Continuing the trend of remaking popular overseas properties, HBO has turned to the French (Mon Dieu!) for their next venture, and they’ve got a Sex and The City writer attached. That program is Hard, a French comedy that ran from 2008 – 2011 in its home country and was a hit in its homeland. Looking at the synopsis for the series, it’s not hard (yeah, that’s going to happen a lot) to see why the show was so successful — or why HBO might be excited about its American potential.
Hard was, in two seasons, the story of Sophie, a retired lawyer living the quiet life in a nice Parisian suburb — up until the freak death of her husband, that is. It is then that Sophie is confronted with the realities of her life: namely, that her husband’s “online transportation business” was actually just a cover for his real trade, digital porn studio owner. A company that she is tasked with taking over thanks to her husband’s will.
The conceit is a brilliant one and perfectly edgy for HBO’s current repertoire and the skills of Jenny Bicks, the Sex and The City writer tasked with the series’ transition to America. In its US iteration, the deviously dark comedy will move to Brentwood (a ritzy area in Los Angeles), where Sophie will be forced to manage her own life, her husband’s business, and all of her kooky friends and family members.
Though Bicks was one of the main players in the Sex and The City writers room, she’s done plenty since. She launched the Anne Heche comedic drama Men in Trees before showrunning Showtime’s hit series starring Laura Linney. And if that weren’t enough, she’s also busy executive producing the ABC comedy pilot, Works With Jerks. Stephen McPherson and Vin Di Bona serving as executive producers of this Americanized version of Hard, though there is no word on its production or debut dates.
HBO has spent much of the past year amping up its comedy output after years of big, brash dramas running the scene. With hilarious series like Ja’mie: Private School Girl and Getting On (which we adored and implore you to watch immediately) joining Girl and Hello Ladies, it seems the it’s-not-TV network has clear-set goals on edging up and breaking the mold yet again on what it means to be a TV comedy. And considering their recent reboot of Real Sex, it’s no surprise they've decided to converge sex and comedy in this way. It's sort of perfect.
Here’s a trailer for the French series (with subtitles), but — and this should go without saying — it is a little bit NSFW because, well, it’s a show about porn.