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Apple’s September Event

From the Apple TV+ streaming service to the latest iPhone, Apple launched several products this week at its annual September event.

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Rick and Morty Season 4 returns on Showmax

South Africans can view the latest episodes of Rick and Morty on Showmax as soon as they air in the US, starting Monday.

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Rick and Morty, the Emmy-award-winning half-hour animated hit comedy series on Adult Swim, is coming first to Showmax in South Africa, with new episodes every Monday from 18 November.

The show follows a sociopathic genius scientist, Rick, who drags his inherently timid grandson, Morty, on insanely dangerous adventures across the universe.

Showmax sat down with creators Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon to talk about the fourth season, as well as the buzz around the series as a whole.

“I think it’s safe to say that the gap between seasons three and four will be the longest and last time it takes so long that it’s ridiculous,” said Harmon. “There are so many things that had to be settled before we even started season four and we’re literally writing season five while finishing season four, forcing ourselves to commit to a schedule. Not to get anyone’s hopes up, but it’s structured into our deal that if we’re going strong, there are options to deliver more episodes at a time. 

“Adult Swim can say, ‘These are on time and great. Do you want to do more instead of taking a break?’ And we can do more. I’d like to see that day. Just knowing it’s possible makes me eager for it.”

The new season has 10 episodes. The show’s creators have signed on to create 70 more episodes. Showmax asked if they would end the show after those 70 episodes.

“It’s way too early to say,” said Roiland. “On any given day you’ll feel like Rick and Morty can go for 20, 30 seasons. We have characters that don’t really age; it’s very Simpsons-esque.”

Harmon felt differently about ending the show: “Sure, I’ll end it! But I don’t know that would be on 70 episodes. I would be unequally surprised if you told me that this goes for 20 years. If it still feels right, we’ll do it.”

The creative process for the fourth season has been distinct from the others.

“I think every season is a different process,” said Roiland. “We want every episode to be good. There are times we’re like, ‘Okay this episode will be the worst of the season,’ and we’re still compelled to do everything in our power to fix what is wrong with it. It could be considered one of the reasons the show takes so long. When we get the episodes back in colour, it’s easy to see that if we cut this and add that, it will elevate the episode significantly. Sometimes we get episodes back and are like, “We need to roll up our sleeves and figure this out.” This season however has been good.”

Harmon said: “Every single season there’s a little bit of anxiety: Now what’s our definition of having fun and being good? Are we going to continue to be difficult on ourselves because that seems to be an ingredient in the quality? It’s our job to relax and be happy because that’s another huge ingredient. It’s always going to be there, thinking too much about the audience when you should be thinking about yourself, because that’s how you’ll please the audience. I think that happens on every show, but it’s weird when your job is to continue churning out something that you are proud of for its scarcity. Every season you feel like your job is never the same.”

The first episode of Rick and Morty will be available to stream on Monday, 18 November on Showmax. Seasons 1 to 3 are also available on Showmax now.

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Castlevania: the game that made it to TV

A good story should never be confined to a quarter of a megabyte. By BRYAN TURNER

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Brought to you by The Plum List, your guide to the best streaming in South Africa. Don’t know what to watch next? Find your next binge at theplumlist.com.

From Super Mario Bros to The Legend of Zelda, the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was the first home to many iconic games that still live on today.

In the early days of home consoles, Konami dominated the action-adventure video game market with Castlevania – a gothic horror that launched on the NES. Gamers play as Simon Belmont, who comes from a long line of vampire hunters, as he fights his way through Dracula’s minions to eventually defeat Dracula himself.

The game received many more follow-up titles, with the latest instalment coming soon to Android and iOS. Loyalists to the franchise consider the last game that was released on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse, to be the best. Castlevania III is a prequel to the game series that defined how the Belmont family came to fight against the super-human powers of vampires. Trevor Belmont, a forefather of Simon Belmont, wields a Vampire Killer Whip that he uses against Dracula’s minions.

The strong story and graphical improvements with the limited system hardware set this game in 5th place of IGN’s Top 100 NES Games, and it’s considered to be the title that kick-started video games into having strong storylines.

In a post on Facebook two years ago, US film producer Adi Shankar announced that a Castlevania game was being adapted into an animated mini-series. At the time, fans speculated about which game they’d chosen. All we did know was: it was going to be a Netflix Original produced by Frederator – the animation studio behind Adventure Time and The Fairly Odd Parents.

While those titles are more lighthearted, Castlevania is more of a horror drama. Shankar confirmed in an interview with Collider that “there will be a lot [of violence in the show]. The goal is to bring hard-hitting anime to America and be America’s first animated series for adults.”

When the show was released, fans were pleased to see the series was adapted from the third Castlevania game, with some twists. In the game, players got to choose between three sidekicks to play with, while in the TV show, the main character meets two of them along his journey.

In the show, simply called Castlevania, Count Dracula’s wife is burned at the stake for being falsely accused of witchcraft. He takes revenge against everyone in Wallachia by summoning an army of demons that overruns the country, causing everyone to fear him. Trevor Belmont steps up to the challenge of defeating Count Dracula with the help of a magician and Dracula’s own son.

Trevor is voiced by Richard Armitage, who delivers dry humour excellently while having an accent that conveys his former nobility. Matt Frewer, the voice for the wicked Bishop, does a good job of sounding evil, even when one isn’t looking at the screen.

A criticism of the first season is that it’s very short, at only four episodes. Thankfully, the second season is available now, with an additional eight episodes.

Overall, Castlevania is one of the best video game adaptations I’ve ever seen, as it stays true to the original story while adapting it to make it more interesting for viewers.

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