7 Crazy Details About Big Upcoming TV Shows
Whether it's with cable, through streaming, or via loitering in a Best Buy until security bans you, we all enjoy watching TV. And until Hollywood runs out of ideas (or ideas for how to recycle all the old ideas they had years ago), we're getting a whole lot more shows. We've looked into a few of the more anticipated upcoming TV series, and found some details that, for better or worse, intrigue us. Such as how ...
Star Trek: Picard Is Connected To The Reboot Films And Run By A Pulitzer Prize Winner
Following the franchise's proud tradition of sending senior citizens on perilous space adventures, the new Star Trek show, Picard, will find the beloved Next Generation captain going on a new mission that will hopefully involve more than just sipping tea. While we don't know a lot about it yet, we do know that the show finds Old Picard palling around with a canine buddy and working at his own vineyard, hopefully because AC/DC-brand wine has been outlawed in the 24th century.
It's also been suggested by producer Alex Kurtzman that "Picard's life was radically altered by the dissolution of the Romulan Empire." When did that happen, you ask? Well, the destruction of Romulus was what prompted the villain of the 2009 Star Trek reboot film to travel back in time, creating the alternate reality known as the "Kelvin Timeline," in which the Enterprise crew looks slightly sexier and Sulu is suddenly gay because of physics. Meaning that a background detail in that film is of huge significance to Picard, which still takes place in the original, non-Beastie Boys-filled timeline.
In case you're worried the new show will tarnish your memories of Picard that weren't already ruined by the dune buggy chase in Star Trek: Nemesis, one promising sign is that acclaimed novelist Michael Chabon will be showrunner. Chabon won a Pulitzer Prize for The Amazing Adventures Of Kavalier & Clay, and also co-wrote the script for Spider-Man 2. While the show doesn't premiere until 2020, we're also getting a prequel novel and comic book series, which will hopefully focus on the ins and outs of house-training pit bulls.
Watchmen Will Feature A Totally Different Celebrity President
For those who didn't rage-cancel HBO after Game Of Thrones ended like a wet fart in a white tuxedo, this fall, you can watch a Watchmen TV show on the network. Created by Lost and The Leftovers writer Damon Lindelof, the show is both a sequel to and "reimagining" of the landmark graphic novel. It features an older Ozymandias played by Jeremy Irons, as well as some kind of creepy militia seemingly inspired by Rorschach. The trailer also hints that Dr. Manhattan will return to Earth to provide that "swole, anatomically correct Smurf" vibe television has long been lacking.
Recently, Lindelof revealed some even wackier details about the show. For one, it's set in an alternate 2019 that continues from the timeline of the comic. In this reality, the president is ... Robert Redford? Yup, apparently he defeated Gerald Ford in 1992, and has been president ever since (remember, in this timeline, presidential term limits were abolished). If that sounds awesome, it shouldn't, because according to Lindelof, the show will explore "What would happen if a well-intentioned liberal white man was a president for too long." Even more surreally, this dystopian version of Robert Redford will be played by ... our Robert Redford, giving his attorneys a break.
The 2019 of Watchmen features no internet or social media, which were torpedoed by the Redford administration. And instead of the Cold War, the central conflict will center around white supremacy and police brutality. Since there's nothing funny about that, let us once again point out that this show will probably feature a dude with a big glowing blue dong.
A Star Wars Extra Inspired An Important Part Of The Mandalorian
Historically, TV hasn't always been the best medium for Star Wars. There was the dreary (and at times unnecessarily erotic) Holiday Special, the Droids cartoon, the murder-filled Ewok movies, and of course, the time C-3PO and R2-D2 got oiled down by the cast of Sesame Street. Now, thanks to our Disney overlords, we're getting a legit big-budget Star Wars series, The Mandalorian. The show follows a lone gunfighter in the years following the events of Return Of The Jedi. Also, acclaimed filmmaker and guy who's never seen a single Star Wars movie Werner Herzog is in it.
Oddly, a key part of the show seems to have been inspired by one of the extras from the Original Trilogy. In The Empire Strikes Back, during the evacuation of Cloud City, some guy runs past Lando carrying some kind of weird container thing. Fans speculated that it was a futuristic ice cream machine for whatever business sells frozen desserts in the Star Wars universe. Dairy Queen Amidala? Bossk-in Robbins?
Most of us probably didn't even notice this guy. But since even a Star Wars crew member's cigarette butt would be given an elaborate backstory if it appeared onscreen, this guy eventually got not just a name, but a full biography. He's Willrow Hood, and he even has his own action figure. And now it seems that dumb container he was holding is going to be a big part of The Mandalorian. We know this because director Jon Favreau Instagrammed a photo of the object, thrilling fans of that one guy who appears for like three seconds.
