X-Men: The Complete Animated Series Now On Disney+!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

X-Men: The Animated Series Now Streaming on Disney+! Watch the trailer below!

A picture of X-Men Cyclops, Beast, and Wolverine looking at something while Jubilee points at it. The X-Men logo and Disney+ logos covering the bottom half of the image.

As a child of the 90s, there were really only three superhero cartoons that defined the era for most kids. The best, was of course, the absolute classic Batman: The Animated Series, Spider-Man, and X-Men: The Animated Series. Batman: The Animated Series aired on Kid’s WB, while Spider-Man, and X-Men: The Animated Series were both on Fox Kids or Fox (Though there may have been some overlap at some point). I was a Batman and Spider-Man kid all the way, I loved both of the shows. Those shows were the reason I started reading comic books. When I went to my local comic book store, while I was in middle school, I asked the owner to set me up with the Spider-Man and Batman comic books.

Spider-Man crouching on a building ledge looking down, from the Spider-Man animated series.

While Spider-Man has its charms, it doesn’t hold a candle to Batman: The Animated Series, which still holds up as one of the best television shows of all time. It may surprise you to hear that, despite my love for superhero comics and my love of the X-Men in general, for some reason I never got into X-Men: The Animated Series. It was a big deal for all the kids I went to school with, but something about just turned me off and I never got into it. As time went on and I started to get into actual comic books and I became a huge X-Men comic book fan I would check out random episodes here and there, but I hadn’t seen very much of the show. At that point X-Men: Evolution had begun to coincide with the X-Men live action films that were being released. However, to many people who grew up in that era, X-Men: The Animated Series is the definitive take on the characters. I knew a lot of people who based their expectations of the X-Men films on what was done on the animated series. Like I said, I haven’t seen more than a few episodes, but from what I understand they took on classic stories like The Dark Phoenix Saga, Days of Future Past, and Age of Apocalypse. 

A collage of the X-Men team, showing Jean Grey (alongside both her light and dark Phoenix personas), Cable, Storm, Cyclops, Beast, Rogue, Mystique, Gambit, Wolverine and Jubilee.

  The one problem I will really always have with an X-Men cartoon that’s aimed at kids, is that I think the subject matter just doesn’t translate well to a heavily censored audience. One of the biggest issues I‘ll always have is the fact that everyone’s favorite character from that series is Wolverine. I’ve viewed Wolverine as a perfect example of main stream popular culture’s fundamental misunderstanding of comic book superheroes. Let me see right away, this is something that has hugely improved over the last few years. I think that as a culture, we have become more understanding that superhero stories run the gamut from something that’s appropriate for young children to stories that are only appropriate for adults. The example I love give is, when Batman Returns came out, McDonald’s had toys for that film in their happy meals as part of a promotional deal. Yet that is one of the most fucked up, dark, superhero movies that exists. The Penguin bites a guy’s nose off at one point. Which brings me back to X-Men: The Animated Series and the man called Logan. When Wolverine, one of the main protagonists of an animated show aimed at children, whose defining ability are the razor sharp adamantium claws that shoot out from his hands, there’s a disconnect between content and audience. I mean, there’s only so many times someone can throw a chair at him and he cuts it in half with his claws, with the pieces knocking the assailant out. Or Wolverine cuts a door or weapon. Come on, those things were created for one thing and one thing only and that is to take chunks out of people and stab them until they’re dead. But obviously you can’t do that on a kids show. I always felt like there was extra silliness to the character because it was so obvious that he was being toned down just by the very nature of his powers. His powers revolve around his excellence at murdering people, it’s just right there. Anyway that’s my nitpick.

Wolverine out of his X-Men uniform, with his claws extended, and some kind of energy circling the tips of them.

