Meryl Streep is coming to television. Specifically, she is joining the cast of Big Little Lies for its second season. We’ve had other movie stars come to television, from Matthew McConaughey in True Detective to, well, Streep’s new co-stars Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman. And Streep has done television before, appearing with Al Pacino in the 2004 HBO miniseries Angels in America. But this feels different. This is possibly the most beloved and decorated actor of our time joining an established show in its second season. If the “television can be as prestigious as movies” tipping point hadn’t already happened, this is the kind of thing that could push it over. It’s a big deal.
It also means that anything is possible now. That might actually be the more important takeaway, big-picture. If Meryl Streep can pop into season two of an HBO show, like, where do we even go from there? Is that the peak of Peak TV? Or are there other options that might take it all even further?
Let’s have some fun with this.
Daniel Day-Lewis stars in a network drama
This one is fun to think about on a few levels. First, I really recommend you picture the show as your basic CBS procedural. Think like Blue Bloods. Better yet, think exactly Blue Bloods, but a spin-off set in a different city, as CBS has been known to do popular shows. Blue Bloods: Seattle starring Academy Award-winning actor Daniel Day-Lewis. Think of your reaction when you read that headline. Really get into that headspace a bit. That’s the first thing.
The second thing is that Day-Lewis is notoriously devoted to Method acting and staying in character even when the cameras are off, which works on a movie, but would be so weird on a procedural that churns out 22 episodes every season. His coworkers would hate it so much.
Beyonce stars in a season of Fargo
Beyoncé as a detective. Beyoncé sitting across from possibly supernatural murderers and grilling them about their whereabouts. Beyoncé with a super Fargo name like Dottie Fuzz or Wendy Gust. Beyoncé solving murders while wearing parkas and beanies. Millions of Beyoncé fans flooding the Twitter accounts of actors whose characters betray her on the show, just being mean and ruthless as hell over perceived fictional slights. Beyoncé doing a Minnesota accent. All of it.
Also, it would raise the question if Beyoncé the real singer exists in the Fargo universe and, if so, if it’s weird to people in Minnesota that their local homicide detective looks exactly like a world-famous pop star?
Jennifer Lawrence books an arc on season two of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Jennifer Lawrence is very funny and often takes roles in movies that require her to be very serious. This has worked out well for her on both fronts, as she is a charming and interesting talk show guest who is starting quite a nice little trophy collection. But I think she could crush it in a fun comedy, too. Maybe a fast-paced one set in 1950s New York that focuses on the burgeoning comedy career of a frustrated Jewish former housewife. Yup, we are putting Jennifer Lawrence on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
I’m thinking she plays Midge’s new rival. A hotshot new comic in from California, all blond hair and Gentile confidence, with the same kind of filthy mouth that got Midge noticed. And now she’s stealing Midge’s thunder. And her stage time. Drama and/or hilarity ensues.