There are two kinds of surprise drops in the world of entertainment media: The kind you do because you’re so confident in the immediate, lightning-in-a-bottle impact of a piece of art that you’re confident it can seize the entire zeitgeist in one bold, Beyoncé-inspired move. And then the, uh, other kind, where you’ve already spent a bunch of time and money on a potential turd, and the longer you hype it up, the more the stink will have a chance to spread—so you might as well just pop it in the toilet right now, ahead of the purifying flush. These two very different motivations for suddenly launching a project at the collective attention of the planet are usually pretty easy to distinguish from each other.
Anyway! HBO Max has announced a surprise release strategy for its new animated show The Prince, i.e., the cartoon that attempts to turn Gary Janetti’s long-running, foul-mouthed Instagram satire of 8-year-old Prince George Of Cambridge into a sort of royals-focused spin on Family Guy. Rather than keep fans of the show’s hard-hitting political satire (sampleable in the above trailer) waiting, HBO Max has opted to drop the entire 12-episode season onto its servers tonight, at midnight PT—giving us all precious little time to get our The Prince viewing parties properly RSVP’d.
For the unfamiliar, The Prince stars Janetti, who’s been playing a snarky, sarcastic version of this young child for several years now on social media, plus what we’d term an “HBO Max-appropriate, on average” level of famous people rounding out the royal family, including Orlando Bloom, Alan Cumming, Frances de la Tour, Lucy Punch, Condola Rashad, Iwan Rheon, Dan Stevens, and Sophie Turner. A press release for the series is also quick to note that its guest star roster includes not just one but six members of the Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills cast, while the trailer assuages worries that the hefty lead times required by animation might have stopped the show from commenting on the whole Prince Harry/Meghan Markle thing. Rest assured, viewers: Orlando Bloom is here to make Prince Harry jokes at the very best level that his comic voice actor abilities will allow.