Matt Groening's new animated series "Disenchantment" headed to Netflix

The creator of The Simpsons and Futurama, Matt Groening, has a new animated series for adults called Disenchantment. The "medieval adventure" debuts August 17 on Netflix and "follows the misadventures of a hard-drinking princess, her feisty elf companion and her personal demon."

The Guardian reports:

...Broad City’s Abbi Jacobson will voice Bean, who, in the four promotional photos released by Groening on Reddit and the show’s official Twitter account, carries either a sword, scimitar or a pint of beer, suggesting no ordinary princess.

Bean’s sidekicks Elfo and Luci will be voiced respectively by Nat Faxon, who in 2011 won a best adapted screenplay Oscar for The Descendants, and the comic Eric Andre, last seen partaking in bachelor-party shenanigans in Rough Night. Supporting the main trio is a group of celebrated voice actors including Futurama’s John DiMaggio, Billy West, Maurice LaMarche, David Herman, Tress MacNeille, Jeny Batten, Rich Fulcher, Noel Fielding and Lucy Montgomery.

...In a statement last summer, Groening described Disenchantment, which has been picked up for 20 episodes, as a show “about life and death, love and sex, and how to keep laughing in a world full of suffering and idiots, despite what the elders and wizards and other jerks tell you”.

images via Netflix Read the rest

Jennifer Aniston and Tig Notaro will play POTUS and FLOTUS, respectively, in new political comedy

We'll find out soon what might happen when if lesbians run the country.

Deadline is reporting that Jennifer Aniston and Tig Notaro will star as the first same-sex couple in the White House in an upcoming political comedy film on Netflix:

Netflix has set Jennifer Aniston to play the U.S. president, and Tig Notaro her first lady in First Ladies, a political comedy being written by Notaro and Stephanie Allynne, based on their original pitch. This one’s not your usual White House comedy. First Ladies is a political comedy about America’s first female President and her wife, The First Lady. When Beverly and Kasey Nicholson move into the White House, they’ll prove that behind every great woman… is another great woman.

Jennifer Aniston, Tig Notaro First Same Sex White House Couple In Netflix Film Comedy ‘First Ladies’

photo by Diego Cambiaso, cropped and then altered with a rainbow by NikNaks Read the rest

Gad Elmaleh's new comedy special 'American Dream' is worth a watch

There are a lot of comedy specials on Netflix and I do my best to watch them all, as I have a voracious appetite for seeing professional comedians perform their craft.

Now, I don't normally do this but I feel compelled to share the one I watched last night with you. It's called Gad Elmaleh: American Dream and it's showing on Netflix right now.

This is the first special the Moroccan-born comedian has done in English, though apparently it's rehashed material from his 2016 French language Gad Gone Wild. It doesn't matter. He's gone ahead and created something wonderfully funny for us to enjoy without having to read subtitles.

His unique insight on everyday American culture and the quirks of our language really had me laughing. His observational humor is Seinfeld-esque (though distinctly his own) and, in fact, he's been described many times as "the Jerry Seinfeld of France."

Amazingly, Elmaleh's debut appearance on American television was just two years ago. He recounted on Seth Meyers' show the first time he met Seinfeld in person, on his then-home turf of Paris:

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Imagining Netflix in 1995

YouTube channel Squirrel Monkey has imagined what it would be like to stream movies through Netflix on a 56K modem in 1995. It's a hoot, whether you lived through the ancient days of early computing or not.

Previously: If Siri existed in the 1980s Read the rest

Obama working on deal with Netflix for TV series that he would produce with Michelle

Former President Barack Obama is in the late stages of negotiations with Netflix to produce a series of stories with his wife and former First Lady Michelle. The Obamas would be paid for exclusive content, which they say would not directly challenge Trump and the GOP, but instead would be inspirational. Stories might include moderated conversations on topics such as health care, voting rights, nutrition and climate change.

According to The New York Times:

The deal is evidence that Mr. Obama, who left the White House when he was just 55 years old, intends to remain engaged in the nation’s civic business, even as he has studiously avoided direct clashes with Mr. Trump about his concerted efforts to roll back Mr. Obama’s legacy. It is also a clear indication that the former president remains interested in the intersection of politics, technology and media.

Several people familiar with the Netflix discussions said that executives from Apple and Amazon, which have their own streaming services, have also expressed interest in talking with Mr. Obama about content deals.

The number of episodes and the format of the show hasn't yet been nailed down.

Image by Petty Officer 1st Class Mark O'Donald, USN - http://www.defenselink.mil/PhotoEssays/PhotoEssaySS.aspx?ID=1073, Public Domain, Link Read the rest

Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke's daughter Maya cast in 'Stranger Things 3'

On Friday, Netflix announced a new cast member for the upcoming season of Stranger Things. Maya Thurman-Hawke, the 19-year-old daughter of Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke, will join the hit show as Robin, the "alternative girl."

