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Dan Harmon and Apple TV+ Bring the Strange Planet Web Comic to Life in First Trailer

Our Trailer of the Week pick arrives early, thanks to Nathan W. Pyle's new animated series.
  • Strange Planet (Photo: Apple TV+)
    Strange Planet (Photo: Apple TV+)

    In 2019, small blue aliens suddenly took over the internet. Author Nathan W. Pyle’s Strange Planet web comic featured small blob-like creatures whose naivety about human existence made them extremely memeable. These aliens identify everyday objects and scenarios with straightforward language: coffee is jitter liquid, kisses are “mouthpushes,” and a sun burn is star damage. The four-panel depictions of parenthood, heartbreak, exercise, and social interactions in a way that simultaneously highlights just how bizarre yet simple certain aspects of human existence can be.

    Now those aliens are coming to life in a new Apple TV+ animated series co-created by Pyle and Dan Harmon. The first look, which is already our Trailer of the Week, shows that there’s even more to explore beyond the webcomic panels, and that the astute observations about the absurdity of being alive that were typically written in a squiggly black font are just as pointed when spoken aloud.

    This isn’t exactly the first time Pyle and Harmon have collaborated. Back in 2015, Abed (Danny Pudi) wore a T-shirt featuring one of Pyle’s designs in Community Season 6, Episode 13, “Emotional Consequences of Broadcast Television.” Harmon was seemingly aware of Pyle’s work years before Strange Planet was created, which is a good sign that their creative sensibilities will mesh well on this project. The voice cast features Pudi, Tunde Adebimpe (Lazor Wulf), Demi Adejuyigbe (The Amber Ruffin Show), Lori Tan Chinn (Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens), and Hannah Einbinder (Hacks).

    Despite Strange Planet’s inherent existential nature — not to mention Harmon’s tendency to explore dark themes through deranged characters in his other animated work like Rick & Morty and Little Demon — the trailer promises a calm and at times literally rose-tinted perspective. The walking and talking versions of Pyle’s creations bring even more humor and lightness to his words, ditching any ounce of existential dread in favor of a more hopeful view of being a living being, blue and blobby or not.

    Honorable mention: Gen V, September 29 (Prime Video)

    All great heroes (and villains) have to start somewhere, and in The Boys spin-off Gen V, that place is Godolkin University. That’s where Marie Moreau (Jaz Sinclair) is hoping to rise to the top of her freshman class and eventually become the first Black female member of The Seven. The series’s first red band trailer shows that it will very much follow in the footsteps of its predecessor with lots of violence, gore, and at least one instance of a super’s powers decimating a penis.

    Honorable mention: Heels Season 2, July 28 (Starz)

    The Spades are back, though not necessarily back in the ring. The Season 2 trailer shows that while Jack (Stephen Amell) and his DWL crew work to make their matches bigger and better spectacles, Ace (Alexander Ludwig) is adjusting to a life without professional wrestling. But there are little moments hinting that his days as a wrestler aren’t quite over.

    Honorable mention: Miguel Wants to Fight, August 16 (Hulu)

    The premise of Miguel Wants to Fight is simple (and right there in the title) — before moving to a new city and leaving his friends behind, teenager Miguel (Tyler Dean Flores) wants to get into a fight. In his mind, it seems so easy to channel the stylings of Bruce Lee and his favorite anime characters to get the job done, complete with comic book visuals. But it turns out to be much easier said (and imagined) than done.

    Honorable mention: One Piece, August 31 (Netflix)

    The ultimate treasure hunt is on, and it just might be the most unlikely group of pirates, led by Monkey D. Luffy (Iñaki Godoy), who take the prize. This seafaring epic is based on Eiichiro Oda’s manga of the same name, which was adapted into an anime in the ’90s, and the trailer shows that the live-action series will be just as fantastical as its source material.

    Brianna Wellen is a TV Reporter at Primetimer who became obsessed with television when her parents let her stay up late to watch E.R. 

    TOPICS: Strange Planet, Apple TV+, Gen V, Heels, Miguel Wants to Fight, One Piece, Alexander Ludwig, Dan Harmon, Danny Pudi, Demi Adejuyigbe, Hannah Einbinder, Iñaki Godoy, Jaz Sinclair, Lori Tan Chinn, Nathan Pyle, Stephen Amell, Tunde Adebimpe, Tyler Dean Flores