The main anchor for Paramount+ is the long history of the CBS networks, including not only the broadcast home of hits like “NCIS” and “Blue Bloods,” but networks like Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, MTV, and the Smithsonian Channel. It will also be the home to films from the Paramount, Miramax, and MGM companies, with the promise of some new hits coming to Paramount+ first, which has already been reported will be the case with “A Quiet Place 2.” At launch, there are over 2,500 titles in the library already, and new films will be released on the platform, including a show based on the hit game “Halo” and a prequel to “Yellowstone.”
Finally, there will be original Paramount+ programming, including three offerings screened early that have dropped today, March 4th, as well as the newest adventure for everyone’s favorite animated underwater creature in “The Spongebob Movie: Sponge on the Run.” They are as follows:
“Kamp Koral: SpongeBob’s Under Years”
Remember “Muppet Babies”? Family classics often get prequels and it’s that time in the cultural cycle for SpongeBob Squarepants, Patrick Star, Squidward Tentacles, and the rest of the gang. “Kamp Koral” features a 10-year-old SpongeBob at summer camp, and it maintains much of the sense of humor that has made Mr. Squarepants an international star. In other words, it’s goofy and playful, never taking itself too seriously. Personally, I prefer the look of the original series more than the boxy CGI here, but the writing is pretty much the same for this show that was originally planned to air on Nickelodeon, and was then moved to Paramount+ to accompany the newest movie. Six episodes will drop today with more planned for the future.
“For Heaven’s Sake”
The most distinctive new property on Paramount+ is this comedy-documentary from the producers of “American Vandal.” Whereas that Netflix comedy was a spoof of documentaries, this is a genuine non-fiction piece, an investigation into the disappearance of a man named Harold Heaven, who went missing in the brutal Ontario winter in 1934. Harold’s great-great-nephew Mike Mildon collaborates with Jackson Rowe to investigate a case close to his family’s heart, even interviewing his mother and father in the process. It’s a charmingly self-aware series that goes on a little too long (eight episodes is a bit much) but it does a remarkable job of poking fun at the true crime genre (part of their pitch to get the series off the ground includes “We have a drone to take good overhead shots”) while also presenting a legitimately interesting mystery. This is really fun, intriguing stuff, and I hope it finds an audience.