Ladies and gentleman, the weekend. Well, not quite. Friday. It’s Friday. Which means it’s Popculturology day. Strap on your Apple Vision Pro goggles (watch out for that charging brick), and let’s dive into this edition.
I finally found a window to watch Echo this week. I’d heard good things about the Disney+ show, and it turned out to be a one of the best MCU shows. Based on how much effort had been put into presenting Echo as a show full of violence — it’s TV-MA! — I was pleasantly surprised to discover a story about family and community and legacy.
When it comes to Echo’s place in the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe, I really don’t understand the Marvel Spotlight branding. Introduced with Echo, the Marvel Spotlight branding is supposed to signal to viewers that a show can be watched as a standalone without having to have watched anything else in the ever-expanding MCU. Which is a nice idea, but why was Echo given this branding? In the first episode alone, the show reuses scenes from Hawkeye (which come with a connection to Avengers: Endgame themselves) and reintroduces Vincent D’Onofrio as Kingpin and Charlie Cox as Daredevil (two characters who debuted in a Netflix show, were brought back in previous Disney+ shows and will be seen again in an upcoming Disney+ show).
But, hey, I’m happy to see D’Onofrio and Cox back. They were perfectly casted for Netflix’s Daredevil, and now that Marvel Studios isn’t pretending that the Netflix shows aren’t canon to the MCU, we’re going to get to see a lot more of them.
We’ve been rewatching Happy Endings. It remains, a decade later, a perfect sitcom. “The best show to ever get canceled,” a friend commented when I mentioned we were doing a Happy Endings rewatch.
While I’ll never stop hoping for a Happy Endings resurrection, I don’t think the magic of the show’s three-reason run could be recaptured.
If you’re a parent, you’re likely (and unfortunately) familiar with Blippi. He’s basically the Brian Fellow of children’s programming — not an accredited educator nor does he hold an advanced degree in any of the educational fields; he is simply an enthusiastic young man with a sixth-grade education. I put a ton of work into eradicating Blippi from any of our daughter’s screen time offerings, but now Sesame Street is going to screw all of that up with a partnership.
Before we jump into this edition of the Friday newsletter, can I ask for a favor? Can you take a few minutes to fill out the first ever Popculturology Reader Survey? After more than a year of writing this newsletter (and with the migration putting everything on the table), I’d love to get your feedback and thoughts. The survey is anonymous unless you want to add your name to say hi.
NEWS, NOTES & TRAILERS
“Blown away”: House of the Dragon star lands Supergirl
A major piece of the rebooted DC superhero universe is now in place. News broke this week that House of the Dragon star Milly Alcock had won the coveted role of Supergirl. The actress, who is best known as the younger version of Rhaenyra Targaryen, beat out several other actresses, including Emilia Jones and Meg Donnelly.
Alcock will eventually star in the DC Studios adaptation of Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow, the fantastic graphic novel from Tom King, Bilquis Evely and Mat Lopes. For now, though, the question is whether we’ll see her in a project before that movie. Deadline suggests that “the new Supergirl will appear in Gunn’s Superman Legacy, which is about to go before the cameras in Georgia, but that’s not [100 percent].” Read the article at Deadline.