Last year, we reported that FX had ordered a pilot for How and Why, a half-hour comedy pilot from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind writer Charlie Kaufman. Today, Deadline is reporting that the show will have two great lead actors in John Hawkes and Michael Cera. The brief logline is that the show “tells the story of a man (Hawkes) who can explain how and why a nuclear reactor works, but is clueless about life.” Since this is from the mind of Kaufman, who also wrote Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, and Synecdoche, New York, I’m assuming it’s nowhere near that simple. While neither Hawkes nor Cera are strangers to television, I’ll be excited to see how they play off each other (assuming they actually share the screen; with Kaufman, it’s best to leave expectations aside).
Kaufman will write and direct the pilot as well as executive produce, but there’s currently no air date. Assuming the series is picked up, and FX is willing to give Kaufman as much freedom as they’ve given Louis C.K. on Louie, then How and Why could be amazing, or at least unlike anything else on television.