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Ryan Murphy has never shied away from trying new ideas on television, and while he is new to directing TV movies, The Normal Heart looks both topical and well-acted, as well as a tearjerker. It was a little surprising that the director eventually got the project off the ground with HBO rather than making The Normal Heart a big screen endeavor like Running with Scissors or Eat Pray Love, but HBO has always been on the cutting edge of television, and the new trailer for The Normal Heart seems to prove that bringing the project to TV was probably the right call.
While the first trailer for The Normal Heart focused on the fear and uncertainty following the onset of AIDS in the United States, the new trailer for HBO’s prominent film starts out in more of a relaxing manner, taking viewers to a day party on the beach circa 1981. Everything seems to be going well for the young men who are partying, until one doubles over and begins coughing in a horrible manner. Enter Julia Roberts via a voiceover, who exclaims, “I’ve never seen anything like this.” Then, we get a lot of images similar to the first trailer, with actors including Jim Parsons, Mark Ruffalo, Matt Bomer and, of course, Julia Roberts all displaying impressive dramatics during the minute and a half-long preview.
As in the first trailer, the term “AIDS” is mostly absent, although this trailer does go out of its way to explain that the events in the TV movie will mostly exist before AIDS was really given its name. Post-beach party, though, the drama kicks back in, re-introducing us to the scared setting created by writer Larry Kramer, which includes such horrifying gems as, “They’re gonna cancel our health insurance, they’re gonna put us into camps, they’re gonna quarantine us.” Kramer’s script looks to explore a lot of the issues of the times: The horror of the AIDS epidemic, the frightened communities that were affected and the apathy that kept many people from reacting in time to do enough about the spread of the disease. His work is based on his 1985 play of the same name and should be a zinger of a TV movie; HBO’s trailers are just giving us additional reasons to tune in.
We’ll get a chance to check out The Normal Heart sooner than you might guess. While the subscription cable network is notorious for advertising months in advance of a movie or show’s release, The Normal Heart is expected to hit HBO’s schedule on Sunday, May 25. You can check out several other teasers for The Normal Heart, as well as previews of most of the other shows scheduled in HBO’s summer lineup over at HBO’s site.