Saturday, April 14, 2012

3 New Shows Coming to HBO This Spring and Summer

     With the great news landing this week that HBO has renewed the awesome Game of Thrones for a third season (which will tell the story--more or less--of the first half of the third book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series), I thought it would be pertinent to take a glance at three of HBO's new shows: Girls and Veep, which premiere this month, and The Newsroom, which will premiere in June. Consistently beating out every other pay network and destroying any network television station in terms of quality, the fact is that if you are willing to pay for cable or satellite and don't pay the extra 12ish bucks a month for HBO, you are missing out--not just on the best dramas on T.V., but great sports shows, the best political show, and HBO GO, which has nearly all of the station's shows archived into one (extremely easy-to-use) instant watch online database.

     With Girls, one might think that HBO is trying to revisit the success that they had with Sex and the City. "Living the dream, one mistake at a time," could be used for any number of situations that horse-faced Carrie and her crew of hags experienced throughout the numerous seasons of Sex (that all chicks love). Fortunately, it sounds like Girls aims higher and differently: the series is created by and stars Lena Dunham, the maker of well-received indie film Tiny Furniture in 2010. "There was this whole in-between space that hadn't really been addressed," Dunham states about Girls and its two major predecessors, Sex and the City and Gossip Girl. It's this middle space that I'm hoping--along with many others--begins to mine comedy gold. A girl and her friends move to New York City: the plot is familiar, but allows for plenty of ingenuity and (hopefully) genuine laughs. Girls is also produced by Judd Apatow. (Premieres April 15th)

     In the Loop was one my favorite films of 2009. It's acidic humor, dry wit, and overall wackiness helped create one of the best political humor films that I have ever seen. Why mention the great In the Loop? Well, HBO's new show Veep is created by Armando Lannucci, who also made the BBC sitcom The Thick of It (also based on aspects of government), which inspired the fly-on-the-wall style of In The Loop. If you've seen any of the trailers for Veep, it looks sharp and funny. Julia Louis-Dreyfus plays Vice President of the United States Selina Meyer. Other than that simple fact, the plot in unknown. You can be sure of plenty of laughs and ongoing inside jokes, though. Only one person of value from Seinfeld has created anything worthwhile since that great show ended: and that person is Seinfeld creator Larry David. Where did he go when he wanted to create great comedy with less restrictions and boundaries? HBO. Here's hoping Elaine follows his lead with the extremely promising Veep. (Premieres April 22)

The Newsroom
     The last show--and the most anticipated (by me, at least)--is The Newsroom. This looks like it could easily become a classic HBO drama, one that will be praised for years. The first bullet point on the list of reasons to why it will be great: it was created and written by Aaron Sorkin. Lately, his sharp words and realistic dialogue have catapulted some films from great to brilliant--The Social Network and Moneyball are the two most recent examples. If you've caught the new trailer for The Newsroom before the past couple of Game of Thrones episodes, the know the words come fast, powerful and witty. Jeff Daniels plays a news anchor who--along with his staff--tries to create a successful cable news channel. Corporate troubles, commercial woes, and personal and familial drama--these are the hurdles that the ensemble cast must jump above or hide from. Out of HBO's three new shows, this is only one that's an hour long drama, what the pay channel is best at. If everything comes together, and the show is a hit, the station will have Game of Thrones, The Newsroom, and Boardwalk Empire, three great dramas (hopefully, for The Newsroom) in three out of the four seasons. Anticipation is high. (Premieres June 24)

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