Avenue 5 – Armando Iannucci 'space comedy' gets greenlit at HBO

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  • #248067

    performingmonkey

    Starring Hugh Laurie, and Rebecca Front’s in it, for crying out loud, as well as the brilliant Lenora Crichlow. Of great interest, indeed….!

    https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/armando-iannuccis-space-comedy-avenue-5-ordered-series-at-hbo-1203748?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social

    #248093

    si

    Hmmmm. Sounds interesting.

    #248094

    John Hoare

    The fascinating thing about this is that Iannucci has gone on record before about his distaste for Red Dwarf.

    It’ll be interesting to see what his version of a space sitcom is, and how it differs.

    #248096

    si

    There’ll be some patio doors, I imagine.

    #248125

    Dave

    The fascinating thing about this is that Iannucci has gone on record before about his distaste for Red Dwarf.

    I don’t think I ever heard about this. What did he say?

    #248175

    Ridley

    “If you like Red Dwarf, you’ll love Hyperdrive.”

    #248177

    performingmonkey

    Makes no sense why he’d diss Dwarf.

    #248178

    (deleted)

    I can’t wait to see the angry middle aged one who swears creatively, the harangued older one who doesn’t do much but gets dragged along, the naive younger one who doesn’t have a personality but usually connects the subplots at the end, and two tutting women with no funny lines to say who are just Dorothy and Deborah from Men Behaving Badly but power-dressed. With starfields behind the windows.

    #248180

    Plastic Percy

    What about the aging career woman with a strained marriage and worries about her femininity?

    #248185

    John Hoare

    I don’t think I ever heard about this. What did he say?

    A certain Seb Patrick went to a Q&A with Armando Iannucci, and he said he didn’t really like Red Dwarf. I’m sure he talked about it on here, but I’m buggered if I can find the thread now.

    #248186

    Dave

    Ah, I found this (second comment down).

    https://www.ganymede.tv/2006/02/its-a-pod/

    Thanks John.

    #248187

    si

    Thohn.

    #256060

    Warbodog
    #256064

    GlenTokyo

    It’s like Fhloston Paradise from The Fifth Element but a TV show.

    It’ll obviously be decent, what with the writers and cast, but surprised at how unextraordinary it looks to say it’s a HBO show, not that it looks bad.

    #256065

    GlenTokyo

    Maybe that’s more a reflection on how normal TV has come on though in comparison to Premium cable channels.

    Anyway, will watch.

    #256071

    Dave

    Looks good I reckon.

    #256085

    Warbodog

    Not watched Veep, so I don’t know how Armando’s Americanization’s gone. He’s the only writer for this listed on reliable old Wikipedia, so I don’t know if he’ll be delegating or not. Starts in January, definitely worth a try.

    #256088

    si

    Yes, looks very decent.

    #256147

    Lily

    So how does one watch HBO shows in the UK anyway?

    #256148

    GlenTokyo

    It’ll probably be on Sky Atlantic.

    #256230

    performingmonkey

    It’s a shame Capaldi’s not leading this tbh. Obviously, Hugh is more known to American audiences.

    For a moment it looked like there was a huge disaster, leaving minimal crew, but Armando wouldn’t do that….?? You also just know the ‘notes’ from HBO, telling him to tap into ‘The Good Place’-type vibes, constantly kept dropping. Much like everything had to be like ‘The Office’ for a number of years.

    Still, Rebecca Front and all that!!

    #256234

    Warbodog

    It’s a shame it’s not “Hello” Hugh from The Armando Iannucci Shows, but he would be 106, if he wasn’t dead.

    #256303

    Taiwan Tony

    ^ I read that in the style of Hugh from the Armando shows. His legacy will live on.

    #256918

    Veni

    Looks very, very good from the recent trailers I’ve been seeing. Surprising as I’m rather tired of seeing attempted satire of capitalism in a space setting, and it’s very often done terribly with all the subtlety of a claw-hammer to the groin ala The Outer Worlds (if any of you boomers have played it).

    #257166

    Dave

    This has started now, although it’s not on in the UK until Wednesday. Anyone catch it yet?

    #257192

    Paul Muller

    Watched the first episode last night. It’s a weird one, the whole thing felt a bit stilted and artificial. Hugh Laurie was great though, and there were a couple of very funny moments. Hopefully it’ll pick up a bit as it goes on.

    #257219

    Dave

    I watched the first episode tonight. I wasn’t that sold on it at the start but it got better as it went on, and the second half was pretty good. I think it definitely has potential and I think the cast is already working well together.

    #257232

    si

    Watched it. Enjoyed it.

    Thanks.

    #257233

    si

    Watched it. Enjoyed it.

    Thanks.

    #257234

    si

    Twice, evidently.

    #257235

    quinn_drummer

    I enjoyed that. Definitely worth watching. Cool premise, funny throughout. Good set of inter characters and a really good cast that work well together.

    Looking forward to the next episode.

    #257240

    NoFro

    Yeah thought this was a really good start.

    #257368

    Shoes Have Soles

    This will probably be made into a movie with no problems then.

    #257371

    (deleted)

    I enjoyed it but I am also uninterested in ‘a load of cunts being cunts to each other’ as a sitcom genre so we’ll see as it goes on.

    It did feel like the violence and swearing was quite tacked-on though, as though there was something more accessible and networky at its heart that had been dressed up unconvincingly in ‘adult’ clothes. There’s something jarring about its shoutiness/grimness that felt to me like they were embarrassed that they’d come up with a solidly mainstream show, panicked and jammed it awkwardly back into their comfort zone.

    #257372

    quinn_drummer

    I’m not entirely sure I watched the same show as Darrell “‘a load of cunts being cunts to each other” is not how I’d describe it at all.

    #257373

    Dave

    Although some of them were definitely cunts.

    #257374

    (deleted)

    Its tone is definitely that same fight-or-flight, aggressively hostile thing of everything Iannucci’s done since Thick Of It. I just struggle to buy into *any* sitcom, not just this, where most of all the characters are varying degrees of school bully/sociopath/nihilist and every other line is a put-down. It’s utterly dispiriting.

    It might settle down, and I’m intrigued enough by the world, cast and story to continue watching, especially as there’s a John Finnemore episode coming up. But it needs to lighten up as it is fighting itself. The best joke – the background screen with Laurie’s multilingual greetings – was its daftest. If it just relaxes out of that angsty Thick Of It default it’ll work.

    #257375

    Dave

    Oh, I didn’t know John Finnemore was going to be in it. Great.

    #257378

    (deleted)

    He’s got a guest role and also he’s written one.

    #257379

    Dave

    That should be good.

    #257403

    Seb Patrick

    I quite enjoyed the first episode and I liked the twist about Hugh Laurie’s character as a meta joke about his terrible American accent.

    But blimey, eh, considering Iannucci’s on the record about never having been interested in Red Dwarf… very familiar aesthetic in the scenes in the engineering area, eh?

    #257406

    si

    He’s not wrong, y’know.

    #257409

    Hamish

    About not being interested in Red Dwarf?

    #257411

    Ben Saunders

    Bold stance to take, here.

    #257422

    Dave

    Episode 2: still ok, but still not hugely funny. I hope it gets better.

    #257424

    quinn_drummer

    I know its a bit silly, but its making me laugh a lot. It’s nice to have some uncomplicated sci-fi comedy to watch that isn’t trying to be anything too proper.

    Particularly liked the coffin orbiting the ship, though maybe taken a little too far with adding another 3 of them.

    Have to echo Seb’s comment above, really enjoying the (not) captain being English and the switches back and forth on accent when he isn’t around passengers. Was great in the first episode when he was stressed and he broke into it now its just highlighting how crap his fake bravado American accent is!

    “Oh shitting aunts” is possibly my favourite thing I’ve heard all week, along with the misplaced “EAT THE RICH”

    Like I say its all very silly but I’m enjoying it.

    #257426

    si

    Yeah, I’m enjoying it, too. So…y’know.

    #257427

    Veni

    Thought it was alright. Feel like I’ve seen this premise before but done better, and Hugh Laurie for me was the only one carrying his weight whilst everyone else faded into the background.

    Don’t think I’ll be tuning in again but more a circumstance about how little time I really have to spare for TV shows now.

    #257428

    Taiwan Tony

    I’ll watch or listen to anything connected with Hugh Laurie, John Finnemore or Armando Iannucci except Gash.
    In an interview podcast, Armando has expressed a desire to create another sci-fi concept comedy or two. About AI and Robots…
    Perhaps his view of Red Dwarf has softened since getting the boxset for Christmas.

    #257451

    (deleted)

    Watched ep 2. Either it’s settling in or I am (or both), but I’m quite engaged with it. Laughed out loud a good few times, particularly at “keep naming limbs”.

    #257471

    quinn_drummer

    Just thinking, its nice to have a sci-fi show on that I’m not invested in, but that I enjoy, whilst going through the rollercoaster that is Doctor Who and Picard at the moment.

    I can just sit and watch Avenue 5, and if its not brilliant, I don’t care. I can enjoy it for what it is and move on.

    #257472

    performingmonkey

    Definite Dwarfian vibe, whether deliberate or not. Armando has rarely let us down, and IMO this is no exception. Looking forward to seeing things develop…

    #257473

    (deleted)

    I am trying very hard this year to become more passive as a viewer – less critical, engaged in things in a less intense way – to get my enjoyment of TV back which I think has been ruined by overanalysis, overinteraction, too much personal investment, hyper-criticism, entitlement (the end product of me using TV for three decades in quite a toxic way, as a self-medicating salve against a traumatic and stressy life – the reason I’m still sometimes a bit explosive and hairsore on here at times). Contrary to my posts about show 1, and in light of my pleasure at show 2 and Quinn’s post above, I think Avenue 5 might actually be doing the trick…

    #257510

    (deleted)

    Okay, I’m balls deep in this now, it’s got me. I didn’t expect the central plot to be so forward moving and engaging.

    (The ref to the “Huawei wars” took me by surprise, mind. Surprised that wasn’t cut in light of current events.)

    #257519

    Dave

    Yeah, I think it’s getting better every episode. I laughed out loud a few times in this one. Great to see Laurie getting to be so silly again.

    Seems like there’s some political allegory going on too, with all the actors in positions of authority.

    #257521

    quinn_drummer

    Laurie is definitely my favourite bit of the show. His character unravelling a bit as thing go on is quite fun.

    But equally I’m loving all the performances, and the ridiculousness of the situation getting more absurd each week is fun to watch.

    #257743

    Dave

    I’m getting on pretty well with this now that it’s settled into its groove. I still wish the laughs were a little more frequent, but I think the characters have developed well and I like the edge-of-madness tone that permeates everything.

    #257752

    quinn_drummer

    I’ve not watched this weeks episode yet, but I’ve been liking how each week things spiral further out of control, coupled with the growing realisation that absolutely no-one has a clue what their doing is nice.

    Edge-of-madness is great way to describe it.

    Ditto would liek a few more laughs in there, but everything is silly enough to just enjoy what’s going on.

    I also like how very little time, if any, passes between each episode. Each episode has a story, but we’re really also caught up in the much bigger plot of just how screwed they are and how there stuck in space.

    It would have been so easy to just do a lost in space affair with the first episode, and then have the ship stranded and each episode be about a different thing, days or weeks apart from each other. But there’s really focus on everything here tying back to the question of “how do we get out of this mess and back home”.

    #257757

    Pete Part Three

    I thought the first episode was pretty flat, but the twist with Hugh Laurie’s accent got me interested. And then episode 2 killed off that interest, and I haven’t been back. I may give it another whirl but I’m having a bit of a hard time getting into shows at the moment, and this is only getting consideration due to its pedigree.

    #257759

    Dave

    I think it’s true of most shows, and particularly comedies, that they come into their own once the characters and concept have been established and everyone involved (including the audience) has got comfortable with it all. I feel like this show is starting to get to that point now.

    #258113

    si

    Just watched the final episode. I’ve really enjoyed the series, I’ve enjoyed watching the chaos every week. Assuming we all live long enough to see it, a second season would be great.

    #258216

    Dave

    I also just finished the first season, which sticks with yo-yo-ing between desperate hope and chaotic madness until the very end.

    It’s good but I feel like it’s in a position to get even better in the next series now that the cast is fully established.

    Plus John Finnemore has been in the last couple of episodes, so there’s that.

    I’m really pleased with how very different it ended up being to Red Dwarf anyway. It’s natural that we’ll look for parallels, but really aside from one or two very superficial aspects they’re nothing alike.

    #258217

    NoFro

    Yeah I enjoyed this a lot. It’s not peak Iannucci but it is pretty good.

    #258218

    quinn_drummer

    I’ve not seen the last episode yet but I’ve been really happy with the progression of the series, and its continued to make me laugh throughout. Particularly laughed at the pigeon in a library thing from ep 9 as a recent example.

    As you say Dave, hopefully series 2 gets better now character and and everything is established. It would be nice to see a bit of a move away from each episode being a desperate attempt to solve the problem and get home. Keep that as a background thing that is ongoing and allow for more random, day to day stuff happening on the ship as these people being to realise they could well be stuck with each other for years now.

    Equally pleased it hasn’t turned out like Red Dwarf (or other similar types of stuck in space shows). It’s really very different, has Iannuci all over it, though equally as different to a lot of his material which is nice.

    #258221

    Dave

    Episode 9 *is* the final episode of the first season I think.

    #258226

    quinn_drummer

    What? Who are these people commissioning 9 episode seasons of shows. Just finished Mythic Quest today and that was the same.

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