The Nancy Drew Reboot Was Almost Insane
Since rebooting iconic children's characters as sexy atmospheric dramas turned out pretty well with Riverdale, the CW is taking the same approach with teen detective Nancy Drew. Also following in Riverdale's footsteps, Nancy's dad will be played by a '90s teen drama star, Party Of Five's Scott Wolf. Also, there will be not just sex, but also ghosts, because why the hell not?
Believe it or not, this the third attempted TV reboot of Nancy Drew in recent years. The first was about Drew as an adult NYPD detective, like a cross between Law & Order and a version of Law & Order in which one of the characters is named "Nancy Drew."
Weirdly, after that pilot flopped, the same creative team and star made another Nancy Drew pilot for a different network, but with a meta twist. In this version, Nancy is the author of a series of Nancy Drew-type mystery books inspired by her past. She ends up being "thrust into a real-life murder mystery," and turns to her childhood best friends for help, but now they hate her because of how they were portrayed in the books. Next to that convoluted premise, a sexy ghost show doesn't seem so out there. And speaking of the CW ...
Batwoman Probably Can't Get Married On Her Show
We've been getting a lot of Batman TV shows that don't actually have Batman in them lately. First there was Gotham, about the Batman-less city and Lil (Bruce) Wayne, then Pennyworth, which is all about how slick and badass Batman's butler was before he was saddled with a life full of dirty laundry and constant food preparation. And soon we're getting the more promising Batwoman, which is a part of the shared continuity of DC shows that includes The Flash, Arrow, and Supergirl.
The show follows Kate Kane, who becomes Batwoman after her cousin Bruce Wayne disappears. It's garnered a lot of attention for being "the first openly gay superhero" TV show. Which is ironic, since Batwoman was originally created so fans wouldn't think Batman and Robin were a couple.
But despite the progressive intentions behind the series, Batwoman's sexuality has been a source of controversy behind the scenes at DC. In a recent comic series, the publisher "forbade the marriage of Batwoman Kate Kane to her fiancee Maggie Sawyer." DC later defended the decision, claiming that superheroes shouldn't have personal lives, while the comic's writers quit in protest. And now you know why DC calls Superman's house "The Fortress of Solitude," and not "The Fortress of Maintaining Healthy Relationships With Friends And Loved Ones."
Apple's Sesame Street Spinoff Teaches Preschoolers ... Coding?
After years of sponsorship deals with letters and numbers proved not very lucrative, Sesame Street has been partnering with giant corporations lately. First they made the move to HBO, which surprisingly hasn't led to Bert dropping any F-bombs on Ernie (yet). Now they have a new spinoff which will be available on Apple's upcoming streaming service, Apple TV+. The show, Helpsters, was announced by Big Bird himself.
Bizarrely, while Sesame Street endeavors to educate children on general things like colors, shapes, and cookie gluttony, Helpsters was specifically created to teach preschoolers about coding. Because who hasn't met a toddler they thought should be part of the tech industry? Cody, the Muppet star of the show, claims that "coding fosters collaboration, critical thinking skills, and is an essential language that every child can learn." Still, that seems like kind of a weird thing to teach preschoolers.
Some critics have pointed out that this show "directly benefits" Apple by helping them to build a "pipeline of new coders." And some parents are concerned that while fostering an interest in science and technology is all well and good, developmentally, little kids should probably be working on stuff like "figuring out how to share their toys," not figuring out how to program the next FaceApp.
Amazon's Lord Of The Rings Series Takes Place A Long Time Ago, And Might Exist Just To Sell Books
Even after three epic Lord Of The Rings movies, three grossly padded Hobbit movies, and extended home video releases of all six of those, we're still getting more Middle-earth. This time it comes in the form of a TV show from Amazon -- the same company which, coincidentally, also sells Lord Of The Rings boxer briefs with the One Ring's inscription circling your butthole. Originally, rumors claimed the series would be about a young Aragorn battling orcs and puberty simultaneously, but then Amazon tweeted out a series of maps implying that the show will take place between 500 and 5,000 years before the events of the trilogy. Which is a little like making a prequel to The Sopranos set between prehistoric times and the Middle Ages.
Famously, Amazon spent a ludicrous amount of money just for the rights alone -- $250 million. To put things in perspective, that's literally a thousand times as much as J.R.R. Tolkien sold the rights for back in 1969. Surprisingly, Amazon wasn't even the highest bidder. So why were they granted the rights? Because Amazon is good at selling books.
According to sources, in the same way most beloved '80s cartoon characters were hastily thrown together to hock plastic toys, the Tolkien estate was mostly interested in producing a show that would in turn sell a crap-ton more books. Even though the series has yet to be released, that strategy already seems to be working. After the Amazon deal was announced, the books' publisher "more than doubled its profits." No word on whether the sales of Hobbit-themed underpants have picked up.
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