This was one HELL of weekend for great television. I watched some of the best shows and miniseries that I’d seen all year, just between last Saturday and Sunday. Amazon Prime debuted their six-episode miniseries Good Omens on Thursday. The story is based on the classic novel by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. A unique and fun blend of comedy/drama/fantasy, the miniseries follows a demon named Crowley (David Tennent) and an angel named Aziraphael (Michael Sheen) who’ve been on Earth since the Garden of Eden a develop an unlikely friendship over the millennials. When orders come from their higher ups that Armageddon is about to begin with the birth of The Antichrist, Crowley and Aziraphael do everything they can to stop the Apocalypse because the like living on Earth too much. There’s a lot to love here, including a fantastic supporting cast (Jon Hamm, Francis McDormand, Brian Cox, etc.), but what makes the miniseries a real home run is the amazing chemistry between David Tennent and Michael Sheen. They’re very entertaining to watch. The show lights up whenever they’re on screen together and the genuine affection they have for one another, despite what they say to the contrary, is very sweet.
Finally after years of rumors and false starts, Deadwood: The Movie premiered on HBO Friday night. The classic HBO series ran for three seasons from 2003 to 2006. When the show was canceled, the series didn’t have any opportunity to offer closure for the characters or the story. So this movie is what longtime fans who never received a resolution to major storylines and character arcs have been waiting for. The movie is a beautiful love letter to Deadwood. Getting to see where our favorite characters like Bullock, Trixie, Dan, and of course Ian McShane as the iconic Al Swearengen, along with so many others characters large and small.
HBO also wrapped up their terrifying and sobering miniseries Chernobyl, starring Jarred Harris and Stellan Skarsgard. The miniseries offer a grim and frightening look into the true story of the Russian Chernobyl Power Plant nuclear reactor explosion in 1986. The show chronicles the event, which was one the worst man made disasters in history. It’s a gripping show that is PAUL SR.’s PERSONAL HOT PICK OF THE WEEK!
The last show we cover on this week’s podcast is the launch of the latest live-action original series from the DC Universe Streaming Service, Swamp Thing. The story follows Dr. Abigail Arcane (Crystal Reed), a doctor working for the CDC who has to return to her home town in Louisiana following a bizarre outbreak. There she meets disgraced scientist Alec Holland (Andy Bean) who believes that outbreak is connected to some very weird shit going on in the local swamp. So far, DC Universe has only released the first episode with a new episode becoming available every Friday. I’ve enjoyed all of the original content DC Universe has put out so far, but this series premiere was by far my favorite. The performances are solid with a good cast, but what makes the show really stand out, is how it leans hard into the horror aspects of the source material to great effect. I’m a huge Swamp Thing fan and the first episode had me itching for more.
Each show couldn’t be more different from the other, but they’re all spectacular! Join myself and co-host Paul Sr as we breakdown each of these fantastic projects! Listen here or subscribe on Stitcher, ITunes, & more: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/18181256
HBO’s hit series Game of Thrones has come to an end, love it or hate it. Watching the final season of the series and especially the final episode reminded me of another great genre show that captured the imagination of the cultural zeitgeist: LOST. They were both genre shows with large ensemble casts that reached audiences that normally don’t watch genre television. Both shows were pop culture phenomena. They both had people hung up on when and how the show would end and they both had divisive final seasons and series finales.
Much like how Game of Thrones viewing parties have become very common, I’d often go to LOST viewing parties back in the day. When LOST ended, I kept wondering what the next “LOST” would be. For a brief period, I thought The Walking Dead had taken up the mantle, but that definitely didn’t pan out. It turns out that next LOST, was Game of Thrones. So, now that Game of Thrones has ended if find myself asking: What will be the next Game of Thrones?
Time will tell what the next pop culture television juggernaut will be. HBO wisely wanted to remind us that, though we’re saying goodbye to Game of Thrones, they’re still in the business of putting out high profile television programming. Which is why in the minuets leading up to the series finale of GoT, HBO showed us trailers for three of their most interesting and high profile projects. This was a great advertising move on the part of HBO because the series finale for Game of Thrones was the most watched episode of a TV show in the history of the Network. They have to keep those big bucks rolling in after all. Below I get into the details of each series (as well of a few upcoming shows that aren’t on HBO), give you some insight into what the shows are about and what to expect, as well as why you should check these shows out in the first place.
