If you’re a regular visitor to World’s Best Media then you may have heard me say that 2019 was the year of the television series, especially streaming series. With the exception of the once in a lifetime experience that was Avengers: Endgame, I would say that I enjoyed the content on TV far more than anything in theaters. The Umbrella Academy, Good Omens, The Mandalorian, Stranger Things 3, Watchmen, each of these were amazing shows in their own way. Watchmen was not only my personal favorite TV series of year I also think it was the best. It was an absolute masterpiece and it’s chilling how prescient the show ended up being with themes about policing and race being central to the show.
If it wasn’t for Watchmen, my number one series of 2019 would’ve been Amazon Prime’s The Boys. There were a lot of superhero television projects that came along last year, but most of them were so unique that it didn’t feel tired or overdone. The Boys, from showrunner Eric Kripke (the creator of Supernatural) based on the comic book created by Garth Ennis and Darrick Robertson, takes place in a world where superheroes exist, one team in particular called The Seven are analogs for the Justice League. Queen Maeve is their Wonder Woman, The Deep is their Aquaman, and so on. When the cameras are rolling there every bit of the heroes that the adoring public wants them to be, but behind the scenes they are depraved, cruel, sadistic, self-serving, and in some cases, insane.
The boys are a group of mercenaries loosely tied to the government led by a man named Billy Butcher, played pitch fucking perfectly by the amazing Karl Urban. it’s easy to forget how many amazing projects Karl Urban has been a part of, he’s been in Lord of the Rings, Dredd, the new Star Trek films, and he adds another fantastic character to his resume with The Boy’s.
After young man named Hugie loses his girlfriend when she’s accidentally and pointlessly killed by The Seven’s version of The Flash, Butcher approaches Hughie to see if he’s interested in a little revenge. It’s the job of Butcher and The Boys to handle things when one of these “supers” gets out of line. By “handle”, I mean either badly fucking them up or killing them in the most brutal way possible. The show is a brilliant commentary on celebrity culture, fame, power, and accountability. It’s strikes a brilliant tone with pitch black humor, but not at the expense of undermining the drama of the story.
Karl Urban’s Butcher is incredible, but it’s the character Homelander played by Antony Starr that really steals the show. This is the first role I’ve seen Starr in and he knocks it out of the fucking park. The “Evil Superman” troupe is fairly common, but it’s never been done as well as Antony Starr’s Homelander. Imagine a character whose façade is a combination of Captain America and Superman. He has the exact same powers as Superman and he is America’s most beloved superhero. But he’s also a complete and total psychopath. What makes him so chilling is how she never completely loses he’s smiling, a pleasant demeanor even when he’s doing something incredibly violent and horrific. He has no empathy whatsoever and his pleasant expression always hides a time bomb just below the surface that could go off at any time. He basically can do whatever he wants and there’s not much anyone can do to stop him. It’s Starr’s spectacular performance that makes Homelander so terrifying.
One of the new elements being brought into the show for Season 2 is the introduction of the newest member of The Seven: Storm Front. In the comic book that the series is based on, Storm Front is male and a Nazi, so they’ve changed her quite a bit for the show. From what I’ve heard she adds a really interesting dynamic to the team by directly challenging Homelander in a way that he’s not used to. With Homelander being vastly more powerful than the rest of The Seven, adding Storm Front makes this the first time that one of his teammates can match Homelander physically. He’s used to being able to intimidate his coworkers. They know not to fuck with him because of how insanely powerful Homelander is. Storm Front’s inclusion on The Seven completely changes the power dynamic and should be really interesting to watch. EW.com had the first look at Storm Front in photos posted below.
The show is ultimately a conflict between The Boys and The Seven so it will be really interesting to see what the hell they come up with to kill Homelander, because so far he doesn’t seem to have any physical weaknesses. Fortunately, Season 2 is on its way and Amazon Prime has released a few great promos to tease the upcoming season. Both clips serve to set up some major plot points that will be in play in Season 2. So if you were a fan of Season 1 and you’re curious about the direction the story might be going, these videos will give you some answers without spoiling anything. Also, let’s not forget Season 1, ended on one hell of a cliffhanger, so it will be interesting to see how that plays out as well. If you haven’t watched The Boys, yet I can’t recommend it enough. If you’re looking for something to watch for something new to watch, make sure you check out the first season on Amazon Prime. You can watch the two new clips from Season 2 right here:
The Boys Season 2 premieres on Amazon Prime on 9/4/20
Thanks for reading! Follow me on Twitter @PJWrightWBM or type Worlds Best Media into the search bar, you can also like and follow us on our Facebook page; World’s Best Media. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again! Stay healthy and stay safe!
Let me start off by saying something that, I think, everyone needs to hear in this crazy time we’re all going through…. WE’RE FUCKED! THE GODDAMN SHIP IS GOING DOWN AND THERE AREN’T ENOUGH FUCKING LIFE JACKETS! In the immortal words of the late, great Bill Paxton: GAME OVER, MAN! GAME OVER!
Phew! Well… now that I got that out of my system, down to business! Most of us (with the exception of a significant number of morons) are holed up inside, waiting for this shit storm to blow over before they murder their family. On a side note: this little GLOBAL PANDEMIC, is just a preview of things to come in the 21st century. There are more than a few existential threats heading our way in the coming decades. Unfortunately, just like the federal government’s abysmal preparation for Covid-19, we’re doing jack shit to prepare for global threats that will make this epidemic look like a picnic in the park (Climate Change, The Exponential Advancement of A. I., more Pandemics). To quote Ultron “When the Earth starts to settle, God throws a stone at it. And, believe me, he’s winding up.”
On that happy note, I’m sure people are doing whatever the can to pass the time. What better way to while away the hours than to binge watch some great TV series? So today I give you Paul’s Quarantine TV Binge Guide! These are my picks for the best shows available, to give you a fun escape from life’s crushing misery! I tried to offer up variety in my picks.Some of these are well known show’s that you may not have watched yet, a few series to watch with the family, and I also have some hidden gems that folks might not be as familiar with. Each series is available to stream on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, HBO (along with the HBO steaming services), or On Demand. Each of these excellent shows get my personal seal of approval and I’m sure there’s something on this list for everyone. Let’s dive in!
Daredevil: Seasons 1-3 (Available On Netflix)
Many of you may have already seen this series, but it bares repeating for those who haven’t. Daredevil is a masterpiece, plain and simple. I absolutely love The MCU, so even compared to movies like Infinity War and Endgame, Daredevil could be the best content to come out of The Marvel Cinematic Universe. I’ll even go as far as to say that the 3 seasons of Daredevil, amount to the very best live-, comic book adaptation done in any medium. Daredevil redefined superhero fight scenes with the now iconic Season 1 Hallway Fight. The “Single Take” fight scene became a staple of the show, with “The Stairway Fight” in Season 2 and “The Prison Fight” in Season 3. The incredible cast is anchored by Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock and Vincent D’Nofrio as Wilson Fisk, whose rivalry is electric. This is the most riveting and complex hero/villain dynamic since Nolan put Bale and Ledger on screen together. Though Netflix ended the series 2 years ago, the Season 3 finale works very well as a series finale. It brings the characters and the story full circle. So even if we never see a Daredevil adaptation with this phenomenal cast again, the 3 seasons of Daredevil tell one complete story that is a MUST WATCH.
If You Like That, Watch This:Jessica Jones Season 1 (Netflix)
Locke & Key: Season 1 (Netflix)
This is a great show to watch with the family, especially if you have kids over 10 years old. After a terrible personal tragedy, The Locke Family moves to their ancestral home, Key House. Relocating to a small Massachusetts town, each member of The Locke Family is looking to start over with a clean slate. Mother, Nina, her teenager children Tyler and Kinsey, little brother Bodie, and their paternal Uncle Duncan. As they try to build new lives, it becomes clear that Key House and it’s surrounding grounds are much more than an old family mansion. The Locke siblings begin to discover magical keys throughout the estate. Each key possess its own amazing and unique power. All the while dark, supernatural forces conspire to steal the keys for their own sinister means. Like I said, this is a great show to watch with the family because not only is it a great new series, I’d say the series never gets more intense or violent than any of the darker Harry Potter films. Locke & Key is definitely one of my favorite new shows of the year.
