HBO just made some premiere date announcements for season four of Game of Thrones and a couple of other series, but the network has also released the first images from a few new shows as well as the return of one of the network’s comedies. Briefly:
- The Leftovers – Created by Damon Lindelof, the new drama takes place after what some believe to be the Rapture and centers on people in a small town that didn’t make the cut. The show stars Justin Theroux and Liv Tyler and premieres this summer.
- Silicon Valley – The new comedy series from creator Mike Judge takes place in the high tech gold rush of modern Silicon Valley. The show stars T.J. Miller and Thomas Middleditch and premieres April 6th.
- Looking – A new half-hour dramedy series starring Jonathan Groff that follows three friends in San Francisco who explore the fun and sometimes overwhelming options available to a new generation of gay men. The show premieres January 19th.
- Girls – The third season of the comedy series starring Lena Dunham, Allison Williams, Zosia Mamet, Jemima Kirke, Adam Driver, and Alex Karpovsky premieres January 19th. Additionally, HBO has announced that it has already renewed Girls for a fourth season.
Hit the jump to check out images from the aforementioned series.
HBO has released the first trailer for the upcoming third season of Lena Dunham’s polarizing comedy series Girls. While the second season ended on a rather down note, this trailer amps up the fun level and promises plenty of drama, comedy, and Adam Driver (on a related note, Adam Driver should be in everything). Series regular Christopher Abbott made a public departure from the show during the beginning of production on season three, and in this trailer we see Allison Williams’ Marnie reeling from his absence. We also get a peek at a possible new career path for Dunham’s Hannah and more adorable shenanigans courtesy of Zosia Mamet’s Shoshanna. Though Girls is certainly a bit of a mixed bag at times, the good seems to outweigh the bad and I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what season three has in store.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. Season three of Girls premieres with two back-to-back episodes on HBO January 12, 2014.
HBO has announced premiere dates for three anticipated series this coming January.
- True Detective – The limited series True Detective will debut on Sunday, January 12th at 9/8c. The eight-episode show stars Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson as a pair of detectives whose lives collide and entwine during a seventeen-year hunt for a serial killer in Louisiana. Cary Fukunaga (Sin Nombre, Jane Eyre), directed all eight episodes. Watch the excellent trailer here.
- Girls – Season three of Girls will premiere on Sunday, January 12th with two back-to-back episodes starting at 10/9c. The show stars Lena Dunham, Allison Williams, Jemima Kirke, Zosia Mamet, Adam Driver, and Alex Karpovsky.
- Looking – The new half-hour gay dramedy series Looking will debut on Sunday, January 19th. From Weekend director Andrew Haigh, the show stars Jonathan Groff and revolves around three friends in San Francisco who explore the fun and sometimes overwhelming options available to a new generation of gay men.
Hit the jump to check out first-look images and synopses for all three series.
Never one to go the traditional route, Jay-Z has taken a rather fascinating approach to the video for his latest single, “Picasso Baby.” The hip-hop artist collaborated with director Mark Romanek (Never Let Me Go, One Hour Photo) to put together a piece of performance art for the track, and the result is a 10-minute short film called Picasso Baby that debuted on HBO Friday night. Jay-Z and Romanek set the piece up at Pace Gallery in New York City with the intention of seeing what would happen if Jay-Z performed specifically to a single person instead of an arena full of fans. The result is a highly entertaining piece of work with appearances by Judd Apatow, Michael K. Williams, Taraji P. Henson, Alan Cumming, Adam Driver, Jim Jarmusch, Jemima Kirke, and many more.
Of course, Romanek has plenty of experience crafting memorable music videos, as he’s the man responsible for Johnny Cash’s “Hurt,” Nine Inch Nails’ “Closer,” and Fiona Apple’s “Criminal.” He also worked with Jay-Z previously on the video for “99 Problems.” Hit the jump to watch the performance art film Picasso Baby.
Did anyone count the seconds Shoshanna and Jessa turned up on screen in this episode of Girls? More than twenty, but less than a full minute, surely. The problem with any episode that focuses entirely on Hannah is that Hannah is, by far, the least likable of the foursome. In small doses she can be fine — the cold open was a thing of beauty to anyone who works in, or pays close attention to, media. Hannah, looking to do some kind of Woody Allen-esque “I just want to talk about how awkward I am” piece, or maybe some kind of long-form old-school journalism is told, “have a threesome with strangers you meet off of Craiglist. Or go on a cocaine binge. Just an idea.” Hit the jump to see how that played out, as well as why you should “look at the doll and describe her!”
Already the critics who lauded the first season of Girls for being the defining series of the Millennial generation (funny how none of those critics actually are Millennials, hmm) started to turn their backs on the series last week, saying that the broader humor wasn’t better. I disagree, and “I Get Ideas” is a great example of how more standard humorous exchanges, with beats for jokes and speedily-delivered one-liners that may not reflect the cadence at which people speak in real life, is still representative of the situation’s reality while still being enjoyable to watch. Now that the characters (except for Marnie) aren’t spending all of their time complaining about not having money, they’re just having conversations. With that as the core, the dialogue has really elevated into its own art, and “I Get Ideas” had an incredible amount of great quotes (such as anything/everything Jessa and Shoshanna say). Hit the jump for more on why “I’m not, personally, attracted to you, but that’s only because I know you.”
“I watched Girls, but I didn’t really have an opinion of it” – said no one ever. Last year the show started off shaky and turned some viewers off, but got progressively better as the reality of what the series is — and not what the divisive hype claimed it was — became clear. Girls is really a fine show. Series creator and star Lena Dunham is not “the voice of the generation” (which was a satirically uttered line that HBO turned into a sincere tagline), but she has moments where she gets it really right. So maybe getting the most out of the show means accepting it as an ironic embrace of White Girl Problems, without being dismissive of its truths. Hit the jump to find out where all of the girls are now, and why things are already so much better than before.
The first trailer for the second season of HBO’s comedy series Girls has arrived, and it’s pretty great. The first season of the Judd Apatow-produced series was met with a surprisingly polarized response, but creator/writer/producer/star Lena Dunham took it all in stride and is back with a vengeance. Some of the season one criticisms were valid, but I’ll be damned if I didn’t find this season two trailer incredibly funny. The events of the season one finale look to be reverberating throughout the show’s second season, as we see Hannah (Dunham) taking advantage of her single life, Jessa (Jemima Kirke) getting to know her new husband (Chris O’Dowd), and the unendingly creepy/affable Adam (Adam Driver) going full stalker on Hannah. Oh yeah, and Jorma Taccone’s back.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. Season two of Girls, which will also feature Donald Glover, Andrew Rannells, Rita Wilson, Patrick Wilson, and Colin Quinn, premieres on HBO on January 13th.
Comedy television is an incredibly difficult avenue in which to find success. We’re inundated with a multitude of comedy series every day, ranging from the quirky and offbeat to the rote and mundane. Writer/director/actress Lena Dunham is trying her hand at the medium with HBO’s Girls, and what she’s created is a funny, touching, and realistic look at life as an ambitious yet ambivalent twentysomething in the big city. Moreover, Girls fills the need for a smart female-centric series that paints women as strong yet fallible human beings who are entirely relatable and unbelievably funny. Hit the jump to read my review of the series premiere of Girls.