First up, we have the trailer for the new series His Dark Materials starring James McAvoy, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ruth Wilson, and Daphne Keene (AKA X-23 AKA Laura from Logan). Watch the trailer here:
This series is based on the successful novels by Philip Pullman which involve metaphysics and alternate realities, among other strange and interesting concepts. His Dark Materials is actually a very good series of books that were adapted several years ago into the film, The Golden Compass, starring Nicole Kidman in a failed attempt to start a new fantasy franchise. This was around the time everyone was looking for the next Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings.
I really like what I see from this trailer. It appears that these fantastic books are finally getting the treatment they deserved. From what we saw in the trailer, the look of the series has a very lived in feel. Which is always important when building a whole new world, with its own rules from scratch. It certainly doesn’t hurt that they clearly have an excellent cast. The story exists in a fascinating universe, or multiverse for that matter, and I will definitely be tuning in.
Then we had Watchmen, the new series based on the classic graphic novel by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons from Damon Lindelof, the man who brought us LOST and The Leftovers. This wasn’t a new trailer, it it debuted several weeks ago, but I’ve been been looking for an opportunity to talk about it. But first, take a look at the trailer and then we can dive in get into some details about the series:
I love what I’ve seen so far from this new take on Watchmen and I’m very excited about this project. Over the last several years DC Comics has been publishing interesting expansions of the Watchmen universe. Most notably in their quasi-sequel Doomsday Clock and their various prequel miniseries’ Before Watchmen, which fleshed out certain existing Watchmen characters. I’m sure there are Watchmen purists Who think the material shouldn’t be touched and any continuations of the universe is sacrilege. But after reading stories like Before Watchmen and Doomsday Clock, I know there are still excellent stories to tell from other creators, about this universe and these characters.
There’s still a great deal we don’t know about this series, like how it connects to the original graphic novel. From what I can see, much like Doomsday Clock, I think this Watchmen series is probably a sequel of sorts. We seem to be getting characters from the original comic books and some created just for the show. From the beginning showrunner Damon Lindelof has said this is not going to be a straight adaptation of the original graphic novel. However, It’s going to take place in the Watchmen universe. The trailer shows a gang that is clearly inspired by the original Rorschach (they kind of remind me of The Jokerz Gang in Batman Beyond).
We also see Jeremy Irons playing Ozymandias a.k.a. Adrian Veidt, the man who orchestrated the conspiracy that was at the heart of the original Watchmen story. One thing I really hope is present in this new series is Dr. Manhattan. He was always the only superhuman that ever existed in the Watchmen universe and I would love to see what could be done with this character in a sequel series, even if he isn’t used as a main character like in the original story. I just hope he is a part of the series in some way. I was disappointed to see that the show is premiering the fall, I was hoping we’d get the premiere this summer. Regardless, this is definitely one of my most anticipated projects of the year, TV or otherwise.
Finally, the most pleasant surprise of the evening was a trailer for a show seemingly starring Aaron Paul that was clearly taking place in a futuristic version of our world. The technology; robotics, transportation, and more… This is a very different world than the one we currently live in. It’s hard to say exactly how far in the future this is. The society and city we’re shown is much more advanced than our own, but not so advanced that it looks like a far distant future.
Some things look pretty similar to our world, but so much looks very, very different. Aaron Paul’s voiceover laments feeling lost in a world that he doesn’t recognize anymore. It almost seems as if he may even be involved in some shady enterprises. The whole thing has a very “Blade Runner” vibe.
As I was watching the trailer, I asked myself at one point “What is this?“. Surely a series like this would already be on my radar, if enough had been filmed to have a trailer ready. Then, BOOM! The twist hits. Aaron Paul approaches a woman staggering out of a dark alley. Believing she’s in need of help, he calls out to her to ask if she’s alright. The woman looks up and it is none other than Dolores from Westworld. We’d been watching a trailer for Westworld Season 3 all along. The show logo comes on as the trailer ends to reveal Season 3 will be premiering in 2020. Take a look for yourself:
What I loved about this trailer, was how different it seems from everything that’s come before on Westworld. Westworld definitely needed to make some bold moves after the end of Season 2 to keep things fresh. Changing things so much that, while watching the first trailer for the new season, the show was unrecognizable until the very end of the teaser, is definitely an exciting direction for the show to go in. I wasn’t a massive fan of Westworld Season 2, even though I loved the first season. This was a great way to get excitement and interest up in the show’s third season until it premieres next year.