The point is that, up untill now, X-Men: The Complete Animated Series was never available easily on any streaming service or even some of the major digital purchasers. And there’s never been a DVD or Blu-ray release for The Complete Animated Series or even season by season. Well, that has all changed with Disney+, for the first time X-Men: The Animated Series is available in it’s entirety on Disney+. I think they know that they have an asset with this series, not only will all the original fans go out of their way to watch and enjoy the show, but many of those original fans will share the series with their own children. So Disney+ has putout a special trailer to commemorate the X-Men: The Complete Animated Series becoming fully available on their streaming service. It’s actually pretty cool. Check it out here:

Unfortunately they missed the opportunity to include the iconic X-Men opening theme song. If they put out this trailer, with the X-Men theme song playing at some point in the background, people would be running to their tablets and computers to sign up for Disney+. Even though it isn’t in this pretty cool trailer, the theme song is so goddamn catchy I wanted to make sure I included here for your viewing and listening pleasure…

It’s always worth noting that Disney+ may be promoting the show to gauge audience interest in producing a new season. That’s just conjecture, but it’s worth asking the question. Disney+ actually has a fantastic back catalogue of TV shows, especially when it comes to great cartoons from the 90s and early 2000s. You can find Spiderman: The Complete Animated Series, the aforementioned X-Men: Evolution, and a lot more to discover and explore. My personal favorite is the classic 90s Disney Afternoon series, Gargoyles, which is available in its entirety streaming on Disney+. This show is ridiculously fucking good. It is amazing the shit they got away with for a late 90s cartoon on Disney Afternoon. It is extremely dark, there are on screen murders, they even swear a few times, which is crazy for any animated series that is directed at children. The show is so fucking cool, deep, with characters that are compelling and fascinating, along with a rich and complex mythology that sucks you in. I will definitely write a much longer article about why you need to go out of your way to watch Gargoyles, because it’s fucking awesome. In fact, rumor has it for a while now that Jordan Peele actually wants to make a live action Gargoyles movie, which would be fucking amazing. I really hope that one comes through. Anyway I thought you guys might be interested in these trailers and the info about what is available over on Disney+. Enjoy your binge watching and bring your kids if you have them, I guess. Or screw your kids, go enjoy yourself, pawn your kid off on your spouse or just let them walk around in the yard or some thing. Lock yourself in a room for a few hours and kick back to a time when you were the kid instead of worrying about your goddamn kid. That’s pretty good advice right? All you need is a leash attached to one of those runners that goes across the yard, so kid can just run back and forth and tire itself out. Set out a bowl of water, watch your cartoons, and you’re good to go.

Three panel images, the first of Gambit sitting, the middle of Wolverine punching Cyclops in the stomach, and the third of Jean Grey looking worried or sad.

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. We’re on Instagram @worldsbestmedia2017. 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!

-Paul

PODCAST: The Mandalorian: Season 2 Premiere!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

On this episode of The World’s Best Podcast, I breakdown and review the Season 2 premiere of The Mandalorian, streaming on Disney+! Plus, in what I hope will be a the start of a regular segment here on the show, I let you guys know exactly what I’m reading and what I’m watching to keep me entertained these days! So, let me know what you think in the comments below.

Listen here: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/41787644  Or subscribe on Spotify, Stitcher, Spreaker, iHeartRadio, Deezer, Podchaser, Castbox, Podcast Addict, Google Podcasts, & Apple Podcasts/ITunes…

iTunes/Apple Podcastshttps://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-worlds-best-podcast/id1246038441#episodeGuid=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.spreaker.com%2Fepisode%2F41787644

Spotifyhttps://open.spotify.com/show/11mA9kClyevVZjWYMQB1Io?si=7TfnqkBiShqTQpZhh2UDsA

Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/s?fid=185563

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. We’re on Instagram @worldsbestmedia2017. 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!

-Paul

Artemis Fowl: Review

I haven’t read any of the Artemis Fowl books, so I’ll only be talking about the film, and I don’t know how it compares.

Artemis Fowl is a children’s film, in the vein of a Harry Potter, with a very special child protagonist. In this case, Artemis doesn’t have magic, or special powers, but he is a genius, according to him he’s a genius on the level of Albert Einstein. Which brings us to Artemis’s second character trait that we learn, Artemis is a little shit.

In the first minute or two of this film we learn those two things about him, and the rest of the film serves to really add depth to those two characteristics. His genius is bolstered and reiterated, but lack of experience, and fear really show us is humanity, which begins to undercut the ‘little shit’ aspect of his personality. The truth is, just like most cockiness (as opposed to confidence) Artemis is masking his true feelings with an act of superiority.

