Kieran, here. Those who were saddened by the cancellation of the Jay and Mark Duplass-helmed HBO series "Togetherness" (if you haven't seen it, get thee to on demand and join in the mourning) may be at least a little bit heartened to learned that the writer-director sibling duo is returning to HBO. Their new project is an anthology series currently titled "Room 104" about a hotel and the different characters who occupy the room at different times. As if reacting to the now wide array of anthology series both on premium and basic cable (some excellent, others...not so much), the Duplass brothers will inject their brand of low-concept, observational human drama and comedy into the format. “We’ve all seen stories set in seedy motels and high-class international resorts, but for years we’ve been fascinated by the funny, weird, sad, scary, absurd things going down in that corporate chain hotel near the airport. That’s what ‘Room 104’ is after… finding some magic in the seemingly mundane," stated the brothers in a recent statement.
With the announcement of this new Duplass brothers outing as well as the upcoming "Divorce" (starring and executive produced by Sarah Jessica Parker) and "Insecure" (created by and starring Issa Rae, creator of the very funny webseries "The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl") it seems that HBO is trying to make a narratively bold statement with their programming choices. Despite the fact that the network's arguable flagship show is a high-concept genre series, they're not making the mistake of many feature film executives, which is to do lowest common denominator versions of what they think is successful. Yes, television and movies are two different industries and the latter relies much more heavily on mercurial but instant and quantifiable financial success. HBO isn't just looking at the success of "Game of Thrones" and saying "More of this and ONLY more of this." This is not meant to denigrate the quality of "Game of Thrones," so fans please retire your torches and pitchforks. Even "Game of Thrones" fans can agree that we don't need a watered-down version that's simply trying to capitalize on the show's popularity. While our excitement about "Room 104," "Insecure" and "Divorce" may vary, it's heartening to see a major cable network making a concerted effort at this particular kind of storytelling.
No cast information has been released for "Room 104" which is slated to air in 2017. This leaves the door open for the fun game of casting expectations and wishlists. The plot of the series is so open-ended, one can easily imagine a wide array of actors inhabiting this new Duplass universe.
Which actors would you like to see pass through "Room 104"?