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Hanna-Barbera’s cavalcade of characters have been around for years and have rightfully earned a place in the hearts of TV fans. Of course, Yogi Bear, Magilla Gorilla, Top Cat and their many friends have gone through a myriad of changes over the years, and their latest show is set to be one of the most unique takes on them yet. HBO Max’s Jellystone! reimagines the characters as living together in the titular town, where many have assumed normal day jobs. The series is a serious departure from what some may be used to, but one star believes the series will strike a chord with multiple generations of viewers.
Actress and YouTube personality Grace Helbig will officially enter the world of voice acting through Jellystone!, in which she voices the character of Cindy Bear. Helbig has gained a significant following due to her work in comedy, and many of her fans are millennials. With this, when I recently spoke with Helbig about the HBO Max series, I was curious as to whether she feels that demographic will connect with this take on the Hanna-Barbera franchise. And Helbig sounds incredibly confident that they will for a few reasons:
Why should millennials watch Jellystone!? I think there is that twang of nostalgia that we all grew up with, and some of us might not even realize it. Like I have learned more and more how much the characters run in the background in my house without me being fully conscious of it. I also think that the comic sensibility is so irreverent and silly, and like nonsensical, that it's completely fitting to what I've noticed is millennial sensibility, comedically. And it's also a show that just means well, it's not, you know, it's making a bit of really lighthearted social commentary. But it's so sweet about it. It's impossible to cancel this show.
Grace Helbig believes that, like herself, millennials may find that they actually have a closer connection to these beloved cartoon characters than they may have previously imagined. And of course, there’s also the fact that unlike its predecessors, the show gets a lot more self-aware (and somewhat socially conscious), which is something that many of this generation have come to appreciate within the comedy sphere.
On that note, there’s also the matter of the veteran fans, who have plenty of expectations when it comes to these characters. But as Grace Helbig continued to explain, seasoned Hanna-Barbera lovers could find themselves intrigued with this new spin on the characters:
I think it's like, you know, we all grow up sometimes. And so there's kind of a wonderful excitement in wondering what these characters would be doing now in the modern world and how they'd be reacting or engaging with each other. And what does it look like when they're met with, you know, still the same completely ridiculous, but more modern dilemmas?And how do they all work together? There's a lot that I loved in the show about the community building aspect of it, that you have all these characters from all these different, you know, Hanna-Barbera corners, and then you put them all together, what would happen? It's kind of like a fantasy league… It's kind of this awesome, like, ‘Yeah, what would happen if they all lived in a town together?’ And now you get to see that lived out. I think that there's something really cool about that, knowing that these characters are ones that you grew up with.
It’s true that the characters may look different and be in different surroundings but, ultimately, the creatives behind Jellystone! seem to be maintaining the core aspects of the characters. And as a result, longtime viewers should still have no trouble identifying with the characters they’ve loved for years.
Jellystone! was a massive undertaking, and cast members like Grace Helbig, veteran voice actor Jeff Bergman and their co-stars seem to have brought their A-game. We’ll see how things progress and how viewers react to the first batch of episodes.
Jellystone! is now available to stream on HBO Max, which you can sign up for using this link.