Watch This, If You Like:Stranger Things (Netflix)
The Outsider: Season 1 (HBO)
This riveting supernatural mystery thriller based on the novel by Stephen King stars Ben Mendelsohn as Det. Ralph Anderson, a small town Georgia Detective. When a young boy is found brutally murdered, all the evidence points to Terry Maitland (Jason Bateman), a beloved local teacher and baseball coach. After eyewitness, fingerprint, video, and DNA evidence all paint a damning picture of Maitland as the killer, Ralph thinks he has his man and stages a very public arrest of Terry Maitland. Case closed, right? Well, Terry is shocked and insists his innocence after his arrest. In fact, Maitland claims he was a hundred miles away at the time of the murder. He was at a hotel for a conference with dozens of witnesses. Even more baffling is the video evidence backing up Maitland’s story along with physical evidence at the hotel he was staying at. So Det. Anderson is faced with evidence that proves the suspect committed the crime AND simultaneously proves his innocence. So what the hell happened? Is Maitland innocent? and if so, who or what committed the crime? How can one man seemingly be in two places at once? As Stephen King put it, the central concept behind this story is how does a normal, intelligent, down to earth man like Ralph Anderson come to terms with the realization that the supernatural is real and the creature that committed the crimes he’s investigating isn’t human? We’ve seen this trope in hundreds of film and television shows over the years: the down the earth cop has to come to terms that monsters are real. Yet it has never been so well acted and well written as it is in The Outsider. Ben Mendelsohn, is already an excellent and versatile character actor, but his work here as Det. Ralph Anderson is among the very best of his career. The rest of the cast is fantastic as well but Mendelsohn is the stand out here. A suspenseful and atmospheric home run for HBO.
Watch This If You Like:True Detective, The X-Files
Guillermo Del Toro’s Trollhunters: Seasons 1-3 (Available On Netflix)
Here’s another TV show that you can watch as a family, especially if you have younger children, that won’t make you want to blow your fucking brains out while watching it. However, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this to very young children, I would say at least eight years old and up would be appropriate for this series. Trollhunters is a classic coming-of-age, “heroes journey” type story. The series follows high school student Jim Lake as he and his best friend Toby discover an entire hidden world of trolls and other magical creatures, secretly living alongside us. This, mostly, peaceful magical community, has their own protector called The Trollhunter. When one Trollhunter dies, the next one is magically chosen to protect the Troll and human world. The Trollhunter’s primary weapon is an amulet created by the wizard Merlin himself. It grants the wearer armor and weapons like swords and shields, as well as enhanced strength and agility. By some magical fluke, (or is it?) the amulet chooses Jim to be the first human Trollhunter and it’s not some job you can just quit. This is a real destiny type of thing. Jim, along with help from his friends both human and troll alike, has to come to terms with his responsibility as a hero and a young man. It’s colorful, funny, and adventurous enough to appeal to the kids in the family. However, the deep, well realized characters, great voice performances, rich mythology, and action/fight sequences intense and real enough to keep an adult watchers interested. With beautiful, unique animation and fantastic characters, Trollhunters is a great binge for the whole family.
