hypertext, words and more


  • In many ways, Night Country sings a different tune than the previous seasons of True Detective. Previously, follow up seasons reception was less than favorable. Fans are salivating for a follow-up that can meet or exceed the original grit and pull of the debut season. In season three, Mahershala Ali delivered a refreshing saga that was draped in nods to the first season, but didn’t thread the needle completely. Season four however takes the core of what made season one so fantastic: murder and mysticism.

    Theology and mysticism have long treaded a thin line which Carl Sagan has touched on. Understanding our natural world is the only thing that can aid us from steering toward superstition:

    “Science is a way to call the bluff of those who only pretend to knowledge. It is a bulwark against mysticism, against superstition, against religion misapplied to where it has no business being.”

    Carl Sagan

    Night Country gives us many opposing parallels to consider within its narrative walls: Native Americans and white men. Cultures and conquests. Science and mysticism. Light and dark. Order and disorder. Environmentalism and exploitation. Machine and organic.

    The twilight of the long arctic night is a frightening backdrop. The severe darkness beckons for relief. I can hardly fathom enduring more than a few days of darkness myself. Isolation in a such a harsh dark world ratchets up those anxieties even further. The arctic night is a brief pause in an otherwise mundane cycle: daybreak is always followed by the night.

    But, not in Night Country. A chilling start, capped off with a dizzying end. SO much more is yet to come and I couldn’t be more happy with where this is headed.

  • Kinsey Grant for Morning Brew:

    HBO Max, the streaming service AT&T’s WarnerMedia revealed yesterday, is paying a reported $425 million for the exclusive rights for Friends when the show’s deal with Netflix expires in 2020. At least Monica can finally afford that apartment on her own.

    AT&T, though, can’t afford to watch other heavyweights like Disney and NBC invest in their own direct-to-consumer streaming services without planting its own flag. So it’s launching HBO Max next spring with 10,000 hours of content—both originals and classics.

    This is so interesting. Like, really really interesting. The deal kicks off with Friends which will catalyze thousands (if not a few hundred thousands) of subscribers alone. The real crown jewel will be the original programming such as Pretty Little Liars (including other works in the HBO pipeline I’m sure), and featured content from other networks. The Verge reports:

    The service will feature content from “Warner Bros., New Line, DC Entertainment, CNN, TNT, TBS, truTV, The CW, Turner Classic Movies, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Crunchyroll, Rooster Teeth, Looney Tunes, and more.”

    Rooster Teeth? That’s new. I would have expected that from YouTube TV but HBO Max? Fascinating. It’s a pretty generous package to kick-off with. The direct-to-consumer streaming services well hasn’t dried up yet, but the options available aren’t the panacea we had hoped for. I suppose this is the future we wanted, and at least they’re competitive options. None of these services lock us in via expensive rented-hardware like cable-box providers. If anything, the programming is the lock-in. I think Netflix has learned that the hard way:

    I wonder how many subscribers Netflix will lose post-Friends? Or better-yet, how will this affect their growth strategy?