Starting this past Monday, Sundance Channel began a new, unique series, State of the Union. What's unique about it is that it’s a 10-episode series of which each episode is just 10-minutes long, and it airs 10 nights in a row. Taking a step back, that's basically the equivalent of making a normal movie of 100 minutes and dividing it into 10 parts. Tough each part has a beginning, middle and end.
The show has serious pedigree, but what I particularly like is that it stars Chris O’Dowd who I like a lot, and he's wonderful here. It also stars Rosamund Pike who has been very good. I enjoyed the first two episodes, about a a couple with great affection for each other, but they're in the process of seeing a marriage counselor because she cheated on him. The two episodes have been nicely written and enjoyable for what so far has basically been two people talking. My hope (and assumption) is that it will develop further than that, but we'll see. If it does it could be special. If it doesn't, it will still be an easy, good way to spend 10 minutes each night, though slight.
I avoided reading much about it so I didn’t know that the terrific Stephen Frears directed it. (The Queen, Dangerous Liaisons, and High Fidelity -- and also The Grifters which I only mention because I did publicity on it and interviewed for the press kit.) The only thing I found annoying had nothing to do with the show – but when it was over, the end credits showed the two stars. And Frears credit. And then…they did that horrible thing where they start promoting the next show, the screen shrinks, and you can’t read the teensy remaining credits. So, for this episode that was pretty much two people talking, they didn’t show the freaking writer in a size one could actually read! I had to look it up and discover that their actions were even worse, hiding the writer, since it was Nick Hornby! The novelist of About a Boy, High Fidelity, and the screenplay of An Education. And they bury that?? Seriously, guys???
If you've missed any of the episodes, Sundance has them all embedded on their website so you can either catch up on them -- or just binge. You can check them out here.
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Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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