Tuesday, February 02 2016 22:34

36 Hours in Pasadena: A Netflix Stream Team Adventure

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Netflix Stream TeamI sometimes have a hard time explaining to people what exactly it is that I do - particularly because I do a lot of different things for a lot of different people. The connecting thread between them is that everything is linked by entertainment and pop culture. I've often said that I don't personally consider myself to be a "journalist" nor a "blogger," but a "writer" that sits somewhere in the space between those two things - even though the clients and partners that I work with will often deem me to be one or the other... titles I'll happily accept from others, depending on the assignment. But I've also been an actor, I'm directing again, and that's really just the tip of the iceberg for a time where to be involved in entertainment, you really have to be everything - and in my case, that means being a one-man army, a largely self-sufficient "Rock & Roll Gangster" (the definition of which varies) with "a particular set of skills, acquired over a very long career" - just like Liam Neeson in TAKEN. Sometimes, the strangest thing is that I feel like I'm living on two planes of reality - and those largely different elements are interweaving in an increasingly swift manner, with perhaps no more dramatic example than my most recent trip to Los Angeles. On a Sunday afternoon I'm hanging with the cast of FULLER HOUSE, and on Monday morning I'm 2000 miles away, vacuuming the play area with a three-year-old... working my most rewarding gig as an at-home dad. That's just what happened with my first on-the-road (and in-the-air) mission as a member of the Netflix #StreamTeam.

On the ground in Los Angeles. In the car and ready to rock \m/ #work #travel #RockFatherTour #RockAndRollGangster

A photo posted by James Zahn (@therockfather) on

The TCA (Television Critics Association) Press Tour is a semi-annual event (Winter & Summer) in which many of the 200+ TCA members converge on a hotel somewhere near L.A. to learn about upcoming programming direct from the key creatives, talent and executives involved. Each day, a different network or streaming service takes the stage to bring forth panel presentations and press conferences. It's a sorta old-school throwback to how the press covered media in the past - an era of newspapers and magazines that came far before the days of constant connection. It's something that I've long wanted to attend, if only to experience first-hand the unique culture that I'd heard of, with its strange rules (no applause for those on stage), and the post-panel "scrum," which is a mad rush of reporters that surround talent in a feeding frenzy of questions - not unlike those who hound politicians or criminals in hopes for a juicy soundbite. This year I finally did it, and it was Netflix that made it happen - an opportunity to observe from the sidelines not as "press," but as an extension of their marketing team, attending the panels, but also getting the bonus of Stream Team-Exclusive interviews with the folks behind DEGRASSI: NEXT CLASS and the aforementioned FULLER HOUSE. Again, it's being many things or everything, all at once.

Among the news out of Netflix was that Kids & Family content is getting a huge push; there's a ton of new stand-up comedy on the way; and overall, the investment in original programming will continue to be massive. Being a fan first, some shows I'm really looking forward to include THE RANCH, MARVEL's DAREDEVIL Season Two, UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT Season Two, and though it's a ways off, VOLTRON and the second season of MARVEL's JESSICA JONES.

Stay tuned, as in the days ahead, I'll be sharing with you my special features on DEGRASSI: NEXT CLASS (streaming now in the U.S.) and FULLER HOUSE (debuting February 26), along with additional news on what will be streaming that you'll need to watch.

I landed at LAX at 1:30pm on a Saturday, and at 5:20am on Monday I was back on the ground at O'Hare.

I wasn't kidding about the vacuuming...

For some different perspectives on Netflix's upcoming slate, check out the other links below...

The Netflix #StreamTeam 11:
  1. THE ROCK FATHER Magazine
  2. Dad Camp
  3. The Mama Maven
  4. Lollygag Blog
  5. Mama Knows It All
  6. Shuggilippo
  7. Cupcakes & Cutlery
  8. Dude Mom
  9. The Domestic Geek
  10. Four Hens and a Rooster
  11. Urban Moms
James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

Learn more here

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