“Strange Planet” is the latest co-creation of Dan Harmon (of Rick and Morty fame) and the best-selling writer and artist, Nathan W. Pyle. The AppleTV+ series features the whimsical art and stories of Pyle’s very popular comic strip series of the same name. “Strange Planet,” however, has none of the edge or dark humor of Rick and Morty and I think we can all agree, it is for the best.
Pyle, who may not be as famous as Harmon, still enjoys an audience of millions who are entertained by his work on Instagram, Facebook and other social media platforms. I, personally have been a fan of his blue beings for years and their often sober and philosophical discussions about life and finding meaning in their existence.
They are like us, only more honest and more connected to their feelings. Pyle’s characters are odd and endearing in any number of ways, from their speech habits to their method of describing tools, technologies, and even their pets. “Respect the death blades,” is one of the directives they give to a child when teaching about cat care, for example.
One of the more unusual aspects of the Strange Planet series of comics is the fact none of the characters appear to have names. Since their adventures tended to only have four panels, we are often right in the middle of the event and names aren’t necessary to get to the heart of whatever they are talking about. I am unclear how this will be addressed in the series but if the show takes the same format as the comics, it may not matter, since it is likely to be a skit-related affair where the same voices will be used for multiple characters.
One of the things I like best about Strange World is the redefinition of common items with more honest and direct names. Coffee is dubbed “jitter liquid” and social drinking is defined as using a “mild poison” for personal fulfillment. Both statements are true, but for the people of Strange Planet, it is important to note this for clarity and awkwardness’ sake.
I find the Blue Beings refreshingly honest, seeking connection with their fellows, and looking to know themselves better, which I suspect this is part of their widespread appeal among the readers of the comics. This is quite a difference from the self-absorption, narcissism and psychological dysfunction of Harmon’s other famous project.
Can the television series capture the eclectic and ironic nature of Strange Planet’s blue beings? It would appear AppleTV+ certainly thinks so, having a star studded lineup of vocal talent, including Tunde Adebimpe, Demi Adejuyigbe, Lori Tan Chinn, Danny Pudi and Hannah Einbinder. “Strange Planet” is co-created and executive produced by Emmy Award winner Dan Harmon and New York Times bestselling author Nathan W. Pyle. “Strange Planet” is produced by Apple Studios and ShadowMachine.
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