UPDATED: In a move that will have a massive effect on the filmmaking business, Warner Bros/DC have announced that Wonder Woman 1984, will be simultaneously released in theatres and HBO Max on 12/25/20. The movie will be free for anyone with an existing HBO Max subscription, there will be no extra charge like Disney+ did with their release of Mulan earlier this year. This is some damn good new and I’m psyched to finally see WW84!
We will keep you updated as more information becomes available….
Trailers are one of my favorite aspects of the moviegoing experience. Even if the final film turns out to be a complete piece of dog shit, a great trailer can be thrilling and rousing, it can spark your imagination. Of course, as i’ve said in the past, in some ways the art of movie trailers has disappeared for the most part, every once in a while a trailer comes along that blows your socks off. Whenever I find an interesting trailer, I always make a point to post it here on the website to share it with my audience. So I’ve been thinking about making it a little bit more of a formal, weekly column series called “Trailers of The Week”. Sometimes there are trailers that I’d really love to share with you guys, but they don’t necessarily marry their own article here on the website. This way I can let everyone know about all of the interesting trailers I’ve come across each week. Some weeks are going to be better than others, but hopefully will get more fantastic trailers than average ones. So without any further do, I think I have two pretty cool trailers to share with you guys this week.
The first, is the latest trailer for Justice League: The Snyder Cut, premiering on HBO Max early 2021. It contains a lot of footage that we saw in the first trailer, but some interesting moments are expanded, we get a better look at some significant characters, and there is some new and interesting material as well. I have made it no secret that I am extremely excited for this project, I really hope Zack Snyder is able to silence his critics and give us something very unique and interesting for those of you who don’t know at this point the Snyder cut is so long that it’s going to be released as a miniseries on HBO max, I think it’s about five or six hours at this point, I’m not 100% sure. One thing is for sure this is going to be damn interesting superhero project to watch when it finally comes out.
On to our second trailer…
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a huge fan of the DC Animated Movies that come out three or four times a year. This new film, Batman: Soul of The Dragon, looks particularly interesting. I love the whole retro 70s style and the Bruce Lee, Enter The Dragon “vibe”. Bruce Wayne is one of the best fighters in DC Universe, so it’s very interesting to see a younger Bruce training to become a deadly martial artists. DC Animation have put out their fair share mediocre films, but every now and again they knock one out of the park. Hopefully, Batman: Soul of The Dragon is the former. I love the new aesthetic and unique story. I’m definitely looking forward to give this movie a watch.
Batman: Soul of The Dragon: Available digitally on 1/12/21 and on Blu-Ray on 1/26
Justice League: The Snyder Cut: Premiering on HBO Max sometime in the first half of 2021
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!
There’ve been few things in recent popular culture that have been more divisive than Zack Snyder‘s foray into the DCEU. Personally, I’m a big Zack Snyder defender. I think, with the exception of Sucker Punch, he’s never truly made a bad movie.
Man of Steel is easily my favorite live-action Superman movie. Henry Cavill is much better in the role than people give him credit for and the movie is underrated in general. Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice is a very flawed film, but I love it. Particularly the R-Rated Ultimate Edition. It’s sad that the films reception and his personal issues forced Ben Affleck to walk away from the character because he was arguably our best live action Batman to date. The only thing in that movie that was truly terrible was the decision to cast Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor and his god awful subsequent performance. I understand that, as fans we all have our own beliefs about how beloved character should be portrayed on screen, but I was pleasantly surprised by Batman V Superman, especially because the film was getting such mixed reviews at the time.
I don’t count Justice League because at the end of the day that wasn’t really Snyder’s film. Almost everything with Superman in that movie was shot after he left the film, for personal reasons. Henry Cavill was well into filming Mission: Impossible Fallout, where he sported a thick mustache. You can tell that all of Superman’s scenes were shot after Zack Snyder left the film, because Paramount, the film studio that was making Mission Impossible, wouldn’t let Warner Bros. shave Cavill’s mustache for JL reshoots. So, instead of choosing the much simpler, cheaper, and smarter option of shaving his mustache and having Cavill wear a fake for the remainder of shooting Mission Impossible, Warner Bros. had to remove the mustache digitally. The god awful result is that the whole bottom half of Superman’s face in JL looks like a creepy mannequin come to life. Of course none of that is Zack Snyder‘s fault because he already left the movie at that point, but it’s a funny story if you haven’t already heard it.
