It seems like only yesterday when HBO decided to ruin my life by cancelling both the hilarious Hello Ladies and Family Tree, but it happened all the way back in January. While the latter series has long told its last tale, the Stephen Merchant-created comedy is coming back to HBO for one big final hurrah called Hello Ladies: The Movie. This could be the longest bout of sexual discomfort TV audiences have ever experienced.
HBO has set Saturday, November 22, as the premiere date for Hello Ladies: The Movie. Seems like the right time for people who, like Stuart (Steven Merchant), are better off staying at home on the weekend then trying to head out and be popular. As you can imagine, Stuart’s next attempt at surviving an experience with a woman sounds like it’ll be a disastrous doozy.
In the special, the British ex-pat Stuart finds out that his ex-girlfriend from the U.K. is coming to Los Angeles for a visit. The first problem? She’s got a husband now, and Stuart takes it upon himself to try and impress them by pretending he’s a much bigger success than he actually is. (He’s a web designer and a building landlord.) In bizarrely stereotypical sitcom fashion, Stuart meets a Russian model and gets her to pose as his current girlfriend. Considering how many socially disastrous things happen to Stuart on an episodic basis, I’m guessing this movie (or whatever it is) is going to stretch the wide-eyed chagrin pretty thin by the time the credit music rolls.
With Ricky Gervais, Merchant also co-created the U.K.’s original version of The Office and HBO’s Extras, two series that also ran on the currency of discomfort and awkward circumstances. Those two shows did it better, and your mileage will vary on Hello Ladies, which is based on Merchant’s stand-up act. I happen to love how cartoonish it gets, though I cringe all the same, every single time Stuart speaks. Here’s a brief example of his charms.
Returning to the show are Christine Woods as Stuart’s tenant/friend Jessica; Nate Torrence as the unhappily married Wade; Kyle Mooney as Stuart’s work assistant Rory; and Kevin Weisman as the wheelchair-bound cool guy Kives. Sean Wing and Crista Flanagan, who played Glenn and Marion respectively, will also appear in guest roles.
Keep your datebooks open for Saturday, November 22, when Hello Ladies: The Movie debuts on HBO. But don’t say “date” around Stuart, because he tends to take it the wrong way.