One other HBO project I wanted to mention is the upcoming TV series based on the novel Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff. Lovecraft Country uses Jim Crow era America as it’s backdrop and revolves around an African-American family pulled into the world of Lovecraftian magic, monsters, and other dimensions. The narrative is broken into pieces, focusing on diffferent characters in the book that are compelling stories on their own, while still serving the larger narrative of the novel as the different stories eventually converge. Combining horror and a predominantly African-American cast of characters living in Jim Crow America, allows the story to talk about serious racial issues while also being creepy and disquieting. I wasn’t even aware this was in the works until very recently, but I was over the moon when I heard it was being adapted by HBO. Lovecraft Country is one of the best books I’ve read in the last few years. The combination of great characters, a unique setting, and Lovecraft horror makes for a fantastic read. To top it off, Jordan Peele and J.J Abrams are developing the show and executive producing. Two of the best genre filmmakers of this generation working on a project like Lovecraft Country is very exciting.
So there you have it, HBO has some very interesting new shows on the horizon. However, It’s important to remember that HBO isn’t the only network with high profile new television series in the works. Streaming services like the upcoming Disney + launching in November, Netflix, and Amazon Prime are all throwing their hat into the ring to create the next “must watch” series.
Disney + will be releasing film quality miniseries that take place in the MCU. So far, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, WandaVision (focusing on Scarlet Witch and The Vision, obviously), Hawkeye, and Loki have all been announced and are in varying stages of production.
Perhaps the most exciting and high profile new series to launch this year will be the new Star Wars live action TV series, The Mandalorian. Starring Game of Throne’s Pedro Pascal, the show will follow the titular Mandalorian, a lone gun slinger traveling the Outer Rim of the galaxy following the fall of The Empire.
The series takes place between Return of The Jedi and The Force Awakens, a period in Star Wars lore ripe for exploration. The show will apparently skew adult, targeting the audience that grew up with Star Wars, but may be looking for something edgier in adulthood than the largely “all ages” films. With Jon Favreau as showrunner and guys like Taika Watitti and Dave Filoni directing episodes, this looks to be an amazing series. The show premieres with the launch of Disney + on 11/12/19.
As for some of the established streaming services, like Amazon Prime and Netflix, both companies have been producing successful original programming for years now. Netflix has a few big genre hits like Stranger Things, with Season 3 of the fan favorite show premiering on July 4th.
Netflix also has the hotly anticipated adaptation of The Witcher, starring Henry Cavil. Based on the series of novels by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowsk. The books follow Geralt of Rivia (Cavil), a badass monster hunter with some supernatural juice inside him, which allows him to face all kinds of monsters that threaten humanity. The series exists in that vaguely “middle ages” type of fictional world that we see in so many fantasy stories from Lord Of The Rings to Game of Thrones. Though The Witcher was also adapted as a popular video game series, the TV show will be entirely based on the original novels. Expect The Witcher to hit Netflix in the second half of 2019. With Henry Cavil playing Geralt and the cool premise of the show, I think The Witcher along with The Mandalorian, are my picks to be the “next big thing”out of all the shows I’ve previewed here. I also think ther’s a pretty good chance that Watchmen could end up being something pretty special as well.
One thing is certain, we live in a golden age of television programming. A world where TV shows can match and even surpass, movies on the big screen in some cases. These are just a few of the major projects in development that could scratch that Game of Thrones itch. It’s doubtful that any of them will have the incredible mega-success that Game of Thrones has had. But then again, someone does have to be the next Game of Thrones, so who knows? The bottom line is that it looks like we’re in for some incredible television over the next 12 months.
Game of Thrones, A Song of Ice & Fire, one of the greatest shows of all time… has come to an end. On this episode of “The World’s Best Podcast” we give you our first reactions to the historic series finale, “The Iron Throne”! A fitting title for the final installment of the series.
We recorded this episode almost immediately after watching “The Iron Throne”. I’m sure, after watching the episode again, we’ll pick up on things we may have missed on our first viewing. Over time, our opinions of the series finale, the final season, or even the series as a whole, may change and evolve. However, on this episode of The World’s Best Podcast, you’re getting our gut reactions, right after watching the end of one of our favorite television series of all time.
Was the show able to deliver a satisfying final episode? What the fate of all our favorite characters? Who LIVED?! Who DIED?! Get our take on this CAN’T MISS episode! Listen here or subscribe on Spotify, Stitcher, and iTunes:
If you’re not caught up on Game of Thrones, I’m going to be spoiling some stuff for you, so please leave now if you don’t want that.