If You Like That, Watch This:3 Below: Tales of Arcadia, a spinoff of Trollhunters about three alien refugees, a teenage brother and sister as well as their warrior protector, posing as human while hiding out on Earth in Arcadia, the same town that Trollhunters takes place in. Hence the “Tales of Arcadia” subtitle (Available On Netflix), Star Wars: The Clone Wars Seasons 2-7 [Season 1 sucks] (Disney+), Star Wars: Rebels Seasons 1-4 (Disney+)
Watchmen: Season 1 (HBO)
This season of television is an absolute masterpiece. I mentioned earlier in the article that I thought the Daredevil television series on Netflix was the best live action comic book adaptation of all time well, this might be the new contender. Created by show runner Damon Lindelöf, who had previously created or co-created such television series as LOST and The Leftovers, HBO’s Watchmen is basically a sequel to Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon’s classic 1985 graphic novel. considering that watchmen is considered by many to be the greatest comic book or graphic novel ever written, some would consider an attempt at a sequel of any kind is sacrosanct. Which is what makes the fact that this television series is so spectacular, that much more incredible. This is a once in a lifetime creative homerun for show runner Damon Lindelöf. Season 1 of the series is so brilliant that many fans don’t even want a second season, everything was done so well in the first season, how could they possibly top it in Season 2? A creator doesn’t just pull a show like this out of their ass. They gave it their all. They made this series is if it was the last story they would ever tell in their lives. It’s that good. The fantastic cast includes standouts like the amazing Regina King and Jeremy Irons looking like he’s having the time of his life. They’re far from the only standouts in an incredible ensemble cast. The performances from the cast across the board are inspired. With multiple actors giving awards worthy performances. The story is incredibly complex and multilayered, yet every piece fits together perfectly. The mysteries are intriguing without ever being confusing. Just like the graphic novel it’s based on, when rewatching episodes of the series you pick up on new details that you missed the first time aroundottom line, the series is fucking spectacular. However, there are some things you should know going into the series. I will say that if you have not read the original graphic novel or watched Zack Snyder‘s 2009 adaptation you may be a bit lost. This is a sequel to the graphic novel first and foremost, not Snyders film. As such, certain key differences in the film and the comic book are important to understand and fully appreciate the television series. Below, I included two videos, the first gives an overview and explains the broad strokes of the original graphic novel, which you can watch right here:
This second video explains the major differences between the graphic novel and the film. For the most part, the 2009 Watchmen film is an extremely faithful adaptation except for one MAJOR change the film makes to the ending of the film. The series serves as a sequel to original graphic and multiple major plot points from the show revolve around a concept that was otherwise absent from the 2009 movie. Watch it here:
More To Check Out…
The Mandalorian: Season 1 (Disney+)
OZARK: Seasons 1-3 (Netflix)
Good Omens: Season 1 (Amazon Prime)
Community: Seasons 1-6 (Netflix)
*Bookmark this page because I will be posting updates!
Thanks for reading! Follow me on Twitter @PJWrightWBM or type Worlds Best Media into the search bar, you can also like and follow us on our Facebook page; World’s Best Media. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again! Stay healthy and stay safe!
This week on “The World’s Best Podcast”, Paul Sr. and I give the listeners the rundown on coolest, biggest, and most highly anticipated movies and TV shows of 2020! Wonder Woman 1984! The Falcon and The Winter Soldier on Disney+, Marvel’s Black Widow, The Mandalorian Season 2, and so much more! We give you everything you need to know about the hottest film & TV projects of 2020, in this cant miss episode!
On this episode, I wanted to mention several graphic novels and comics that are coming out later this year that I am hugely looking forward to, but I forgot to mention them on the show. So I thought as a nice bit of extra content for this podcast webpage, I would post my list of my most anticipated comic book/graphic novel projects coming up in 2020:
Green Lantern: Earth One Vol.2 (Release Date – 6/9)
What’s The Deal?: Part of DC‘s Earth One series, which takes classic DC characters and lets talented creators tell out of continuity stories to take our heroes in exciting and unexpected new directions. This is a sequel to Green Lantern: Earth One Vol.1, which I would describe as if Stanley Kubrick ever did a Green Lantern story. It’s pretty damn cool. I really enjoyed Vol.1 and Vol.2 looks to be even better.
DC: Death Metal (Release Date – 5/13)
What’s The Deal?: The epic sequel to Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s hit event miniseries, Dark Nights: Metal. Look for Wonder Woman and The Batman Who Laughs to play key roles in the story.
Batman/Catwoman (Release Date – Spring/Summer 2020)
What’s The Deal?: Writer Tom King and Artist Clay Mann continue the epic story of Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle that Tom King began in Batman Rebirth #1. This 12 issue maxi-series has been described by King as his “Dark Knight Returns” and inspired by Grant Morrison’s excellent Batman and Robin. From a writer as talented as Tom King, those are some fantastic comparisons to make and with a spectacular art team backing him up, this is definitely a book to watch.
