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HBO’s last miniseries, the AIDS drama The Normal Heart, was a critical darling before it even aired, thanks to a stellar cast and creative team. (Although it was barely recognized at this year’s Emmy Awards.) I get the same feeling about the network's upcoming comedic drama Olive Kitteridge, a sprawling character study of a woman trying to make sense out of the lives of the people surrounding her in the small town of Crosby, Maine. The always impressive Frances McDormand is quite possibly at her most repressed here, as evidenced by these three new clips.
The four-part Olive Kitteridge will cover a span of 25 years, and the clip above comes from later in Olive’s life, as she meets up with Jack Kennison, a haughty Harvard grad played with grizzled grace by Bill Murray. Both characters are widowed at this point in their lives, and they eventually begin to date. You wouldn’t think it from this meeting though, as Jack is clearly not meant to be bothered from his concrete-backed faint slumber.Will we have to watch these actors make out? Stay tuned.
Now check out this clip, in which Olive is riding in a car with her husband Henry, played by the equally impressive thesp Richard Jenkins, when she suddenly has to pee, and she handles the situation with more veracity than a drill sergeant. It’s takes a certain kind of person to think of “emergency room” as an option when seeking out an immediate public restroom.
And then there’s the clip below, in which the Kitteridges have dinner with Denise Thibodeau (Zoe Kazan), Henry’s pharmacy assistant, and her husband Henry Thibodeau (Brady Corbet). It’s all worth it to hear Jenkins say that he used to be able to tell if a doe was in heat or not by smelling its droppings. If that’s not proper dinner conversation for everyone out there, you’re clearly living too hard.
These clips, via IndieWire, are our first good look at this miniseries, as it will soon make its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival, months before debuting on HBO. The clips thankfully set a nice middling tone, not always a certain at HBO, where subject matter can sometimes become quite extreme. Not that Olive Kitteridge doesn’t go to some extreme places in its stories of affairs, crimes and tragedies, but it will hopefully be handled with the same amount of wit and vigor as the 2008 novel from Elizabeth Strout.
Directed by Lisa Cholodenko (The Kids are All Right), Olive Kitteridge has a cast that also includes Rosemarie Dewitt, Peter Mullan, John Gallagher Jr., Martha Wainwright and more. Find it on HBO when it airs on Sunday, November 3 and Monday, November 4.