Tag: hbo

Insecure (HBO) pilot preview: For all the broken pussies out there!


Created by Issa Rae (The Choir) & Larry Wilmore (Blackish, The Bernie Mac Show, The Office). Directed by Melina Matsoukas (Videos for We Found Love by Rihanna & Pretty Hurts by Beyoncé). Produced by Prentice Penny (Scrubs, Happy Endings, Brooklyn Nine-Nine), Michael Rotenberg (Everybody Hates Chris, King of the Hill, It’s always sunny in Philadelphia), Dave Becky (Broad City, Master of None, Louie) & Jonathan Berry. For HBO & 3 Arts Entertainment. 34 pages.

Description: The awkward experiences and racy tribulations of two modern day African-American women. Issa is 29 and lives with her depressed and unemployed boyfriend. She starts to wondering after four years if it’s really the life she deserves. What if there was more out there? While very successful in her corporate work life, Molly, Issa’s best friend, is very unsuccessful in her love life. It’s time for a change for both of them…

With Issa Rae, Yvonne Orji (Basketball Wife), Jay Ellis (The Game)…

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2015 was the year when half-hour dramedies thrived on television. Just look at how many were realeased and among them how many were just unmissable. Yes, I’m thinking of you newbies Master Of None Casual. And yes, to you too sophomore You’re the worstTransparent. Thanks for all the feels, good vibes and melancholy. Red Oaks & Togetherness, we like you but you can do better. Girls you lead the way and we want you back ASAP. Looking, we already miss you very much my dear. As you all know, 2015 was also the year when afro-americans started getting treated better with shows and characters that are not black for the sake of being black, or just funny sidekicks. Empire, How To Get Away With Murder, Blackish… They opened up all new possibilities. But hey, where’s the dramedies with mostly afro-americans talents and characters? They’re coming in 2016! HBO is getting ready. There will be somewhere this year Brothers in Atlanta, about two 30-year old-reporters who try to make it big in the burgeoning black mecca of contemporary Atlanta; and Insecure, starring newcomer Issa Rae. This one is not to be missed! Mark my words.

It could -and probably will- be billed as a “black Girls“, like Looking was said to be a “gay Girls“. But it would be a bit offensive and most importantly: not entirely true. But we can’t overlook the fact that none of Lena Duham’s Girls are black. No judgement. That’s just a fact. Still, the problems met by Hannah and her girlfriends are the same for many black women all around the world. It would have been nice to just recognize it by giving one part to a woman of colour. Not for quotas. Just to be real. Anyway, I don’t see Insecure as HBO’s response to this b(l)acklash, just the opportunity to give Issa Rae, a really promising writer and comedian, a chance to shine and to tell her truth to all of those are interested to hearing it and seeing it just the way it is. Whether you’re male or female. Or unsure. Whether you’re black or white, or brownish, or whatever. Whether you’re confortable in your own skin or insecure. Like she is. Or at least, like her/our heroin is.

You’ve read the pitch up above (no, you didn’t?! JUST DO IT ALREADY!). That’s pretty much all there is to say about the story at this point. Those two friends realize, going towards their thirties, that they deserve better than this life they’re living. They’re smart, they’re ambitious, they’re entitled to. They’re awkward too sometimes and that’s charming. So they’re ready to make things work. Of course, that won’t be easy. But feeling kind of ready is the first step. And admitting that you have a “broken pussy” as they say,  is another one. This part of the pilot is hilarious. And it’s not just for the sake of saying repetedly the world “pussy” on television. It means something deep for Molly. Even if a vagina is not that deep I learned. Anyway. Some jokes are bold, racy. The tone they used is totally unapologetic and it feels good. They don’t avoid the question of ethnicity, of belonging to a community. But it’s not at the center. Those girls happen to be a lot of different things, sometimes paradoxical things, and one of them is being black. That’s it.

In many ways, I feel like Insecure is more Master of None than Girls. Or a mix of both. The writing is top-notch. It’s damn funny and it has heart and depth. It’s exactly what we’re asking from a cable dramedy. I can’t wait to witness their tribulations. It’s gonna be good my friends! And maybe It’ll help you fixing your very own broken pussy.



EXCLUSIVE: Netflix orders “Mindhunter” series from David Fincher & Charlize Theron


Previously set up at HBO,  the “Mindhunter” drama series produced by David Fincher & Charlize Theron is ordered straight to series by Netflix for a possible late 2016 launch…

Back in 2010, actress Charlize Theron & director David Fincher developed together a show for HBO adapted from the book Mind Hunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit by John Douglas and Mark Olshaker that never came to fruition. The serial killer drama recounts Douglas’ experiences as a top FBI investigator of serial killers and rapists and the profiling techniques he developed. He became a legendary figure in law enforcement, pursuing some of the most notorious and sadistic killers of our time like the man who hunted prostitutes for sports in the woods of Alaska, the Atlanta child murderer or Seattle’s Green River killer, a case that nearly cost Douglas his life. Every shortened season may follow a different case.