Now, Zack Snyder is finally getting a chance to give us his vision of his Justice League film, or at least something pretty close to it. Justice League: The Snyder Cut is premiering on HBOMax next year, sometime in 2021. It might not be much, but HBO released a brief teaser for the project that you can watch below. Of course, you can’t judge a movie after only seeing less than 60 seconds of footage, but I already dig the darker tone. We’re only shown two quick scenes, one involving Diana played by Gal Gadot that was not in the theatrical cut at all and a quick look at a alternate version of the ancient battle sequence that opens the film where Steppenwolf has been replaced by… Well, I won’t spoil it, but it’s someone much scarier and much more interesting. The thing that both of these scenes have in common is that they’re extremely ominous and they both serve to focus on the appearance of a certain iconic DC villain, not featured in the theatrical cut. Take a look below, I’d love to hear what you guys think:
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!
On this week’s episode of The World’s Best Podcast, I review the new HBO series WATCHMEN, from creator Damon Lindelof (Lost, The Leftovers)! This new series serves as a quasi-sequel to the original WATCHMEN comic book, a brilliant deconstruction of the superhero genre. Written by the legendary Alan Moore with amazing art by Dave Gibbons, Watchmen is a true masterpiece of the comic book medium. TIME Magazine listed the graphic novel among their list of 100 greatest novels of the 20th century.
The graphic novel was adapted into a 2009 film by director, Zack Snyder to a mostly positive reception. DC Comics has published multiple prequel comic book miniseries’ under the banner “Before Watchmen”, telling stories about classic Watchmen characters like Rorschach, Doctor Manhattan, The Comedian and more.
Set 30 years after the classic graphic novel in an alternate 2019, police wear masks to protect their identities from a brutal terrorist organization. Following a shocking crime, characters both new and familiar find themselves in the middle of a vast conspiracy. Who Watches The Watchmen? Thanks for listening! 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, 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!
We’re also continuing our attempt to bring attention to fundraising for cancer research and support for people fighting cancer and their families. At the beginning of the episode, we announced that we’d calling attention to a great charity dedicated to fighting colon cancer. The organization is Colon Cancer Coalition of Boston, you can check out their website right here: https://donate.coloncancercoalition.org/Boston Where you can make donations and find out about upcoming events! Make sure you donate and support #teammichelle 💩 (Michelle’s favorite emoji!)
We’re also trying to raise money directly for the family of Michelle Fabri, who recently lost her fight with colon cancer. Every donation, no matter how small helps, so check out their Go Fund Me page: https://www.gofundme.com/f/michellefabri
Starting this week, World’s Best Media begins our 2019 Fall TV Preview! On our website, podcasts, and social media we’ll be covering all of the coolest new and returning shows on TV and Streaming for the rest of the month! Please let us know what you think of our coverage and what series you’d like to see us cover! For our first article we’ll be covering one of my most anticipated new shows and one my favorite returning series…
Watchmen – New Series (HBO)
HBO’s upcoming series Watchmen is, by far, one of my most anticipated film or television projects of the year. It comes to us from Damon Lindelof, the co-creator of LOST and the creator of The Leftovers. Despite some of the haters out there, I think Lindelöf is extremely talented storyteller. Here’s HBO’s official synopsis for the series:
“Set in an alternate history where masked vigilantes are treated as outlaws, Watchmen embraces the nostalgia of the original groundbreaking graphic novel of the same name, while attempting to break new ground of its own.”
Check out the new trailer here:
Despite any missteps taken throughout the series, I still believe LOST is on incredible achievement in long form storytelling. In fact, warts and all, it’s probably still one of my all-time favorite TV shows. So when I heard Lindelof was developing a Watchmen series for HBO I wasn’t that enthusiastic, but not for the reasons you might think.
When Zack Snyder released he is 2009 film adaptation of the classic graphic novel from Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, many felt that the film was too slavish to the source material. So I felt that after receiving an adaptation of Watchmen that was so close to the comic book, what more could this HBO series really say? Of course my assumptions were all wrong and the story Lindelof is telling isn’t a direct adaptation at all, but more of a sequel. While shrouded in mystery we do know certain characters and story elements like Laurie Jupiter, Mothman, Hooded Justice, Ozymandias, Doctor Manhattan, and even Dan’s Nightowl ship Archie are a part of the show.
While on the subject of the 2009 Watchmen, though flawed, I think Snyder’s take is ahead of it’s time and a truly excellent film. This is just my opinion, but I think it’s a great adaptation of a phenomenal comic book. Ironically my largest problem with the film, is the change that most people felt was necessary. I strongly felt that Ozymandias’ grand plan didn’t work, as presented in the movie. Veidt’s plan in the comics is a master stroke. Despite how insane it may seem, you can’t deny the twisted logic of it all: Show humanity a clear and present threat that is completely “other”, totally “alien” and it will bring the species together like never before for the sake of mutual survival.
