Between Rick and Morty coming back for another season and now Strange Planet being turned into a series on Apple it’s fair to say that Dan Harmon is staying busy. The animated show is going to be akin to a few of the other shows that people have seen rolling around over the years, meaning it will be about a group of aliens that point out the absurdity of modern life and how humans are strange creatures for the many things they do. This is a pretty common theme but it’s a wonder how more and more shows keep applying it without being seen as copycats that are taking ideas that have been done a dozen times before and turning them into something else that they figure people haven’t seen yet. The truth is that a lot of ideas tend to get recycled on a regular basis, but people tend to accept it either because they figure that it will be different, or the creators are banking on the idea that younger viewers are growing up with these shows and seeing them as something new. It’s happened to all of us at one point, we think we’re seeing something brand new only to find out that the idea has been done and done again in a few different ways.
It’s very possible that Harmon will come up with a way to make this engaging and get people on board with it, but then one can kind of assume this will happen anyway since, with such a huge fanbase that’s been seen to enjoy the creations he’s already come up with, it’s very fair to say that this new show won’t be lacking for fans when it comes out. When it comes to animated series it’s definitely been seen that the more adult-oriented programming has been seeing a surge in viewers over the years, though one has to wonder just how many ideas are going to be able to go the distance, as Rick and Morty have. It’s easy to think that Strange Planet will get plenty of attention, though it’s also wise to think that it might have to become something entirely different than anything that Harmon has done before.
What’s very typical to see is that once a creator takes on something that people enjoy, their personal style will be seen in many other projects that they come up with. This is usually a habit that forms with many individuals, as the common themes they tend to enjoy can be seen to come out in each creation in some specific way. While this sounds like something that would mark a creator as a bit limited in their scope the trick is to present the material and the familiar themes in a way that people will accept as unique and will therefore think are entirely new. Thinking about how much material has been recycled and reused and renewed over the years is enough to give a person a headache since the truth is that people have accepted this over and over in an attempt to convince themselves that it’s new, innovative, and entirely fresh. The truth is that while much of what’s come around more than once has been seen before, but people are willing to fall into the same cycle over and over as they simply want to be entertained.
It sounds too simple, doesn’t it? Well, welcome to show business, where complexity is more of a shroud to wrap up the simple ideas and make them appear as something else in a strange magic act that doesn’t have an end since the wrapper is renewed over and over as the ideas within are tumbled about and change just enough to convince the people that watch them that they’re being given something new. That might sound cynical but the truth is that the ideas that are being tumbled from one story to another do change shape and form now and then, while retaining their core form no matter how many times they’re tumbled about. Making things change too much too quickly tends to have a negative effect that a lot of people don’t want to deal with since it means investing in something they have little to no experience with.
But giving them the same type of storyline in a different shape or form is something that many people tend to latch onto without fail since they want to think that it’s going to be something different but similar so their emotional investment can roll over without changing too much. That’s why Strange Planet is likely to be a show that people will at least check out, if not come to revere as another of Harmon’s better ideas. We’ll have to wait and see how things go, but it’s fair to say that fans will accept this show just as they have others that have come along.