For Showtime, they will not only maintain steam after Homeland's season 7 finale on April 29, but will also have a worthy complement to Billions’ season 3 run on Sunday night. Of course, Patrick Melrose already has plenty of buzz with a beloved movie and TV star in the leading role.
Related: Billions Season 3 Trailer
As reported by Deadline, the Patrick Melrose scheduling allows Showtime to “eventize” on a larger scale. For the adaptation, Cumberbatch will play the traumatized, privileged, and vice-addicted lead character, which author Edward St Aubyn loosely based on his own experiences. Cumberbatch also serves as executive producer. The series is directed by Edward Berger (Deutschland 83), written by David Nicholls (Far from the Madding Crowd) and stars both Jennifer Jason Leigh and Hugo Weaving in parental roles.
On social media, Cumberbatch fans are obviously buzzing about the new airdate, along with a new clip that’s more focused on Patrick Melrose’s addictions than the original trailer, which examined the character's personal life and relationships. The clip features a dapper Cumberbatch downing martinis in an upscale restaurant, all the while musing about his love for both good food and heroine. As Melrose himself notes, it’s “very spicy,” and the trailer is full of Scorsesian overhead visuals, complete with a luxurious aesthetic design a la Paul Thomas Anderson's Phantom Thread. Melrose is indeed a hungry boy like Daniel Day-Lewis’ Reynolds Woodcock, yet his tastes are a bit more dangerous. For a character study, this new trailer gets the job done, showing how Patrick Melrose loses focus on his own and struggles with important life choices.
The new trailer suggests that Patrick Melrose will be supremely quotable, and also that Cumberbatch doesn’t take himself too seriously with the role. Imagine a less composed Don Draper from AMC's Mad Men. And you can’t go wrong with inner monologue voiceover, either, which essentially allows Cumberbatch to perform his own comedic double act with his non-verbal eccentrics and his character's almost composed inner thoughts. Given that Showtime wants their new series to be an event, subscribers just may have to readjust their weekend schedule, as Patrick Melrose could well become a weekly trending topic. It’s a strong move by Showtime to stay ahead of network trends, and Patrick Melrose will most definitely become synonymous with “pre-gaming” on Saturday nights. There may even be memes... and lots of martinis being consumed.
Patrick Melrose premieres Saturday, May 12 on Showtime.