The way Veidt’s attack went down in the graphic novel could in no way be mistaken for anything other than some type of alien invasion. He teleports a giant alien monster (that he spent billions to create using cloning and the minds of some of the world’s best artists) into the heart of New York City, the creature dies on arrival but not before telepathically kills millions of people. No one could mistake this catastrophe for a nuclear launch.
However, in the film Veidt blows up multiple major cities around the world (both in the U.S. and U.S.S.R.), using bombs he’s designed to mimic the energy signature of Doctor Manhattan. This is just as Russia and The U.S. are on the brink of full on nuclear war. My problem with this version of Ozymandias’ plan is that, in the graphic novel there’s no actual explosions that could in anyway be misconstrued for a bomb of any kind. Blowing up multiple major cities both in the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. seems incredibly risky considering how close to nuclear annihilation the world is at that moment. The success of his whole plan and the survival of the human race, rests on whether or not “the powers that be” will somehow take the time to analyze the energy signature and determine it’s from Doctor Manhattan. What if they just panic when one of the cities explode and one of the two superpowers launch there nukes? It seems like an awfully big gamble for the so called “smartest man in the world” to be taking. I think changing Veidt’s plan in the films takes away from it’s genius and ultimately hurts the film, fortunately it looks like the the HBO series is sticking with the graphic novels version of events in this department. With Oscar Winner Jeremy Irons taking on the role of Adrian Veidt, I cant fucking wait to see what role he plays in the series. I can’t imagine a man like him sitting on the sidelines…
Regardless, that’s just my two cents on a Watchmen film we’ve already seen. This new series has nothing to do with the 2009 film. As you’ll see in the new trailer and behind the scenes video below, it’s almost a quasi-sequel to the classic graphic graphic novel. As a weekly comic book reader, I’m really primed for a story like this. DC Comics has been doing a lot with the Watchmen characters lately with fantastic stories like Before Watchmen and the incredible Doomsday Clock, DC’s own quasi-sequel to Watchmen. Unlike some other fans, after reading spectacular comics like Doomsday Clock, Watchmen isn’t the sacred cow to me that it may be for some other fans.
The past few years have shown me that excellent stories with the characters and world of Watchmen can be told without Alan Moore. I’m pretty sure Dave Gibbons, Watchmen’s artist is involved with the show in some capacity. The cast looks great and I’d like the creative team involved a lot. HBO is the perfect network for something like this, but check out this very cool behind the scenes video below and judge for yourself. It sheds a little more light on exactly what’s going on with this series…
Watchmen premieres on HBO on October 20th.
Supernatural: The Final Season
The returning show I wanted to talk about today is this one of my all-time favorite television shows. A series I have written about here on the site and has been brought up on the podcast so often, it’s a bit of a running joke. I am of course referring to none other than Supernatural. The hit CW series is heading into its 15th and final season in October. Though the fans and The CW network were more than happy to allow the show to continue pretty much as long as the creative team involved wanted, Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki, who plays Sam and Dean Winchester wanted to show to go out on a high note. So it is tough as it is to say goodbye to the boys and characters like Castiel, as long time, fan I’d rather see the show go out in a blaze of glory than whimper across the finish line.
Courtesy of EW.com, are the first official photos from Season 15. The pictures are definitely from the first or second episodes of the season because last time we saw them, The Winchesters and Castiel were up shit’s creek surrounded by a fucking horde of zombies. Not to mention all the other monsters and spirits Chuck freed from Hell, which was a really dick move. I think it’s a safe bet The Boys make it out of this situation in one piece, but that victory will be short lived. Because when it come to The Winchesters and company nothing’s ever easy or simple. Hey, shit happens when you piss of an all powerful cosmic entity that gets off on toying with people’s lives. Check it out…
We don’t know a ton about the final season (man, that sucks to write), but one thing we’ve heard from the cast is that dead means DEAD. In the past, this is a show that’s seen a lot of resurrections. Hell, Sam and Dean themselves have died literally dozens of times. So expect a lot more finality when one of the characters checks out this season. Below you can check out a brief trailer, but damn if it doesn’t make me excited!
It also appears that the final season will be seeing a lot of returning characters. Already confirmed are, of course, Chuck, Amara, Adam Winchester, Bobby Singer, Ellen Harvell, and that’s just to name a few. Expect to see some of The Winchester’s oldest friends and worst enemies show up before the series ends. Finally I have an interview with Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki talking about what sans can expect from the 15th in the final season especially in the first few episodes.
Man, it’s gonna be tough to see this one go, we posted a few more images below. The Final Season of Supernatural begins on October 10th on The CW
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 for our podcast, go a long way to help support the show. We really appreciate the loyalty shown to us by World’s Best Media fans, so thanks again!
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.
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!