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« Asia Minor | Main | Recommendations »

November 03, 2005

"Hopeless Pictures"

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

The Wife and I recently caught up with our first episode of the Bob Balaban-created IFC series "Hopeless Pictures," and we both thought it was terrific. An animated show for adults, the series is a satire set in the film business and is centered on the head of a small Hollywood movie studio. He's saddled with an idiot nephew ... An out-of-control director ... A nagging wife ... An unhelpful shrink ... Oy!

"Hopeless Pictures" is a little like "The Player," in other words, only even more uninhibited, and with slyly childlike, cheery-nightmare visuals in the style of Maira Kalman. The vocal performances -- by such wits as Michael McKean, Lisa Kudrow, Jonathan Katz, and Jennifer Coolidge -- are, every one of them, wild and brilliant. I'd have loved to be present as the vocal tracks were taped. The creativity-dial was clearly turned to Extra-High that day.

Balaban, who is best-known as an actor, has also turned out to be a very gifted, and often very far-out, creator-director. He worked behind the scenes with Robert Altman on "Gosford Park"; his black-hearted 1989 horror-comedy "Parents" has a well-deserved cult reputation; and The Wife and I loved a hilariously demented, scary-funny-touching, off-off-Broadway theater production that Balaban directed back in the '90s.

Here's IFC's page for "Hopeless Pictures." IFC has posted episode one of "Hopeless Pictures" on its site, so you can watch it on your computer. The colors may not sing as vibrantly as they do on cable, but that's still pretty cool. You can search through the series' airtimes here.

I notice that you can rent the entire series from Netflix too ...

Interesting. As the traditional movie business continues to crumble, places like IFC and Netflix are beginning to partner up to produce entertainment. And as the action-adventure, teen-centric formula of the last 30 years loses its mojo, sophisticated and innovative hybrids -- for adults! -- like "Hopeless Pictures" are beginning to emerge from the new-media flux. The king is dead/Long live the king, I guess.



posted by Michael at November 3, 2005


As I've just learned, ICF ia available on Time Warner only in DTV pachages.
I should stop reading your recommendations, MB.

Posted by: Tatyana on November 4, 2005 10:43 AM

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