For a kid who is supposed to be one part criminal mastermind, one part James Bond, he can be forgiven for being a ‘little shit.’

As the film begins, and we learn about the character of Artemis, we also learn about the world of magic and fairies, and the fact that Irish folk lore is mostly true, or at least rooted in truth. Fairies, dwarves, trolls, and centaurs all live deep under the Earth’s surface hidden from humanity to keep the peace. As we see the fairy society, we get to see that they have magic, but that they’re also deeply technological, advanced beyond the humans on the surface.

We’re introduced to Mulch Diggums, played by Josh Gad, who is telling the story of the film to a faceless MI6 agent (I think it’s director Kenneth Branagh’s voice) through a camera in a black ops site. Mulch is a giant dwarf, and the source of most of the humor in the film. If you’re not a Josh Gad fan, this part might be a bit too much like Olaf for you, where he doesn’t 100% fit the rest of the tone of the film, but I really liked the lightness he brought.

Look kids it’s terrifying Olaf!

The thing that I think really stands out about this film, is that it’s fairly different than anything I’ve seen before. The combination of magic and technology mixes in a way that I’m not sure has been done before, and the visual style is very cool. There were some effects and concepts that I would say were Wachowskian in their originality and style, like a sequence in which a ‘time freeze barrier’ stops working, and we see many of the fairies (the L.E.P. Recon squad) getting tossed and turned through the barrier.

I think overall, this is a really fun film, and would strongly recommend it. I have deliberately not gone into too many spoilers, because I really think this film deserves to just kind of take you in one minute at a time. It’s wonderfully paced, not too scary for kids, but enough adventure for adults.

Overall rating: A- (Would have been a solid A if it weren’t for one really cheesy line by Judy Dench, and I think you’ll know what I mean when it happens.)

Percy Jackson and The Unexpected Reboot

*Editor’s Note: Paul is on vacation this week, and fairly disconnected from the world, so hopefully this quench your thirst for World’s Best Articles.

I’m about a month late on this, but largely because I don’t know how many people who weren’t looking for this news would have found it, so my hope is that it’s still fresh or brand new to many of you.

I’m a big Percy Jackson fan, I read the entire “Percy Jackson and The Olympians” series after seeing the first movie. Then I saw the second movie, and I was fuming. Imagine if Voldemort had returned and had his big showdown with Harry in the third book instead of the seventh, basically that was how the second movie was. Fans of the movies, between the undercutting that the second film did and no rumors of a third movie, thought the series was done on film. It sucked, because some of the best stuff was yet to come, and it never came.

Uh Oh Annabeth, I don’t think we’re getting a third film!

Well, as I’ve said on here a few times before, I have a four-year-old, and so I’m always looking for new entertainment, and when the first movie, “Percy Jackson and The Lightning Thief” was added to Disney +, I decided to show it to him. It was a little more intense than I remembered, but my son can handle it. After watching it he was obsessed, and asked me all about it, I could remember some of the details on my own, and some I had to look up, and when I looked it up, I found out that Rick Riordan (the author of the books) had announced that they were going to be making a Disney + show, and expressed his own disappointment with the films. He basically said that he hadn’t seen the films but had read the scripts and described the process as seeing his life’s work “put through a meat grinder.”

It sounds like Rick Riordan will have a considerable amount of control in the show, I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. Rick being the creator of the books implies that there will be a certain level of faithfulness to the books that the films lacked, and I think they do need to follow the structure closer in order to allow the full story to play out properly. My worry, is over faithfulness. Let’s use the Star Wars Prequel trilogy as an example. George Lucas had full control, and that meant that clunky dialogue and bad acting went unchecked, a trilogy that I would argue with better dialogue and acting may have been the best in the series, was somewhat squandered. In addition to the prequels, in between Episodes I and II, we started into the Harry Potter film adaptations, and while I really like the Harry Potter films, they did one thing for the film industry that I’m not sure was a good thing; they made fans want as faithful and literal of a film translation as possible to source material. There was no more ‘spirit’ of the concept in adaptations, and if you got the wrong color cat for a scene, fans would go nuts (looking at you Hunger Games fans).

