collaborations. The entire competition stretches over just three weeks and will unfold over the course of a 10-episode first season. The series will debut on October 9. – VERGE

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3. WHAT'S NEW ON STREAMING TODAY?

UNTOUCHABLE: Director Ursula Macfarlane’s Harvey Weinstein feature documentary features a number of the prominent women who have brought sexual abuse and rape allegations against the former entertainment mogul, including Rosanna Arquette, Hope D'Amore, Paz de la Huerta, and Erika Rosenbaum. It debuted at this year's Sundance Film Festival. [Hulu]

BOLDEN: Dan Pritzker's 2019 independent feature is a "mythical" biopic of Buddy Bolden, sometimes called the first cornet player from New Orleans. Gary Carr stars as Bolden. [Hulu]

WE DIE YOUNG: Jean-Claude Van Damme stars in this action-drama as an Afghanistan War vet with PTSD who tries to help a local teen escape the MS-13 street gang. [Hulu]

THE SHOP: UNINTERRUPTED: The panel for the latest edition of LeBron James and Maverick Carter's barbershop-set chat show includes Kevin Hart, Rob Gronkowski, Kevin Love, Charlamagne tha God and Lil Nas X. [HBO]

VICTORIA: "Doctor Who" vet Jenna Coleman stars as Queen Victoria in this British historical drama series that airs on ITV in the UK and on PBS as part the "Masterpiece" anthology in the US. Season 3 hits Amazon today. [Amazon Prime]

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4. In the first trailer for Zach Galifianakis' "Between Two Ferns" movie, the comedian and talk show host kills Matthew McConaughey (briefly). The Netflix film is based on Galifianakis' long-running celebrity chat show parody, originally produced for Funny or Die. In the film, from series director and "Comedy Bang Bang" host Scott Aukerman, Galifianakis and crew hit the road to record 10 rapid-fire episodes. Featured celebrities and interview subjects (besides McConaughey) include Jon Hamm, Brie Larson, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Rudd, Tiffany Haddish, Keanu Reeves, John Cho, David Letterman, Peter Dinklage, Will Ferrell, Hailee Steinfeld, John Legend, Chrissy Teigen, Adam Scott, Chance The Rapper, and Rashida Jones. "Between Two Ferns: The Movie" debuts on Netflix on September 20. – AVCLUB

[There are many classic episodes of "Between Two Ferns" at this point, but I think my favorite remains this entry from 2010 featuring Bruce Willis. - Lon]

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TRULY TUESDAY: "JAWLINE" ON HULU

Liza Mandelup's documentary about the business of being a teen influencer, "Jawline," manages to walk a pretty fine line. The film recognizes the artificiality and, ultimately, the hollowness of social media, particularly when one starts to view it as an industry rather than a pastime. But Mandelup is not here to totally condemn this world and the people who dream of joining it; the finished film actually seems to sympathize with its subjects more than you'd maybe expect. This isn't a cinematic rant that everyone should stop looking at their tiny screens and rejoin the world; it's a reflection of the impact those tiny screens have had on the practical reality around us. 

The main subject of "Jawline" is 16-year-old Austyn Tester, a poor kid from the tiny town of Kingsport, Tennessee, who dreams of wealth and fame, and believes that livestreaming and Instagram likes will be the way to get there. Tester doesn't come out and SAY this, though. Instead, he spouts platitudes about positivity and self-love during his nighty broadcasts on YouNow and his daily Snapchat streams and tells us he's seeking fame only to spread his upbeat message to more people. He certainly seems genuine and sincere, at times almost incapable of guile or malice. Tester does want to help people by repeating these mantras; he just also wants to escape boredom and poverty while he's at it. And who could blame him? Part of the challenge of Mandelup's film is that it's coolly evaluating Tester and his world but it's clearly hesitant to judge him. He's young. He didn't choose any of this. In another era, he'd be trying to join a boy band or act in a Disney Channel sitcom. There have always been good looking kids from the middle of nowhere chasing their dreams. It's just that, in 2019, the dream isn't to dance or sing or act. It's just to become famous. The fame is both the journey and the destination.

The film doesn't just profile Tester, who builds up his community enough to land a manager and go on a tour with some other young influencers. It also takes in his peers and colleagues, including high profile manager Michael Weist and two of Austyn's tourmates, twin DJs Julian and Jovani Jara.

The inclusion of Weist, a notable figure in the LA digital media world and one of the minds behind the 2018 TanaCon fiasco, honestly threatens to kind of derail the entire rest of the project. He's running a flophouse for talent that he represents, where he harangues them to make videos, makes an ostentatious display of his wealth and occasionally interrupts with unhelpful commentary. (At one point, a major argument erupts between Weist and a client, Mikey Barone, over whether to introduce a video with the phrase "Hey, guys..." or "Some of you girls..." We later find out that Barone and partner Bryce Hall accused Weist of sexual harassment, an allegation that led to a $5 million lawsuit.) Weist appears to offer the industry perspective -- a reminder that the people organizing and profiting from all of these videos and posts and likes and shares are not the kids who appear in them -- but he's too big a personality to not become something of a distraction.

Mandelup also turns her attention to the fans, the (mostly) girls who watch Tester's livestreams and show up for his live appearances and buy tickets to these "concerts." And it's here that "Jawline" becomes not just provocative but fascinating. We've spent almost 90 minutes focusing on how the world of being an influencer is phony. It's just another business, running up the numbers for venture capitalists who invest in apps and providing some agency somewhere with another name to package on a brand deal with Skittles or whatever. But for the fans, it's real. They don't care that Austyn came up with his random feel-good homilies 3 minutes before going live, or took 18 dumb-looking photos before the one that was deemed good enough for the Gram. They like him, they like feeling like they're his friends, he makes them happy, and that's good enough.

THE BASICS

Title: "Jawline"
Where to Watch: Hulu
Running time: 97 minutes

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5. The trailer for Netflix's teen romantic comedy feature "Tall Girl" raised the issue of "tall oppression" on social media. Ava Michelle stars as high schooler Jodi, who feels awkward about her 6'1" height, and dreams of looking more like her tinier beauty queen sister (Sabrina Carpenter). The film was written by Sam Wolfson and marks the directorial debut of Nzingha Stewart. On Twitter, a number of cultural critics and commentators questioned whether or not "tall white girls" should be considered an oppressed group deserving of more representation. The Cut retroactively named 2019 as "Tall Girl Summer" in the film's honor. – SLASHFILM

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6. Variety reported that Netflix is nearing a deal with French TV conglomerate Canal Plus. The negotiations were first reported by the French newspaper, Le Figaro. Netflix currently has about 5 million subscribers in France, boosted by its availability on a number of set-top boxes operated by French cable and telecommunications companies. Under the new deal, Canal Plus programming would also become available to stream over Netflix after airing on television. – VARIETY

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7. Netflix ordered its first-ever original series from Belgium, the six-part sci-fi thriller "Into the Night." The series opens as the Sun's rays turn deadly, killing everything in their path. Episodes are set on board a flight leaving Brussels and flying west, into the darkness and away from the solar rays. "Narcos" and "Scandal" producer Jason George wrote all six episodes of the series and will serve as showrunner. "Into the Night" will land on Netflix in 2020. – DEADLINE

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8. Netflix commissioned a first season for the South Korean mystery-drama series "The Crucible" from director Hwang Dong-hyuk. The story follows a group of people -- all failures in some aspect of their lives -- who are invited to take part in a strange survival game show, with a top prize of $10 million US. The competition will apparently incorporate popular children's games from Korea's past. Dong-hyuk previously directed the 2017 Korean historical drama "The Fortress." – DEADLINE

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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. He competes on The Movie Trivia Schmoedown as "The Professor." You can follow him on Twitter @lons

Editor: David Stegon (senior editor at Inside, whose reporting experience includes cryptocurrency and technology)

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