Alan Ball is returning to HBO with Here and Now, a decidedly (but then again, maybe not) less supernatural effort from his last series, and the network has now released the first trailer for the show. The series stars Academy Award-winners Holly Hunter and Tim Robbins a parents of a multi-racial family comprised of three adopted children and one biological daughter, which is made clear in the brief trailer. However, the series promises a unique twist that's not necessarily revealed in this first look, which has something to do with the family being tested "when one of them begins seeing things."
The teaser and the logline are tantalizingly vague in different ways. While the line seems to be willfully hinting at a genre component being introduced into what appears to be a This Is Us-style family drama, the teaser itself suggests something entirely different and more in keeping with Ball's post-American Beauty effort Six Feet Under. At the moment, it seems the question is: to what degree will the former impact the latter?
It could very well be that Ball is simply getting back to the sort of "seeing things" that was prevalent in Six Feet Under, which had Richard Jenkins's dead patriarch of the dysfunctional Fisher clan frequently pop up in the form of a vision or memory, as a means by which the characters dealt with a number of personal issues.
For its part, Here and Now seems to be steering into that particular narrative lane with the voiceover saying, "Family is this great experiment," as the trailer offers a myriad of images featuring the members of the family in question in what appears to be the somewhat idyllic circumstances of their personal lives. Of course, all is not as it appears to be, as a brief shot of Hunter pulling her hand away from Robbins gives a better indication that the couple can hit a rough spot just like everyone else.
Like his previous efforts, Ball looks set to have Here and Now (which has apparently undergone a name change from Here, Now) focus on a number of character threads simultaneously, which he certainly exceled at with Six Feet Under and struggled with as the campy vampire drama True Blood entered into its final seasons. Still, the short glimpse at his new show makes great use of its cast and concept, and while the intriguing longline raises concerns as much as it does eyebrows, this new series will definitely be worth looking out for in 2018.
Here and Now is set to premiere in February on HBO.
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