“…it’s my life’s work going through a meat grinder…”

With something that as specific of a story as the Percy Jackson series has, I want faithfulness in structure, and spirit, but I don’t want them to try to recreate dialogue from the book verbatim, unless it works, or is important (i.e. prophecies and things like that). I hope Riordan realizes that a show isn’t a book, and is able to adapt for that audience. I don’t know if he can or cannot, because his only IMDb credits are Percy Jackson related, and he had minimal control on the films. He could be great, and he could be awful.

Personally, I’m excited that there will be a new Percy Jackson series, and if it’s good, I hope they go through the sequel series “Heroes of Olympus,” which follows some of the characters in the Percy Jackson series, along with some Roman demigods. That’s kind of the cool thing about this series, if it’s adapted well, there are a ton of possibilities to keep going, or for spin-offs.

In the mean time, if you’re not familiar with the series, you have at least a year to read the first book before the show starts in 2021, and I would highly recommend the book series.

SUPER BOWL 2020 Movies & TV Trailers!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

Super Bowl LIV airs tonight on FOX! Even though I’m not a massive sports fan, I look forward to the game every year. The Super Bowl is where some of the coolest and most highly anticipated movies and TV shows of the coming year will debut new trailers! It’s always exciting to see which projects we will get our first look at during the game. Will Marvel give us the trailer for their latest film? Will we get a look at the new series from Netflix? Well, whether you’re watching the game tonight or not, keep it right here at World’s Best Media, where you can easily find all of the new trailers and teasers for your favorite shows and movies! I’ll be updating the site throughout the night, as each new trailer debuts during the game. This will be your one stop shop for Super Bowl Trailers! Just remember to keep checking back for updates!

Black Widow

No Time To Die (Bond)

Mulan

F9: The Fast Saga

Rick and Morty (Pringles commercial)

Marvel Studios: The Falcon and The Winter Soldier/WandaVision/Loki

FUCK. YEAH.

Well, that looks like all the big ones for now. If I find any more I’ll be sure to post them. Man, that last promo showing teasers for the Disney+ shows was fucking awesome! They may not have shown a lot, but I did not expect to see that and it was a very pleasant surprise. Anyway, thanks for spending this Super Bowl with me!

Thanks for reading and watching! 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!

-Paul

PODCAST: DC’s Crisis Finale & Star Wars:The Clone Wars!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

On this episode of The World’s Best Podcast, i talks about the upcoming final season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, premiering on Disney+ next month. Since Disney bought Lucasfilm, the TV content like Star Wars: Rebels and The Mandalorian, as well as in continuity comic books have been a much better at telling amazing Star Wars tales than the films of late. Let’s be honest; when I say the movies have dropped the ball, I’m really talking about The Rise Of Skywalker. I love The Force Awakens and I really like The Last Jedi. Hell, despite all of my complaining before it was released, I ended up really digging Solo: A Star Wars Story. 

    Still, Lucasfilm and Disney have been putting out some spectacular Star Wars story content, like the aforementioned TV shows, the comics, books, and video games. Marvel Comics (also owned by Disney) doesn’t get enough credit for the consistently excellent Star Wars graphic novels they’ve been publishing over the last several years. Whether you loved or hated The Rise of Skywalker (I lean towards the latter, personally), in my opinion it’s still a pretty great time to be a Star Wars fan. As I mentioned a moment ago, Marvel has been consistently cranking out fantastic Star Wars comics, Jedi Fallen Order on PS4 (or Xbox, pick your poison) was a total blast, and The Mandalorian, which was one of 2019’s best series did, one hell of a job bringing us our first live-action Star Wars TV show. Which brings me to one of the subjects I’ll be covering on this episode of The World’s Best Podcast. The all new, final season of the beloved animated series, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, will premiere on Disney+ next month. In this episode, I discuss the previous seasons of the show and what we should expect going into homestretch of this highly anticipated final season.

