Entertainment

Watch 'Raised by Wolves,' explore strange lands in Tunic and go back to your roots with 'Dragon Ball'

Don’t know what to do this weekend? We’ve got you covered.

Watch 'Raised by Wolves,' explore strange lands in Tunic and go back to your roots with 'Dragon Ball'
Image: HBO Max; Andrew Shouldice; Showtime

This week we’re diving into Tunic, which launched Day One on Xbox Game Pass. It’s part Zelda, part Dark Souls and all beautiful fun. And the second season of “Raised by Wolves” on HBO Max is a complicated show that might just give you nightmares.

‘Raised by Wolves’ Season 2 will haunt your dreams

Ridley Scott’s “Raised by Wolves” on HBO Max has been one of the most original and haunting sci-fi tales in recent memory. It manages to combine several daunting subjects — religious warfare, the Book of Genesis, artificial intelligence and contact with extraterrestrial life — into a coherent narrative about restarting human civilization on a hostile planet, under the stewardship of two humanoid androids that are much more sophisticated than they seem.

The second season digs deeper into the nature of the religious cult’s devotion, as well as the development of a functioning society trying to balance the interests of atheists and believers alike. Just prepare for the levitating snake monsters to haunt your dreams.

Beautiful Tunic is a must-play

The brainchild of solo developer Andrew Shouldice, Tunic embodies what makes the Legend of Zelda games so great. Shouldice ultimately pulled in a small team to help him, alongside publisher Finji and distributor Microsoft, to get the game over the finish line, and it shows. Tunic is gorgeous, with captivating music, tough combat and scores of secrets tucked away in its isometric landscapes.

Contemporary indie game players might feel compelled to compare it to Acid Nerve’s Death’s Door; both feature bipedal animal protagonists that wield swords dodge-rolling, Dark Souls-style, through strikingly similar environments. But Tunic is no copycat, and Shouldice went to great lengths to wear his influences on his sleeve when necessary. Tunic is more forgiving than Death’s Door, and as captivating as any top-down Zelda entry. It’s a must-play, especially considering it was surprise-launched on Game Pass this week.

Indulge your love/hate relationship with tech founders

The slow transformation of Hollywood members into tech industry skeptics has arrived, as show after show detailing the hubris and fraud of Silicon Valley officially replaces those that lovingly satirized tech and, before that, glorified it.

Though it took the entertainment industry a few years, and an eye-popping number of book deals, to catch up to the media’s less reverent tone, we’re now seeing a number of the biggest and messiest narratives of the last 10 years make their way to TV. Rani Molla over at Recode takes aim at whether Hollywood is truly up to the task of portraying the complexity behind Travis Kalanick and Elizabeth Holmes.

Get your nostalgia fix with ‘Dragon Ball’

For many anime fans, “Dragon Ball” and its sequel were the shows that started it all. And now, thanks to the merger of anime streaming services under Sony, the entire “Dragon Ball” series is available to watch on Crunchyroll. That includes the original 153-episode run of “Dragon Ball,” the nine-season run of “Dragon Ball Z” and all of the inexplicably weird “Dragon Ball GT,” if you’re adventurous enough to brave that non-canon spinoff. Crunchyroll offers both subs and dubs.

A version of this story also appeared in today’s Entertainment newsletter; subscribe here.

Entertainment

Inside Amazon’s free video strategy

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Freevee’s investment into original programming like 'Bosch: Legacy' has increased by 70%.

Photo: Tyler Golden/Amazon Freevee

Amazon’s streaming efforts have long been all about Prime Video. So the company caught pundits by surprise when, in early 2019, it launched a stand-alone ad-supported streaming service called IMDb Freedive, with Techcrunch calling the move “a bit odd.”

Nearly four years and two rebrandings later, Amazon’s ad-supported video efforts appear to be flourishing. Viewership of the service grew by 138% from 2020 to 2021, according to Amazon. The company declined to share any updated performance data on the service, which is now called Freevee, but a spokesperson told Protocol the performance of originals in particular “exceeded expectations,” leading Amazon to increase investments into original content by 70% year-over-year.

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Janko Roettgers

Janko Roettgers (@jank0) is a senior reporter at Protocol, reporting on the shifting power dynamics between tech, media, and entertainment, including the impact of new technologies. Previously, Janko was Variety's first-ever technology writer in San Francisco, where he covered big tech and emerging technologies. He has reported for Gigaom, Frankfurter Rundschau, Berliner Zeitung, and ORF, among others. He has written three books on consumer cord-cutting and online music and co-edited an anthology on internet subcultures. He lives with his family in Oakland.

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How I decided to go all-in on a federal contract — before assignment

Amanda Renteria knew Code for America could help facilitate access to expanded child tax credits. She also knew there was no guarantee her proof of concept would convince others — but tried anyway.

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Photo: Code for America

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Climate

This carbon capture startup wants to clean up the worst polluters

The founder and CEO of point-source carbon capture company Carbon Clean discusses what the startup has learned, the future of carbon capture technology, as well as the role of companies like his in battling the climate crisis.

Carbon Clean CEO Aniruddha Sharma told Protocol that fossil fuels are necessary, at least in the near term, to lift the living standards of those who don’t have access to cars and electricity.

Photo: Carbon Clean

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Yet it’s proven incredibly challenging to scale the technology, which captures carbon pollution at the source. U.K.-based company Carbon Clean is leading the charge to bring down costs. This year, it raised a $150 million series C round, which the startup said is the largest-ever funding round for a point-source carbon capture company.

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Michelle Ma (@himichellema) is a reporter at Protocol covering climate. Previously, she was a news editor of live journalism and special coverage for The Wall Street Journal. Prior to that, she worked as a staff writer at Wirecutter. She can be reached at mma@protocol.com.

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