The pilot script was written by Scott Buck, who worked on Six Feet Under & Dexter and who was recently chosen by Netflix to run Marvel’s Iron Fist series. It’s produced through Theron’s Denver and Delilah banner & Jennifer Orme Erwin’s Jen X Productions. Shooting is expected to start in May 2016 in Pittsburgh. They are now looking for the perfect big name who will star as Douglas.


EXCLUSIVE: HBO orders “The Recruiters” pilot from “Zero Dark Thirty” Kathryn Bigelow


UPDATE – The Hollywood Reporter reveals more informations about the story : “Set in Minnesota, the drama will draw open an iron curtain behind which viewers will see the highly impenetrable world of Jihadi recruitment“.


While several drama pilots (Us, The Deuce, The Devil You Know…) are still in contention at HBO, the pay channel has just ordered a new one from oscar winning director Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty)…

The Recruiters tells the story of a high school poet who goes on a journey far from his home. It’s created and directed by Somali born-canadian rapper and musician K’naan Warsame, inspired from his own journey, and produced by Kathryn Bigelow through her company First Light Productions. The shooting is planned for an april 2016 start in Toronto.


EXCLUSIVE: “Wild” director Jean-Marc Vallée reteams with Reese Witherspoon for HBO’s “Big Little Lies”


HBO miniseries “Big Little Lies” starring Nicole Kidman & Reese Witherspoon will be directed by Jean-Marc Vallée (Wild, Dallas Buyers Club, CRAZY). 

Produced by Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon and writer David E. Kelley (Ally McBeal, The Practice, Boston Justice) for his first foray into premium cable, the show, based on a best selling novel by australian Liane Moriarty, is in the same vein as The Slap and tells the story of three mothers of kindergartners, each at crossroads, whose apparently perfect lives unravel to the point of murder. Kidman will play Celeste, the kind of beauty who makes the world around her stop and stare. Whitherspoon will play Madeline, a force to be reckoned with, funny, biting and passionnate. New to town single mother Jane has yet to be cast. When Celeste and Madeline takes her under their wing, none of them realize how the arrival of Jane and her inscrutable little boy will affect them all. It’s a show about ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.

Shooting is expected to start next January and will resume in May. French Canadian director Jean-Marc Vallée has been chosen to direct the episodes -the exact number has not been announced yet. It’s a reunion with Reese Witherspoon, whom he directed on Wild in 2014. His previous movie Dallas Buyers Club received a ton of nominations in 2013, including two wins at the Oscars for Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto’s performances. His next movie, Demolition, starring Jack Gyllenhaal and Naomi Watts, will be released on April 2016.






EXCLUSIVE: HBO orders “Tin Star” series from “28 weeks later” writer


Endemol Shine North America, already behind AMC’s “Hell On Wheels” & DirecTV’s “Kingdom”, has just sold to HBO a direct-to-series drama called “Tin Star” from “28 Weeks later” co-writer Rowan Joffe.

Set in an idyllic mountain town overrun by migrant oil workers from a nearby fracking facility and swamped by a rising tide of crime,  it tells the emotionnaly charged and sometimes funny tale of Jim Worth, a good-humored, teetotal family man and zealous police chief, whose peaceful life is shattered when a newly arrived gang of criminals murder his infant son in a botched attempt to assasinate him. This act -and the shameful responsibility Jim bears for his own cowardice when he ducks to avoid the assassins bullet combined with his refusal to aknowledge the past triggers Jim’s alchoholism. And Jim’s alcholism takes the form of an alter-ego: a hard-drinking, charming, deceitful and ruthlessly violent past self, called Jack Devlin. This is The United States of Tara meets every gritty cable drama you can think of.

English Kudos Film and Television (Broadchurch, Humans, Utopia…) is co-producing this contemporary gripping drama, set to shoot in Calgary, Canada, starting April 2016.



The Devil You Know (HBO) pilot preview: Meet Nancy Botwin & Piper Chapman’s wild ancestors


Also known as “New World“. Pilot “One To Tear My Soul Away” written & produced by Jenji Kohan (Orange is the new black, Weeds), Bruce & Tracy Miller (The 100, Eureka, ER). Co-produced by Mark BurleyTara Herrmann (Orange is the new black, Weeds). Directed & co-produced by Gus Van Sant (Boss, The Sea of Trees, Harvey Milk, Elephant, Will Hunting). For HBO & Lionsgate Television. 66 pages.

