I’ve long wanted to attend Comic-Con, but it’s probably one of those events I’ll never manage to get to. The original, in San Diego, is simply too far away and too expensive for me to manage. Plus what will I wear? I’ll need to make or invest in some really awesome costume because… Comic-Con! How could I NOT dress up as a super hero? Okay, totally will invest because I’m too lazy to make one. Ahem.
This year’s Comic-Con is nearly over, but Saturday, July 20th, will forever be referred to as “Day of the Trailers.” And what a day it was. My mind was shattered by the time I finished watching the ones I was either already interested in, or new shows that I hadn’t even known were coming. And that’s not even including the Marvel panel which detailed most of Phase 4 television and movie offerings.
Picard had already generated a lot of interest. While I don’t want to pay for yet another streaming channel, the new trailer has me teetering. Looks like Picard gives up his life of retirement to take to space again, this time as a non-federation crew. Interesting new characters, great visuals, and the surprise appearances of Data and Seven-of-Nine really sell the product. I’m sure the wife and I will have a discussion around this soon.
The trailer for West World III was impressive as well, with the robots now moving out into the real world to try and make their way among humans. We have HBO already, so that’s a “must watch.” And His Dark Materials will be as well, though the Comic-Con trailer didn’t change my overall opinion of the show, which is mild interest. The Expanse comes out with season 4 on Amazon, and while the trailer didn’t really tell us much, I’m in for that.
But the Snow Piercer series trailer was mind boggling. The visuals looked amazing, and the cast is stellar. Jennifer Connolly will be one of the stars, which is shocking for a TBS series, and a new reminder of how movies and television are now one and the same. There is no longer a difference in quality between the two, which is probably the best part of our new streaming world. We get cinematic quality television shows which can do so much more than a two-hour film can. While the concept of a train carrying the last 3,000 people on a frozen earth is hugely problematic from a genetics viewpoint, the basic concepts of the show – scarcity, class division, revolution – are as old as humanity itself. Still, this might end up being a show we watch through other means (years later when it’s gone into syndication for example).
But what really jimmied my ice cream was Carnival Row. This is an original series set in an earth where the world of the fay and our real world have blended. Fairies and centaurs and fauns are living in relative peace with humanity in a somewhat steampunk looking late 19th century earth, but apparently war upsets the peace. Racial divisions ensue. The visuals and cinematography were flat out amazing, the cast looked great for their roles (Orlando Bloom is one of the leads), and the setting is so reminiscent of my Mirabel Sinclair novel (possibly series) with its mixing of fantasy creatures in a “real” earth setting with airships that I hold out great hope that it’ll do well and draw renewed interest to these types of works (so I can sell mine, ‘natch). It’s on Amazon, and we have Prime, so we’ll definitely be watching that when it drops.
I’ve long been a fan of series that mix tropes. For too many years I’ve felt the standard “real world mixes with fantasy” trope has been to keep the fantasy aspects hidden from the general population. X-Files for example, where they investigate all these strange things that, as far as Mulder is concerned, mostly turn out to be real. Or the Dresden series of books by Jim Butcher, with the fairies and demons hidden in plain sight. My own novel ditched that and basically decided “what if Tolkien characters and creatures existed in a modern version of earth.” Now Carnival Row takes up that idea and runs with it, and I’m excited to see what they can do with it.
Marvel Phase 4 looks great. They’re running full-tilt with the cross overs between television and movies in ways that Netflix never had the opportunity to do. Which is sad, because those Netflix series were sometimes pretty amazing, and I would have loved to see Daredevil and Luke Cage crossing over into the films, and some of the film characters crossing into those shows. This of course means we WILL have to add the streaming Disney channel when it comes out, probably near the end of next summer (2020). At that point, I might drop Hulu, there’s very little there I need to watch. But I need me some Wanda Vision, and some of the other series intrigue me as well. I’m such a Marvel fanboy that I can’t resist.
In fact, I think our viewing habits will change a lot in the next two years. Hulu will be out, along with Starz. Amazon, Netflix, and HBO will remain, and Disney will be added. Anything else we want to watch we’ll try to get through purchasing those single series of interest that are available through Amazon, or another service. That’s how I got Downton Abbey a few months before it dropped on PBS (it released in the UK much earlier), and it makes sense for when I don’t want to buy an entire streaming channel, but do want to watch a particular series. Or we might wait until an entire series has dropped, get the streaming channel for a month or two, and watch it then and cancel when we’re finished (along with any other shows that interest us; in the case of CBS, that would mean Star Trek Discovery and not much else).
It’s been a good weekend for new shows. I don’t know when I’ll find time to watch them all, though!