Variety writes:

Hawke will play an “alternative girl” bored with her mundane day job. She seeks excitement in her life and gets more than she bargained for when she uncovers a dark secret in Hawkins, Ind.

Ooooo...

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A gritty Netflix-style documentary on the Tide Pods epidemic

The folks at Reality Check Documentaries took the trailer for Netflix's gritty drug-crime docuseries DOPE and made it into a clever parody for the "Tide Pods epidemic." It works a little too well, imo.

The official trailer for #TideDoc a documentary exploring the struggles and lives of pushers and the police in their never ending cat and mouse game.

Previously: Now there's Tide Pods sushi and, yes, it's edible Read the rest

Review: Bright (2017)

The introductory sequence of Bright is enchanting: signs and street art in Los Angeles that describe a world where the races of historical high fantasy stuck around into the present day to become the mocked or honored subjects of political graffiti.

But once characters start talking, this geeky cool evaporates into a mediocre buddy-cop movie. The swirling fantasy tropes are a trash gyre on the seas of racial allegory.

Bright's contemporary LA is also anchored in the past, all sterotypical gang violence, decrepit public services and despotic crime lords. At the top of society are elves, whose fortified enclaves echo South African apartheid more than Jim Crow. At the bottom are orcs, an underclass repressed due to their former allegiance to a long-defeated Dark Lord.

In the middle is humankind, whose own internal racial consciousness and strata are supposedly absent or muted in the world of Bright—but whose humans constantly exhibit our world's racial conscioussness and strata.

When star Will Smith's character kills a verminous bat-like fairy, for example, he declares that "Fairy lives don't matter today." The "today" warps a quip into darker territory: it suggests that fairies are sentient enough for there to be a slogan opposing the moral insignificance of their lives and that he is sick of hearing about it. Smith apparently ad-libbed the line, and offers a similar one later, telling an Orc to get his "Shrek ass" out of the way.

Imagine the cultural signifiance of Shrek in the world of Bright! Read the rest

If Santa had a raunchy Netflix comedy special

Hey Santa, 1983 called. Eddie Murphy wants his tight red leather suit back.

This Team Coco bit imagines Santa Claus telling off-color jokes for a stand-up comedy special on Netflix called, "Sack Up! Santa Live!" It's so wrong. Read the rest

Kevin Spacey made 'House of Cards' set 'toxic' with sexually 'predatory' behavior, sources say

Eight current or former "House of Cards" employees claim they were sexually harassed and/or physically sexually assaulted by Kevin Spacey. Read the rest

Review: Voltron, Legendary Defender

My people raised me on the greatness of Voltron Lion Force. So when I discovered there was a remake on Netflix, I was excited. Scared. The bland unpleasantness of the Thundercats reboot lingers still with me. Last night I caught the first episodes, and I have to say I 👏 was 👏 pleasantly 👏 surprised. Read the rest

Go watch Netflix' 'American Vandal'

Rarely do I enjoy new television. American Vandal is absolutely wonderful.

I listened to about 10 minutes of Serial and shut it off. I've always preferred to see the irony in life, rather than be reminded how terrible everything is. American Vandal is what Serial and all true crime docudrama horeshittery should be! MUNDANE, silly, outrageous, and mildly offensive! This is some of the best new comedy I've seen in ages.

It is all about the dicks.

Ganj #1 Read the rest

Raising Dion, sci-fi comic about child with superpowers, greenlit as Netflix series

Raising Dion released a trailer and comic in 2015 (previously). Now Netflix has ordered 10 episodes about raising a 7-year-old son with superpowers. Read the rest

How big is the market for DRM-Free?

It's the Day Against DRM, and EFF is celebrating by publishing the first public look at How Much Do Consumers Value Interoperability? Evidence from the Price of DVD Players, a scholarly economics paper that uses clever techniques to reveal some eye-popping number on the strangled market for DRM-free gadgets. Read the rest

I can not wait for 'Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance'

Netflix brings us a prequel series to the Jim Henson Company's epic The Dark Crystal.

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How Netflix is driving permanent, terrible, standards-defined insecurity for billions of browser users

The New Scientist has published a good piece on Encrypted Media Extensions (previously), the World Wide Web Consortium's proposed standard for adding DRM to video streams; they're creating their first-ever standard that is encompassed by laws protecting DRM (such as the DMCA), and in so doing, they're creating new liability for security researchers, who'll face unprecedented criminal and civil liability just for reporting defects in browsers. Read the rest

The Netflix library has half the titles it did four years ago

Consumer site Extreamist confirms what many suspected: Netflix has sharply reduced its streaming library titles by over 50% from an estimated 11,000 in 2012 to about 5,300 today. Read the rest

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