Back to the podcast… Listen here: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/23355156 Or subscribe on Stitcher, Spreaker, iHeartRadio, Deezer, Podchaser, Castbox, Podcast Addict, Google Podcasts, & Apple Podcasts/ITunes…
Thanks for listening! Follow me on Twitter @PJWrightWBM or type Worlds Best Media into the search bar, you can also like and follow us on our Facebook page; World’s Best Media. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again!
2019 was a great year for TV! Streaming services and premium cable networks in particular, have put out some excellent new series over the last year! From shows like WATCHMEN to THE MANDALORIAN, Paul Sr. and I talk about our favorite TV shows of 2019 on this episode of The World’s Best Podcast!
Thanks for listening! Follow me on Twitter @PJWrightWBM or type Worlds Best Media into the search bar, you can also like and follow us on our Facebook page; World’s Best Media. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, which go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again!
For a few weeks now I’ve been toying with the idea of doing a semi-regular article about some of the coolest graphic novels, Blu-rays, books, and more to come on the market that genre fans like myself and my readers would be interested in checking out. These are all products that I’ve personally purchased and can vouch for their quality. I buy stuff like this all the time and I thought it could be a fun way for me to share with my readers some of the cool stuff available (which I throw away my hard earned money for) that they might also want to check out themselves. So if you guys dig this new article, please let me know in the comments or on social media and maybe we’ll start making Paul’s Picks a semi-regular thing. So let’s get into it!
Batman Beyond: The Complete Series Special Edition Blu-Ray
I absolutely love “Art of…” books. I love seeing how so much of the creative process takes shape over time. Especially in genre storytelling, you get to see different versions of how some of film and television’s most iconic characters or locations could have looked at various stages of planning. It’s like looking in at an alternate earth’s version of your favorite movies. The very best “Art of…” books really spark your imagination and make you wonder what might have been. You get to see some of your favorite stories rendered beautifully by some incredibly gifted artists.Regardless of how you felt about the show’s final season, from across The Narrow Sea to Beyond The Wall, this is a beautiful and comprehensive book. It features locations, characters, battle designs, and so much more. I was really looking forward to this one. I had high hopes for this book and I wasn’t disappointed. You can find it here on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Art-Game-Thrones-Insight-Editions/dp/1683835336/ref=sr_1_1?crid=142XJ4INWO4NS&keywords=the+art+of+game+of+thrones&qid=1573701366&sprefix=The+Art+of+ga%2Caps%2C136&sr=8-1
Batman by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo Omnibus Vol.1
When they began their partnership with Batman #1 during DC’s New 52 initiative, not many would’ve predicted that Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo would go on to become one of the all time great writer/artist teams in the history of comics. Least of all Snyder and Capullo themselves. In fact the duo disliked one another so much at the beginning of their partnership that Snyder demanded to DC that one of them be taken off the book. Luckily cooler heads prevailed and after working together for a few issues, they fell into a groove. Now the duo with the rough start consider one another best friends, even brothers. It shows in their work because their run on Batman is one of the best in the character’s long history. This collection includes issues #0-33, starting stories like the now famous Court of Owls and ending with the epic Zero Year. This is also where the writer/artist team also began their unsettling work on The Joker, with the chilling horror tale Death of The Family, included in this volume. Snyder and Capullo add new and exciting elements to The Caped Crusader’s mythology, while reinvigorating iconic characters and offerings a fresh and insightful look into the mind of Bruce Wayne. The volume isn’t exactly cheap, but it’s worth every penny. This volume is an example of what the very best Batman stories are all about. Batman by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo Omnibus is The Dark Knight and his world at it’s very best. This comic book collection get my highest recommendation. You can find it on Amazon right here (*Make sure you check the alternate sellers under more buying options for cheaper prices on this product): https://www.amazon.com/Batman-Scott-Snyder-Capullo-Omnibus/dp/1401298842/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2EO5JZS7JTJR2&keywords=batman+by+snyder+%26+capullo+omnibus&qid=1573698863&sprefix=Batman+by+sny%2Cmovies-tv%2C452&sr=8-1
*When you comes to shopping on Amazon, I always recommend checking out the new and used alternate sellers, listed under Amazon’s price on every product page. Often you can find new, or next to brand new, versions of the item you’re looking for, well below the listed Amazon price.