Description: The circumstances around one of the most compelling chapters in American history in 1692 where intolerance and repression set neighbor against neighbor and led Salem, New England, one of the first towns in America, to mass hysteria…

With Eddie Izzard (Hannibal, United States Of Tara, The Riches), Karen Gillan (Doctor Who, Selfie, Guardians of the Galaxy), Ever Carradine (Once & Again), James Marsters (Buffy, Angel, Smallville), Anne Dudek (Big Love, Dr House, Mad Men), Mary Mouser (Body Of Proof, NCIS), Damien Molony (Ripper Street, Being Human), Kate Nash, Ewen Bremner, Nadia Alexander, Nigel Lindsay, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Hannah Nordberg, Will Pullen, Ismenia Mendes


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There is something fascinating that’s happening right now on TV, something impossible to ignore any longer. Bold and provocative HBO had for a long time only one solid challenger called Showtime, that used more or less the same model for more or less the same results. It was heaven on earth. The rest of TV was just something else entirely. Like two faraway continents that could never meet. Then AMC came out of nowhere and shaked the ground a little bit, just enough to create a fracture. But HBO didn’t move or even blink. European television did some bold moves too. It impressed and it inspired, but it did just that. Then came Netflix, like a tsunami that destroyed the shore and disturbed the peace. Soon enough, Amazon and Hulu will become bigger ships, eager to invade. HBO can’t just let its throne being robbed and its kingdom fall. Revenge is coming. And there will be blood.

Jenji Kohan was HBO’s ennemy for a long time. She created Weeds for Showtime, a dark comedy that really defined the network and helped put it on the map. And she did it again for Netflix by inventing critically acclaimed dramedy Orange is the New Black. Both shows could have been on HBO. But they weren’t. Now it’s time for Jenji to use her magic and do to HBO what she did for Showtime and Netflix: pushing the boundaries even further. And hopefully, people will love that and ask for more. The thing is though, HBO has already done pretty amazing things for 15 years now. And boundaries they pushed. Oh yes, they did. Jenji Kohan’s no-so-secret weapon might be her very distinctive female voice. HBO is more of a male-oriented channel, with a few exceptions. That’s how it is. The Devil You Know is definitely a provocative drama that put women at the center of it all. Some of them take drugs. Others are in cage. Most of them FEEL caged. They don’t sell weeds and they don’t wear orange jumpsuit, but they are not that different from Nancy Botwin or Piper Chapman. They are their ancestors. They were there at the beginning of the new world and damn, they suffered.

The Devil You Know starts with a scary scene that resembles Game Of Thrones’ opening, but less gory. A young girl named Betty is walking in the snow on a frigid day, during the coldest winter of the century – the sixteenth century. She feeds the pigs while singing, when a dark man moves closer and closer to her, until she sees his head: he has the face of a crow. He spreads his huge wings, takes off and flies into the clear white sky while Betty is running away towards the village. Salem. During the whole pilot, Betty has visions of crows attacking humans, ravaging bodies, eating raw flesh. Like she’s possessed. By the devil? But she’s not the only one having troubles. Then the first few pages are boring, ‘cos the show looks like something we’ve already seen a thousand times. A history drama, not far from a documentary about American history. It’s not uninteresting but not particularly engaging either. We’re introduced to a least 20 different characters. That doesn’t help. But as the story progresses, it gets less and less conventional, and more and more fascinating. Everybody turn out to be fucked-up! Like really fucked-up. The whole city is in on the verge of hysteria: women are devious, lustful, men are perverted and greedy. Even children are dreadful. For example, a group of women (lesbians?) are rubbing and penetrating their vaginas with broomsticks by the fire; while Ann, a 15 year-old girl (who is the closest to a heroin) is giving a handjob to a young man to make him testify in favor of her father, who happens to have a conflict with the richest man of the town. And there’s also a hint of incest, raw fucking with love, a very violent rape performed by an Indian tribe… yes, there’s definitely a lot of sex. Even True Blood‘s characters would blush. Is it a fantasy show? I can’t say. We have to wait 60 pages out of 66 to be introduced to dark magic and possible witchcraft. And it’s OK.

Sadly, this pilot lacks a real plot. Jenji Kohan perfectly knows the rules of writing but she also knows that she can do whatever she wants and not follow them because we all love her for that. Like her characters, she’s unconventional. She can take all the time she needs to set-up the atmosphere -and Gus Van Sant, who directs, is not exactly known to rush things either- HBO will trust her anyway. So the pilot works more as an introduction to all the characters, so we can care about them quickly and I assure you we do, than an actual pilot that builds toward a momentum and gives us a real sense of what the show will be in subsequent episodes. We don’t really know, and we don’t really care. In Jenji we trust.

The Devil You Know is an experiment, its own beast, wild and provocative, a show about townspeople discovering a new world, through a female perspective. I don’t think there is anything like it on TV right now. It’s very different from what Jenji Kohan did before. It’s tantalazing and exciting. What is HBO waiting for to order it? It needs to be on air as soon as possible! With Game Of Thrones, True Detective, The Leftovers, Westworld and now this, HBO is definitely not giving up.