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J.K. Rowling's Casual Vacancy Trailer Is Emotional And Angsty

For everyone thinking that Downton Abbey would be the only place to find densely packed British ensemble casts on TV this year, you’re in luck. The BBC One has unveiled the first trailer for the drama The Casual Vacancy, based on the first adult novel from Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling. Check it out below.

First impressions are good, although there’s not a whole lot happening that clues potential audiences in on what’s supposed to be going on. This trailer is more about creating off-center vibes and offering up clear implications that not everything in the village of Pagford is as idyllic as one would first assume. In fact, maybe nothing is.


The Casual Vacancy kicks its story off with the death of the parish councilor, whose funeral is presumably the one seen above. His death presents certain people with opportunities to get involved with town-related matters that the councilman was against. Once the search for a replacement gets underway, all hell breaks loose as Pagford implodes beneath the weight of the heinous secrets and slander shared on the Parish Council online forum. Hell hath no fury like the person who saw you fuck up that one time.

While everything may look hunky dory from the outside, the inner workings of Pagford are fraught with struggles between the rich and poor, between the young and old, between the women and men, and between the teachers and students. So it’s pretty much like every community that’s ever existed, only with British accents.


Directed by Jonny Campbell (In the Flesh) from a script written by Sarah Phelps (EastEnders), The Casual Vacancy boasts a stacked cast, including old Dumbledore himself, Michael Gambon. It also stars Rory Kinnear (Penny Dreadful), Julia McKenzie (Agatha Christie’s Marple), Simona Brown (Wizards vs. Aliens), Emily Bevan (In the Flesh), Lolita Chakrabarti (The Bill), Monica Dolan (The Escape Artist) and many more.

The Casual Vacancy is set to premiere in the U.K. on February 15, and it will debut on HBO as a two-night premiere on Wednesday, April 29, and Thursday, April 30. Both airings will start at 8 p.m. ET.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.