Disney+ teases Kristen Bell’s new upcoming reality series with the Encore! trailer at D23 Expo 2019. Previously an ABC special, the show reunites former classmates with the goal of helping them recreate their performances in the high school musicals they starred in.
It’s a busy time for Bell. In addition to the reality series, which is set to be available in November, the actress has been working on the final season of NBC’s The Good Place. As scathing as she is sympathetic, Bell’s performance as Eleanor Shellstrop is often the driving force of the comedy that is beloved among audiences and critics. Bell also headlined a Veronica Mars revival for Hulu that was praised for bringing a new, and even shocking, perspective to a show that has popped up in one form or another since it debuted in 2004. She also a number of titles coming up, including the highly anticipated Frozen sequel. Encore! looks to be a little different, with Bell filling in the shoes of a host, but it’s a project that’s personal to her. Now, fans have their first peek of how it will play out.
During the streamer's panel at D23, Disney+ unveiled the Encore! trailer, which begins with an introduction from Bell and then turns to sunny recollection of time spent in high school. For some, they were days of glory. For others, it was less pleasant. For all of them, they’re somewhat anxious to leave their lives behind and relive it. The series hits on many hallmarks of reality television, particularly in the musical genre: there’s the inspiring story of adversity, there’s a moment of someone singing gloriously offkey and a subsequent reaction shot, but it looks to be a largely positive program. Bell, who has performed on theater stages during her career, will likely be a supportive and occasionally humorous observer of events as they unfold.
Speaking of Encore! during interviews, Bell has said the concept is different because the focus isn’t centered around a group of people that are pursuing fame or looking for a lucky break. For Bell, an executive producer on the series, it’s about opening a door to your past with all that entails and having the opportunity to correct certain mistakes. Bell added that she never envisioned the project as a one-off special event, elaborating on how the concept is universal and could be expanded to include diverse perspectives.
While much of the attention surrounding Disney+ has understandably been devoted to the slate of fictional shows on the way, the upcoming service has a diverse selection of original content. There are several documentaries and programs related to National Geographic. A middle ground is represented by Encore! It uses a big name celebrity to tell a true, down to earth story.
Encore! premieres November 12 on Disney+.