The first trailer for HBO’s Camping reveals Jennifer Garner to be just a tad high-strung, and probably a ticking time bomb. The comedy, from Girls creator/star Lena Dunham and executive producer Jenni Konner, as well as writer John Riggi (30 Rock, The Larry Sanders Show), is an adaptation of the British comedy of the same, and focuses on a group of friends who reunite at Brown Bear Lake to celebrate the 45th birthday of Walt (David Tennant), the husband of Garner’s rather tightly coiled Kathryn.
Aside from Dunham and Konner’s first post-Girls series for HBO — and presumably their last together, as producing partners — Camping boasts an impressive cast that ought to attract plenty of viewers. Along with Garner and Tennant, the cast includes Brett Gelman (Married), Juliette Lewis (Secrets & Lies), Arturo del Puerto (Fear the Walking Dead), Ione Skye (Say Anything), and the very funny Bridgette Everett (Trainwreck, Little Evil).
Though ostensibly an ensemble, the first trailer puts Garner’s Kathryn front and center. Not only because she’s… well, Jennifer Garner, but also because, as you’ll see in the brief but funny first look, Kathryn is something of a lunatic, despite Walt proclaiming her to be “mentally quite sound.” Even though she’s pretty much the last person anyone would want to go camping with, Kathryn is at least a certified lifeguard (you can never be too prepared) and self-aware enough to know she’s probably on the verge of spiraling out of control. As she says to her child while riding in the back of a pick-up, “The weird thing about life, you can feel fine, but also know you’re a ticking time bomb.”
Camping certainly looks like it’s miles away from Dunham and Konner’s previous collaboration, perhaps partly because it’s an adaptation of a pre-existing show, and because it’s much more a straightforward comedy. It’s also worth noting that the series is wisely avoiding humor that can be too easily misinterpreted as something other than a joke, like the “voice of [her] generation” line that was part of the early marketing for Girls, and caused some confusion as to the series' intent.
At any rate, with a terrific cast, funny premise, and darkly comic tone, Camping looks like it could be a win for HBO when it premieres this fall.
Camping premieres Sunday, October 14 @10pm on HBO.