Disenchantment

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domino harvey
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Disenchantment

#1 Post by domino harvey » Tue Jul 25, 2017 7:22 pm

New animated fantasy series from Matt Groening and Josh Weinstein picked up by Netflix-- voice work by Eric Andre, Abbi Jacobson, Nat Faxon, and most of the Futurama cast

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Big Ben
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Re: Disenchantment

#2 Post by Big Ben » Tue Jul 25, 2017 7:28 pm

I love the Futurama cast dearly but that doesn't mean a thing if the writing isn't up to par. Cautious. Very cautious.

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domino harvey
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Re: Disenchantment

#3 Post by domino harvey » Tue Jul 25, 2017 7:29 pm

Well, Josh Weinstein ran two of the best Simpsons seasons and co-created Mission Hill, so he seems a safe bet (and I suspect Bill Oakley will end up involved)

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Re: Disenchantment

#4 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Tue Jul 25, 2017 11:35 pm

Netflix have done quite well in the adult animation department so far, and I definitely wouldn't see this as being the drop-off point.

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doh286
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Re: Disenchantment

#5 Post by doh286 » Wed Jul 26, 2017 8:29 am

domino harvey wrote:Well, Josh Weinstein ran two of the best Simpsons seasons and co-created Mission Hill, so he seems a safe bet (and I suspect Bill Oakley will end up involved)
Oakley is involved per his Twitter account.

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mfunk9786
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Re: Disenchantment

#6 Post by mfunk9786 » Wed Jul 26, 2017 8:48 am

I wish the subject matter were anything, anything else - but can’t help but be cautiously excited for this.

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Re: The Simpsons

#7 Post by DarkImbecile » Thu Jun 28, 2018 2:57 pm


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Re: The Simpsons

#8 Post by DarkImbecile » Sun Jul 22, 2018 1:00 pm


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Re: Disenchantment

#9 Post by mfunk9786 » Tue Aug 21, 2018 12:49 am

After going in with sub-zero expectations and even less interest in its fantasy milieu: I am incredibly delighted to report after two episodes that Disenchantment is great, an extension of everything that made Futurama so enjoyable with some key omissions that actually serve to bolster it, especially in this day and age. Namely, current references. There are references to things that exist in modern society, sure (a wedding cake topper gag, for example) but unlike literally everything made in the last 3 or 4 years, there are no fucking Trump jokes in this. There are no internet jokes in this. There are no Kardashian jokes in this. The writers are coming from a place of sheer craft, limited but also liberated by such a constraint. The Simpsons was always reliant upon modern cultural references and handled that brilliantly for a few years, ultimately taking its eyes off the ball. Futurama also managed some very clever references to "the 21st century" through Fry and other characters' ways of anecdotally relaying historical information to him. But with Disenchantment arriving in a landscape that is downright sticky with bad comedy that references the least funny person on Earth every couple of minutes, it is so goddamn refereshing that it succeeds on the merits of its characters, its stellar joke writing and voice cast, and familiar (but warm blanket familiar, not ho hum familiar) comedic timing and sight gags. The three leads are new additions to the Matt Groening machine, but they are all very funny (Eric Andre's character is a standout though, and the way he's animated is so wonderfully anachronistic that I have never felt such a magnetic draw toward looking at a cartoon character every time they're in frame since... I suppose, ever) and quickly establish themselves alongside the usual heavy hitters, all very noticably appearing here and there voicing supporting characters.

Unless it really takes a nosedive after the first two episodes (what show ever does that?), take it from this elder millennial whose brain was irreparably broken by the first two Groening series' sensibility: Ignore all the humorless TV critics who wouldn't know a funny joke if it smacked them in the back of the head. Ignore people whose idea of a great animated series is some Adult Swim bullshit. And watch this show.

P.S. Oh, and the animation is fabulous - less busy and exuberant than Futurama, with a painterly storybook look that really dazzles in its high resolution. And then populated, of course, with rabbit characters made into humans to pay off an old drunk's gambling debts. Who knows what adventures they'll have between now and the time the show becomes unprofitable?

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Re: Disenchantment

#10 Post by jindianajonz » Tue Aug 21, 2018 3:16 pm

mfunk9786 wrote:
Tue Aug 21, 2018 12:49 am
I am incredibly delighted to report after two episodes that Disenchantment is great, an extension of everything that made Futurama so enjoyable with some key omissions that actually serve to bolster it, especially in this day and age. Namely, current references... Futurama also managed some very clever references to "the 21st century" through Fry and other characters' ways of anecdotally relaying historical information to him.
I'm not sure I'm with you here- I always thought Futurama's greatest strength (at least in its first iteration) was that it did completely away with contemporary cultural references. The closest I can think of were Richard Nixon and Zombie Agnew- an adminstration already 25 years gone when this premiered- which hardly counts as contemporary. This lack of references in the early series was particularly jarring when the return relied too heavily on them, with send ups of Da Vinci Code, the Eye-Phone, and Leela's Boil. It's always surprising to watch episodes from each run in a shuffled order to see how timeless the earlier shows were.

Either way, I'm glad to hear a strong endorsement of Disenchanted.

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Re: Disenchantment

#11 Post by mfunk9786 » Tue Aug 21, 2018 3:36 pm

You're right that later Futurama was coloring my perception of that show perhaps a bit unfairly. And I adore Futurama and classic Simpsons, so it wasn't even particularly meant as an insult. But it's clear after two shows post-Simpsons that Matt Groening is making a somewhat deliberate decision to avoid the sort of pop cultural, guest star studded vibe of The Simpsons by relying on chameleonic veteran voice actors and settings that don't lend themselves to gags about what's in today's zeitgeist.

