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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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Black Widow trailer debuts

The latest movie from Marvel, Black Widow, has been teased in a trailer and a movie poster.

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Scarlett Johansson reprises her role as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow in Marvel Studios’ action-packed spy thriller “Black Widow” — the first film in Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Florence Pugh stars as Yelena, David Harbour as Alexei aka The Red Guardian and Rachel Weisz as Melina. The film is directed by Cate Shortland and produced by Kevin Feige.

Black Widow is set after the events of Captain America: Civil War, and showcases how Romanoff deals with being on the run and forced to confront her past.

The film will be in cinemas on 1 May 2020.

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The Righteous Gemstones – Streaming on Showmax

The Righteous Gemstones, HBO’s most watched comedy debut in three years, has just landed on Showmax.

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The Righteous Gemstones, HBO’s most watched comedy debut in three years, tells the story of a world-famous televangelist family with a long tradition of deviance, greed and charitable work – all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.  

Now streaming on Showmax in South Africa, The Righteous Gemstones was recently renewed for a second season, after earning an 8.1/10 rating on IMDb, an 81% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and a place on Best of the Year lists everywhere from Hypebeast to Rotten Tomatoes.  

Creator Danny McBride (Vice PrincipalsEastbound & Down) stars as Jesse, the eldest of three grown Gemstone offspring, who looks to lead in his father’s footsteps but finds his past sins jeopardising the family ministry.  

Adam DeVine (Pitch Perfect, Modern Family) and Edi Patterson (Vice Principals) co-star as Jesse’s siblings, Kelvin and Judy, while John Goodman (Roseanne10 Cloverfield Lane) plays Jesse’s father, televangelist Eli Gemstone (and appears three decades younger in an extended flashback, thanks to ground-breaking de-ageing VFX). 

“The Gemstones are a world-famous televangelist family,” says McBride, who also wrote and directed the pilot. “They started out from humble beginnings and have slowly but surely built a humongous empire spreading the good word. The church used to be run by Eli Gemstone and Aimee-Leigh Gemstone; they were a husband and wife duo. Aimee-Leigh Gemstone has passed away and Eli finds himself in a place where he has to fill that void. He’s looking to his children to do that but all of his children come up short.”  

That combination of extreme wealth and extreme paternal disappointment has earned The Righteous Gemstones a number of comparisons to another hit HBO show, Succession. As CNN says, “It’s a superbly written and acted dark comedy that humanizes its greedy characters as much as it mocks them in preposterous plots that make for delicious television – much like Succession.” 

McBride says he grew up in a religious family, attending a Baptist church, with an aunt who is now a minister in the church. “I hope people don’t come out and think this is in any way anti-religious,” he says. “Ultimately, this is not about trying to target people’s faith and what they believe in – it’s really just targeting hypocrites and a family that has exploited religion for their own gain, which has made them lose touch with what their original mission was.” 

Goodman says McBride’s insider approach was part of the appeal of the project. “I like Danny McBride’s view on things Southern. He’s from there, he’s very observant and it’s a nice prism. He makes these people funny by never talking down or punching down – it’s just basically human nature.”  

So if you’re in need of a laugh, The Righteous Gemstones is the answer to your prayers. Can we get a Hallelujah? 

The show is streaming now on Showmax.

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