The good news: there’s an effort underway to bring back Mission Hill, the criminally underrated 2000 animated series. The better news: leading this charge are the original creators, Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein.
The 13-episode series was about Andy French, a young artist out on his own for the first time — yet hobbled with the live-in presence of his little brother Kevin, who frequently got in his way. Other characters included their roommates Jim Kuback and Posey Tyler.
Bill and Josh are currently shopping around a proposal to bring back the city of Mission Hill in the form of a new series, tentatively called “Gus & Wally” and centered more around the gay couple who lived in the same apartment complex as Andy and Kevin. At the time, it was novel to present a gay couple where the joke wasn’t “they’re gay,” and the cartoon won a GLAAD award for its positive depiction. Gus and Wally didn’t appear very often in the existing episodes of Mission Hill, but were the focus of the final produced episode.
How would you bring Mission Hill into the year 2020? For starters, you wouldn’t. It’s not as simple as strapping face masks onto Andy and Kevin and giving them BLM T-shirts. The series’ look was based heavily on indie comics of the era, and the world overall is very late 90s / early 2000s in tone. Many elements no longer match up with modern society…for example, Kevin’s “geeky” interests wouldn’t make him an outcast now.
Bill and Josh once said they had an overall arc planned for the series. Andy was to start out as an obscure cartoonist, down on his luck, and was to obtain progressively better and better jobs, before finally obtaining his dream of running of his own cartoon series in the last season. Perhaps we’ll see this happen now.
That is, if someone buys Bill and Josh’s proposal. If a streaming service (or Adult Swim, who runs the show occasionally) takes interest in “Gus & Wally,” we’ll let you know.