Excitement is inevitable when we hear that Matt Groening is developing a new project, as we have today with the news of the forthcoming animated series Disenchantment. Though Groening's name has nearly unparalleled importance to the pop culture of the past three decades, you wouldn't exactly call the man prolific. After all, he's only responsible for two works of note--three if you count Life in Hell, though the absurdist comic strip can hardly claim the reach of his generations-defining The Simpsons, or even its more cult-friendly follow-up Futurama. But with these two offerings alone, Groening has more than earned his keep. In fact, perhaps it's because of his conservative productivity that Groening manages to maintain such a sanctified name.
Almost 30 years after the creation of The Simpsons and 18 after that of Futurama, we get our third series from Groening: Disenchantment, which Variety describes as a fantasy comedy taking place in a crumbling Medieval kingdom. Keeping in step with its forebears, Disenchantment will no doubt focus more on the day-to-day personal turmoils of its characters--a (per Variety) "hard-drinking princess" (Abbi Jacobson), her elf companion (Nat Faxon), and some thus far nebulous sort of demon (Eric Andre)--than it will on the kind of epic adventuring typical of the genre.
Though few shows can claim early '90s The Simpsons' grip on contemporaneous Americana, and Futurama proved itself when it came to small screen sci-fi, we are eager to see how Disenchantment will fare within and tear the fantasy motif down form the inside out.
It's no big mystery why Groening may have seen fit to attempt Medieval fantasy here and now in 2017; The Simpsons came in the heyday of family sitcoms, and Futurama right at the precipice of a sweltering era of speculative sci-fi movies (and computer-related real-life fears). Topping the lot of today's biggest pop culture phenomena is Game of Thrones, which has built an onscreen world (and an offscreen one, for that matter) so precious as to practically beg for a Simpsons- or Futurama-style deconstruction.
As of now, details are scant on when Disenchantment will hit Netflix, though we do know it will come in the form of a 20-episode first season, and will also star Futurama power players like Billy West, John DiMaggio, and Maurice LaMarche. Keep watch for more info, and let us know what you think about Groening's next project!
Image: 20th Century Fox