  After covering The Clone Wars, we do a deep dive into the second part of The CW’s DC Crossover Event: Crisis On Infinite Earths! The first 3 installments of the 5-Part crossover aired in December and, after the holiday hiatus, returned for the EPIC 2-Part finale last week! The final 2 hours of Crisis did not disappoint and had massive ramifications for The Arrowverse and it’s characters moving forward! On this episode I give my take on the biggest moments from Crisis, how the Crossover Event fundamentally changed The Arrowverse forever, and I speculate about the possible future directions The Arrowverse could take. In many ways, the slate has been wiped clean for all of The CW‘s DC shows. So this is the perfect jumping on point for new viewers or lapsed fans looking to return to the franchise. With Arrow having just aired it’s Series Finale earlier this week (Don’t worry. I’ll get to that in another article very soon), I think Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow have become my favorite Arrowverse shows. Either series would be a good place to jump back into The Arrowverse.      

Listen here: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/22115044 Or subscribe on Stitcher, Spreaker, iHeartRadio, Deezer, Podchaser, Castbox, Podcast Addict, Google Podcasts, & Apple Podcasts/ITunes…

iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-worlds-best-podcast/id1246038441?i=1000463773072

Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/s?eid=64371445&autoplay=1

Thanks for reading and 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!

-Paul

PODCAST: Best TV Shows of 2019!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

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!

Listen here: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/21629997 Or subscribe on Stitcher, Spreaker, iHeartRadio, Deezer, Google Podcasts, & Apple Podcasts/ITunes:

iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-worlds-best-podcast/id1246038441#episodeGuid=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.spreaker.com%2Fepisode%2F21629997

To learn more about the Australian wildfire disaster and how to help, check out this link right here: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/australia-fires-how-to-help-victims-evacuees-firefighters-animals-wildfires/

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!

-Paul

PODCAST: The Mandalorian Episode!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

This week on The World’s Best Podcast, Paul Sr. returns to the show to discuss the first live-action Star Wars TV series, The Mandalorian, streaming on Disney +! Created by Jon Favreau (the actor/director behind Iron Man, Elf, and more), The Mandalorian follows a lone bounty hunter working in the dangerous Outer Rim of the galaxy, sometime after the fall of The Empire. When a high paying job takes an unexpected turn, The Mandalorian’s own personal code is put to the test. With some of the galaxy’s most dangerous in hot pursuit, The Mandalorian must decide what he’s will to fight… and maybe even die for. Does the show live up to the hype? What cool Star Wars Easter Eggs are featured in the series? What are our theories regarding some of the show’s big mysteries? We talk about all this and much more on this week’s exciting episode! Thanks for listening! Enjoy!

Listen here: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/20419183

Or subscribe on Stitcher, Spreaker, iHeartRadio, Deezer, Google Podcasts, & Apple Podcasts/ITunes!

iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-worlds-best-podcast/id1246038441?i=1000458399393

Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/s?eid=65713132&autoplay=1

This is the cool Star Wars featurette that I mention in the episode:

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!

-Paul

New Trailer & Posters For The Mandalorian!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

THE MANDALORIAN The Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) and the Trandoshans


I can’t wait for The Mandalorian! It had so much positive buzz, the first trailer was fantastic, and the people working on this project are some of my favorite creators in Hollywood. As if my anticipated wasn’t already high enough, today Disney and Lucasfilm released a beautiful set of character posters and second trailer to get us hyped up for the shows November 12 release! It’s short, but God damn if it ain’t sweet! As cool as the visuals and production value are, I really love the strange, but fucking wonderful cast assembled to star in this series. You got Pedro Pascal (Oberyn Martell from Game of Thrones) as the titular Mandalorian and there are solid mainstays of film and television like Giancarlo Esposito and Carl Weathers. Finally you have these fantastic, weird, out of left field, pieces of casting that sound nuts, but are fucking awesome. Guys like Taika Watitti as the vicious droid bounty hunter, IG-88 and the always delightful Werner Herzog popping up as some kind of imperial officer or local official (I love to see pop up in these random roles). But I think my personal favorite piece of casting is seeing Bill Burr of all people, blasters in both hands and a mechanical shoulder rig, popping out a third gun out from behind his back! This truly is the best of all possible universes! Watch the trailer right here and check out the cool characters posters below:


What Will Be The Next Game Of Thrones?

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

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.

As always, thanks for reading!

-Paul