In the era of Our Cartoon President, his approach is both greatly appreciated, and has really made me start to reconsider what an essential part of the success of his prior work he was. For all the revisionism over who was the secret sauce of The Simpsons' brilliance, maybe it was Groening all along. He's created three animated series, and all three are home runs.

One thing I left out of my original write-up that I'm realizing is worth mentioning now: Disenchantment is serialized. Instead of an unnatural appeal to binge-watching (which was my assumption, as I can't stress enough how low my expectations were), it's actually something that works very well for the series, and thankfully it isn't too caught up with having too much plot. There still manages to be that sort of hangout vibe that colored Futurama, where characters have room to breathe and establish their personalities before the next action-y setpiece.

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Re: Disenchantment

#12 Post by knives » Tue Aug 21, 2018 3:40 pm

Not to fail to mention Life in Hell which was pretty good.

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Re: Disenchantment

#13 Post by mfunk9786 » Tue Aug 21, 2018 3:42 pm

Indeed - and I had no idea he'd kept it going until 2012.

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Re: Disenchantment

#14 Post by Big Ben » Tue Aug 21, 2018 4:06 pm

I'm pleased to see a strong endorsement of this. The reviews I read were rather middling but at least one critic conceded that the show became much better once it gained momentum. The critics were only sent the first seven episodes and said critic stated it became great during the last three episodes?

I'm also pleased to see it avoids Trump. Not that I don't hate his guts it's just...you know...refreshing to see something other than orange jokes.

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Re: Disenchantment

#15 Post by knives » Tue Aug 21, 2018 4:10 pm

Image

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mfunk9786
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Re: Disenchantment

#16 Post by mfunk9786 » Tue Aug 21, 2018 4:50 pm

Big Ben wrote:
Tue Aug 21, 2018 4:06 pm
I'm pleased to see a strong endorsement of this. The reviews I read were rather middling but at least one critic conceded that the show became much better once it gained momentum. The critics were only sent the first seven episodes and said critic stated it became great during the last three episodes?
I wasn't laughing for about the first five minutes of the pilot but from that point on, it has been a delight. I'm not sure what crawled up most TV critics' asses, but this is a downright lovable show and it is so much better than most half hour television comedy right now. The prospect that it'll get even better is exciting, but perhaps I shouldn't take the word of the same people who didn't like it prior to that point.

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Re: Disenchantment

#17 Post by mfunk9786 » Wed Aug 22, 2018 11:34 am

Watched the 3rd, 4th, and 5th episodes and none of them were quite as good as the first two - but it's still very enjoyable. Perhaps critics were onto something when they said that it improves later in the season, as it has gotten a little aimless plot-wise around this point.

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Re: Disenchantment

#18 Post by mfunk9786 » Tue Aug 28, 2018 5:39 pm

Finished out the season and while they aren't the funniest in a joke-to-joke sense, the last handful of episodes are the best of the season from a plot and emotional impact perspective. Was surprised by how much the show leaned into the serialized format, complete with a number of cliffhangers, but it really suits it. Overall I was very pleased with the first season, and it rests somewhere between the low and high points of Futurama - there were some action and plot-packed Futurama episodes along its run that I really didn't care for, and some more emotionally intelligent and/or wall-to-wall gag focused episodes that were absolutely excellent. Disenchantment isn't as bad as those lows and it's not quite as great as those highs, either.

One thing I wanted to be sure to point out is how great John DiMaggio is as King Zog, a character who was initially a little disappointing to see featured more and more as the season wore on. Zog gains more of a backstory, more complexity, and more depth and humor in DiMaggio's voice acting as the season goes along, though, and it reached the point where I found myself laughing at pretty much anything he said. If you were a fan of Sal, that "yous guys" blue collar character in Futurama whenever he popped up, Zog sounds a lot like DiMaggio's voice for him, but with more of a Jackie Gleason exasperation that is just endlessly amusing to me. I still think Eric Andre could stand to add another dimension to Luci, since the character is so delightfully animated from a visual perspective, but something tells me that Season 2 will be an improvement in just about every area if Groening's other series are any kind of reference point.

Still a very high recommendation from me.

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Re: Disenchantment

#19 Post by DarkImbecile » Tue Aug 28, 2018 6:28 pm

I was sick last week and had a couple days at home to watch this, and I'd concur that it's something less than Futurama at its best but absolutely still worth a watch. The first two or three episodes are quite funny, and the last three pay off the serialization and character development mfunk mentions pretty well, while also
SpoilerShow
ending on a cliffhanger and major upheaval to the plot that makes it seem like the creators might be willing to occassionaly indulge the animated comedy version of a Game of Thrones-style disruption to its core structure.
I'd agree that the Luci character needs the most work of the core group, but I'm hopeful that the series will improve as it continues to develop its rhythms and callbacks as it continues.

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Re: Disenchantment

#20 Post by Big Ben » Tue Aug 28, 2018 6:34 pm

I was under the distinct impression that The Simpsons didn't start off with much of a bang either and really grew into itself (For nine or so more seasons). Futurama I know was that way.

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Re: Disenchantment

#21 Post by mfunk9786 » Tue Aug 28, 2018 6:56 pm

You're right about The Simpsons but while Futurama became more well-rounded in its 2nd+ season, it was sort of perfect from the start. Some of the funniest episodes are in the first season.

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Re: Disenchantment

#22 Post by DarkImbecile » Mon Oct 22, 2018 4:03 pm

This has been renewed by Netflix for another twenty episodes in addition to the ten already produced that haven't yet been made available.

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Re: Disenchantment

#23 Post by mfunk9786 » Mon Oct 22, 2018 4:19 pm

Awesome news. Hopefully more folks here watch it!

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