We have a GREAT episode of “The World’s Best Podcast” this week! After dropping the final trailer last week,the upcoming film, “JOKER” (opening 10/4) starring Joaquin Phoenix and directed by Todd Phillips (The Hangover), has screened for critic to rave reviews. Some even calling the movie a “masterpiece”. So on this podcast, I go through everything you need to know about the various on screen depictions of The Joker in the past, on TV and the big screen. What’s the deal with this new version of The Clown Prince Of Crime and why did I think this new movie broke one of the cardinal rules of the character?
We also give an update on the Marvel/Sony Spider-Man standoff. Is everyone’s favorite Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man really out of The MCU? Time will tell, hopefully some kind of deal between Disney and Sony can still be reached.
Finally, we wrap up the episode with a couple of reviews, first for Amazon Prime’s new series “Carnival Row” starring Orlando Bloom. Then we dive into Dave Chappelle’s new comedy special on Netflix “Sticks and Stones”. Enjoy!
Thanks for listening! Follow me on Twitter @PJWrightWBM or type Worlds Best Media into the search bar, you can also like and follow us on our Facebook page; World’s Best Media. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, go a long way to supporting the show. We really appreciate the loyalty shown to us by World’s Best Media fans, so thanks again!
LIVE FROM RADIO CITY MUSIC HALL! …Well… No, not really… But it’s a good show anyway! On this week’s episode of The World’s Best Podcast, guest co-host Paul Sr. and I discuss the must see movies and TV series coming up next month, in our July Movie & TV Preview! We give you the scoop on Spider-Man: Far From Home, Stranger Things 3, Young Justice: Outsiders & more! Of course, along the way we take some of our usual nonsensical detours, but that’s part of the fun!
I also wanted to mention, as a public service announcement, that the word around the campfire is that Spider-Man: Far From Home is not only spectacular, but it also has a lot of cool surprises and twists and turns. Besides the trailer I have posted below, I’d recommend avoiding anymore trailers or clips from Spider-Man: Far From Home. From what I’ve heard, this is a movie you want to go into knowing as little as possible. Speaking of trailers, you can also check out the latest trailer for Spider-Man: Far From Home, as well as Stranger Things 3 and Young Justice: Outsiders at the end of this article.
As a little bonus for our World’s Best Media readers and subscribers, I wanted to bring your attention to a few other movies and TV shows premiering in July that we didn’t have time to go over on the podcast. First up, we have Amazon Prime’s new series The Boys. Based on the incredible comic book series created by writer Garth Ennis and artist Darick Robertson, The Boy’s takes place in a world where superheroes exist, but they’re reckless, entitled assholes who are way more likely to kill a bunch of innocent people as collateral damage than they are to save the day. When these pricks get really out of hand, The Boys step in. The Boy’s are a covert government team of violent lunatics who fuck up and/or kill superheroes who get out of line. Garth Ennis is the amazing writer behind the comic book classic Preacher as well as writing the most iconic run on The Punisher of all time. If you’re at all familiar with Ennis’ writing you won’t be surprised that The Boys is batshit insane in the best possible way. Everything I’ve seen so far has indicated that the show is pretty damn faithful to the source material. I’m pretty psyched for this one. Make sure you check out the trailer posted below. The Boys premieres on Amazon Prime on July 26.
Lastly, we have the new DCAU movie (or DC Animated Universe movie), Batman:Hush. I’m alway excited when one these new animated movies come out. They may not always knock out of the park, but when they do it’s fucking spectacular. Batman: Hush is based on the comic book storyline of the same name, an iconic Batman story written by Jeph Loeb (Batman: The Long Halloween) and legendary artist Jim Lee. The story is a sprawling mystery about a mysterious madman calling himself Hush, who’s hellbent on destroying Batman and everything he loves. The story is a trip through the most iconic parts of Batman’s world, featuring everyone from The Joker and Ras Al Ghul to Superman and Nightwing. This movie has the potential to be great, so I hope DC really nails this story. The trailer is posted below. Batman: Hush hits digitally on July 20th and on Blu-Ray August 6th.
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.
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: