The Watchman: Alton Brown ‘Eats’ Again, In ‘God’ Showtime Trusts, Netflix Remakes ‘Dark’ Henson Pic

Senior content producer Michael Malone’s look at the programming scene
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Good Eats: The return restarts on Food Network Sunday, Aug. 25. Alton Brown hosts the show, which ran for 14 seasons until 2012. Good Eats 2019 is better, in Brown’s view, thanks to enhanced technology, including viewers being able to access ingredients with a few taps on their phone.

“We can sew better tapestries than we could back then,” he said.

Alton Brown in 'Good Eats: The Return'

Alton Brown in 'Good Eats: The Return'

Each episode is essentially a half-hour documentary about a particular food, including chicken parm getting its close-up in the premiere. Brown posited that the dish was hatched in New York City, not Italy, by “people shoved together in tenements.”

Brown calls the new show “a continuation, not a reboot.”

Down in “Orlando-Adjacent,” Florida, On Becoming a God in Central Florida begins on Showtime Aug. 25 as well. Kirsten Dunst plays Krystal, a water park employee who gets way involved with a pyramid scheme. George Clooney exec produces alongside Dunst.

Set in 1992, On Becoming a God has cassette tapes, goatees and high-fives.

Co-creators Robert Funke and Matt Lutsky penned the pilot in 2014, and have watched their tale of people chasing the American Dream get more and more relevant: The gig economy, independent contractors struggling for health benefits, our secretary of education with connections to a massive “multi-level marketing association,” said Funke.

“It really is everywhere,” he added.

As Funke researched pyramid schemes, he recognized some company names. “It was, my cousin worked there, my neighbor worked there, my dentist tried to sell me that,” he said. “I got back in touch and asked, ‘How did that go? Where did that end up?’ ”

The show is rich in “suburban surrealism,” Funke said. He’s a bit nervous as On Becoming a God launches, but feels good about the show America will see. “I set out to make my favorite show and I really did,” he said.

And The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance begins on Netflix Friday, Aug. 30. Jim Henson’s Dark Crystal fantasy flick came out in 1982, and made its mark.

“The movie scared me very much,” co-executive producer Will Matthews said.

The series producers said Dark Crystal, about the battle between the good Mystics and evil Skeksis, works well in 2019. “The themes are timeless,” said co-exec producer Jeffrey Addiss. “The show is about finding hope even in the darkest times.”

The prequel project has been some four years in the making. Co-EP Javier Grillo-Marxuach said a framed photo of film principals Frank Oz, Jim Henson and Gary Kurtz hung in the writers’ room and reminded all involved in the series not to take it lightly.

Netflix is on board for 10 episodes. “We have longer and more stories to tell,” Addis said. “We hope it gets to come back.”

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