This season has had some received some major flack from audiences for all sorts of issues, and obviously I don’t agree with everyone, but I wanted to talk about a couple that I don’t like. I guess, I’ll start with the big one, the title of this article kind of hints at. Daenerys turning crazy/bad/however else we want to categorize her. I didn’t dislike this until the moment in this week’s episode when the bells are ringing, and she looks over at the Red Keep, and decides to lay waste on the people of King’s Landing.
You see, while Daenerys has never shied away from being violent to achieve her goals, there was always some sense of morality to it, and she was never casual with innocents. Up until this point, the fact that she’s burned the Iron Fleet, and the guard towers, and as much as she has destroyed, makes sense, and largely is the right thing to do, to avoid unnecessary death of innocents.
Then she stops, sitting atop the final remaining dragon, and looks down, the bells are ringing, and it is clear that she has won, and she snaps and proceeds to go further. Now, if she’d done everything and never stopped, never paused, and was just caught up in it, and therefore didn’t notice the bells, or the peace, or anything else and got carried away, this would be a more satisfying example of her going too far, and perhaps being the threat Varys died to stop (which I thought was played excellently). Also if she had that moment of pause, and then flew over and destroyed the Red Keep, I could get that too. But she pauses, looks around, sees she has won and unleashes fury on the innocent, which is out of character. It’s not getting carried away, or going too far as many of her past behavior has shown, it was her snapping, and it is out of character for her.
I also think that if it had been more along the lines of her getting carried away and going too far, even way too far, this would allow the necessary characters to say “oh we need Jon Snow to sit on the Iron Throne” without the writers betraying the character of Daenerys to justify that final play that it seems is coming.
I mentioned Varys, and I think Varys is a prime example of how the characters should be thinking about Daenerys, his last words are “I hope I’m wrong about her,” (or something similar) but he honestly believes he is not. That’s because she’s riding the edge of righteous and power-hungry, and he is forced to make a decision unsure if he’s correct, it makes his decisions more bold. Now if Jon realizes she’s a mad-Queen, and rebels against her, it will not be a bold act, but rather the obvious one for someone who will always risk his life for what’s right. It takes away the ‘risk of being wrong.’
Now, there were plenty of moments in addition to Varys’s death which I thought were well executed, I liked the final battle with the Hound and the Mountain, and I thought that Arya leaving because Cersai is dead regardless of what happens, worked really well.
But there were also moments in which it seemed like they tried to eat their cake and have it too. Jaime could have gone with Brienne (I didn’t really want to see that, but once it happened I liked it) or he could go back to Cersai, but I think having him do both really cut through both. That’s ultimately what I think the problem with this season is (it’s the worst of GoT, but it’s still pretty damn good otherwise): they want to both shit and get off the pot at the same time, and they spent years elaborately creating characters and beats, and now they’re trying to tie them all up far to quickly.
It’s finally here! The epic ending to “A Song Of Ice And Fire”! On this week’s episode of The World’s Best Podcast, Paul Sr. and I do a SPOILER filled, deep dive, breakdown of Episodes 1 & 2, “Winterfell” and “A Knight Of The Seven Kingdoms”! From Game of Thrones: The Final Season! Listen here or subscribe on iTunes, Spotify, and Stitcher: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/17715325
First of all I feel I have to apologize yet again for being a little late in putting out our latest podcast. It’s been a busy month, but we try to get episodes of The World’s Best Podcast on a more or less weekly schedule at a minimum, if not more. So I really appreciate your patience with our unorthodox podcast release schedule over the last few weeks and I want to reassure you that the release schedule will be getting back to normal. As a small consolation, this week will see the release of not one, but TWO pretty great episodes of the Podcast (today’s episode and our Captain Marvel SPOILER-Filled Deep Dive Review)! I am particularly excited about our upcoming Captain Marvel episode! Not only because I am very psyched to see the movie, but some of the concepts and elements that we will see in this film, have the potential to open up so many different interesting possibilities for the MCU! Much in the same way Guardians of The Galaxy and Doctor Strange did.
Anyway back to today’s episode! Most excitingly, HBO FINALLY dropped a full trailer for the EPIC final season of Game of Thrones premiering on April 14. I’ve posted the trailer below if you want to check it out (As if you haven’t already watched it a dozen times 😉). Needless to say, we were super excited to talk about it and we needed to do a breakdown of the trailer right away. I really dug it, the trailer was exciting and just substantive enough, without giving too much away.
We also discuss the trailers for Dark Phoenix and Hellboy released earlier this week, we touch upon some predictions for Captain Marvel, and sadly we wrap things up on a somber note. With a tribute to the untimely passing this week of beloved actor, Luke Perry. Who was taken from us too soon, passing away at the age of 52. Despite the sad ending, as usual we had a lot of laughs recording this episode and we think you will too! So please enjoy! Listen here or subscribe on Stitcher and iTunes:
HBO released some very cool character posters today that feature about 20 different Game of Thrones characters sitting on The Iron Throne. With all this promotional material coming out, hopefully we’ll get a real trailer soon. I first found out about these over at EW.com. I put my favorite posters below, but if you want to see all 20 you can follow the Twitter link here: https://twitter.com/i/moments/1100531893244739585
It can be maddening waiting for all of our most anticipated shows and movies to premiere, and 2019 has a lot of content coming out that’s worth waiting for. HBO dropped a new teaser today promoting it’s upcoming 2019 slate. They have a stacked fucking deck for the coming year! It’s not much in terms of new content, but there are some juicy tidbits and we’ll take what we can get. This teaser gives us oh so brief glances at Game of Thrones: The Final Season, Watchmen (The Live Action Quasi-Sequel Series), His Dark Materials based on Phillip Pullman’s beloved series of novels, the long awaited Deadwood film, the documentary series The Case Against Adnan Syed, Big, Little, Lies Season 2, & more! Watch it here:
Like I said, far too brief, but certainly enough to get you excited! Plus, I found some cool promo images as well. This is just from HBO! We have awesome TV and films coming out in 2019 from Netflix, Amazon Prime, DC UNIVERSE Streaming, Marvel, Disney, Star Wars, & more! Completely contrary to what that dipshit Bill Maher has to say, Goddammit it’s a great time to be a fan!
2019 is going to be “The Year of Streaming Services”. For a few years now I have felt that streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime are going to massively change the way we consume entertainment content, specifically films and television shows. With Warner Bros. having already thrown their hat into the ring on the increasingly solid and well done app DC Universe. The service not only offers original content like the excellent shows they’ve released so far: Titans, Young Justice: Outsiders, and one of the shows will be discussing at length on today’s podcast, Doom Patrol.
Then there’s Disney, coming out swinging later this year with Disney Plus. Which will launch with the release of an original live action Star Wars television show, The Mandalorian produced by Jon Favreau and with incredible talent like Taika Watiti, Dave Filioni, JJ Abrams and Favreau himself directing episodes. Add on to that the already announced Marvel Cinematic Universe projects that so far includes miniseries starring The Vision & Scarlett Witch, The Falcon & The Winter Soldier, and a Loki prequel miniseries. Will be covering all this and more on today’s episode of The World’s Best Podcast!
So sorry about the long wait between episodes! Just had some personal stuff to deal with, but we are so psyched to be back! This week Paul Sr. and I have discussion about some excellent new shows: DOOM PATROL on DC Universe Streaming and THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY on Netflix.
We also have a wide ranging, but still very fucking fun discussion about the larger effect streaming services are having on our entertainment. As I said at the start of the article, 2019 is “The Year of The Streaming Services”. We appreciate your patience between episodes and we hope you enjoy this awesome episode! Listen here or subscribe on Stitcher and iTunes:
HBO is notoriously secretive when it comes to their hit series fantasy Game of Thrones. They want the audience to know as little as possible coming into each new season. Especially going into the final season.
So far they’ve done a pretty damn good job. The show has always maintained a high level of secrecy to keep the audience surprised. A few years ago, the first 4 episodes of Season 5 leaked online about a month before the Season 5 premiere (I’m certainly DID NOT, find those early episodes online, hook my laptop up to my TV, and watch all 4 episodes alone on a Saturday night, because downloading content like that is WRONG). That incident increased the levels of secrecy and security HBO imposed even more. With April 14 premiere date of the final season fast approaching, we’ve been given very little promotional material showing us anything from the upcoming season. There have been two teasers which I posted right below, but neither have shown any real content from Season 8. After the teasers, scroll down to all the cool pics HBO released to promote Season 8:
However today HBO dropped a bunch of new pictures from the new season. They mostly look like they are taking place at Winterfell. If I had to guess, the pictures all look like they’re probably from the first 2 episodes of the season. Based on the sets and the way that people are dressing, it seems to be that Jon has made his triumphant return to Winterfell with his new aunt/lover/queen in tow. Let’s dig in…