It’s almost time for Adventure Time to return to our screens. The acclaimed Cartoon Network show is making a short comeback on HBO Max in the form of four animated specials that catch up with our favorite residents of the Land of Ooo. As we near the May launch of HBO Max, the streamer has released the first Adventure Time: Distant Lands teaser, along with synopses of the four exciting new specials.
Come on, grab your friends. The adventure continues with Adventure Time: Distant Lands, a series of four animated specials that will each focus on a different character from the disarmingly good Cartoon Network series created by Pendleton Ward. The teaser for Adventure Time: Distant Lands doesn’t show us much from the upcoming specials apart from some flashes of our favorite characters including Finn, Jake, Marceline, Princess Bubblegum, BMO and Peppermint Butler, but it’s enough.
It feels like it’s been years since we’ve seen these characters, who all went through drastic journeys during the whimsical, surprisingly sad, original series. But the synopses for the specials hint at an exciting reunion for Finn the human and his best friend Jake the dog, after the ambiguous, bittersweet ending of the original series. The other specials focus on BMO, Marceline and Princess Bubblegum, and Peppermint Butler.
Here are the official synopses for the four specials:
Episode 1 titled “BMO” – “ When there’s a deadly space emergency in the farthest reaches of the galaxy, there’s only one hero to call, and it’s probably not BMO. Except that this time it is!”
Episode 2 titled “Obsidian” – “ Marceline and Princess Bubblegum journey to the imposing, beautiful Glass Kingdom — and deep into their tumultuous past — to prevent an earthshaking catastrophe.”
Episode 3 titled “Wizard City” – “ Peppermint Butler starts over at the beginning, as just another inexperienced Wizard School student. When mysterious events at the campus cast suspicion on Pep, and his checkered past, can he master the mystic arts in time to prove his innocence?”
Episode 4 titled “Together Again” – “Finn and Jake [reunite] to rediscover their brotherly bond and embark on the most important adventure of their lives.”
Netflix has shown that it has set no limits for how imaginative and mature its animated series can go, giving its creators free reign to go as buckwild as possible. And Adventure Time creator Pendleton Ward is definitely going buckwild with his new Netflix animated series The Midnight Gospel. The first official trailer for the animated series from Ward and his frequent collaborator Duncan Trussell is a cosmic acid trip released, fittingly, in April 2020 get it, 4/20. Watch The Midnight Gospel trailer below.
The Midnight Gospel Trailer
Adventure Time was already a children’s animated series unlike most others we’d seen before — so full of rich characters and literal candy-colored fantasy lands. But The Midnight Gospel makes Adventure Time look, fittingly, like child’s play. Pendleton Ward’s crazed, surreal potential has been unleashed with The Midnight Gospel, which looks like a delirious cross between Terry Gilliam and the Beatles’ trippy Yellow Submarine, with a healthy heaping of acid thrown in.
While Cartoon Network allowed Ward to work his particular brand of offbeat magic with Adventure Time for nine seasons, it’s clear that Ward was just itching to unleash his wildest project with Netflix, which has shown an affinity for envelope-pushing adult-oriented animated projects like BoJack Horseman, Tuca & Bertie, and Big Mouth.
The Midnight Gospel is so chock full of overwhelming eye-catching animation that you’d be forgiven for forgetting that this series probably has a plot. According to Netflix, that plot follows Clancy, “a space-caster who uses a multiverse simulator to interview beings living in other worlds – what he learns is the basis for The Midnight Gospel.” The logline brings to mind the episodes of Adventure Time featuring the dream-hopping Cosmic Owl — some of the most surreal and dryly funny stories of the series — which feel like Ward was building up to The Midnight Gospel. It’ll be exciting to see what Ward will do with this animated series without any restrictions holding him back.
Here is the synopsis for The Midnight Gospel:
Traversing trippy worlds inside his multiverse simulator, a space-caster explores existential questions about life, death and everything in between.
The Midnight Gospel debuts on Netflix April 20, 2020.
Although “The L Word: Generation Q” may have tried desperately to speak to a “new generation” of queer women and non-binary folks, fresher creative voices quickly rose to the top in its place. Though people still watched. Showtime’s “Work in Progress” was the best queer comedy of the year, Netflix’s “Feel Good” was an unexpected delight, and “Vida” is returning just in time for queer audiences to catch up on the best show about queer women of color on TV. Yet another contender released a promising first trailer today: “Betty” is a stylish and youthful portrait of Brooklyn teen skaters that already appears extremely queer.
The six-part half-hour arrives on HBO from filmmaker Crystal Moselle, who quickly made waves in 2015 with her her riveting documentary hybrid “The Wolfpack.” “Betty” is adapted from her second feature, the similarly hybridized “Skate Kitchen,” which followed a group of teenage girl skaters in New York City. The film premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival to positive reviews and was released by Magnolia Pictures that year.
In his B+ review of “Skate Kitchen” out of Sundance, IndieWire’s Eric Kohn wrote: “The streetwise alternative to ‘Girls,’ the movie weaves together such a complete vision of its subjects that the rest of the world barely exists. Of course, there's a long-standing precedent to capturing this subculture — ‘Kids’ did it, with more adventurous storytelling twists, more than 20 years ago — but Moselle's subjects hold their own with the surprising ability to clarify their emotions through the cathartic process of hanging out.”
“Betty” features many of the film’s original stars, most of whom had not acted before, including Kabrina Adams, Dede Lovelace, Nina Moran, Rachelle Vinberg, and Ajani Russell. All accomplished skaters in their own right, the first trailer shows the charismatic crew navigating various crushes and friendship trials with compelling panache and humor.
“Betty” is directed, co-written, and executive produced by Moselle. Lesley Arfin and Patricia Breen are also co-writers. Arfin, who also EPs, is a comedy writer best known for co-creating the Netflix series “Love” with Judd Apatow and Paul Rust.
HBO will release “Betty” beginning May 1 at 11 pm ET. Check out the exciting first trailer below: