Jean Smart’s legendary comic timing has never been a secret and hails way back to her Designing Women days, and she absolutely crushed her Watchmen role with a wickedly funny air. As FBI Agent Laurie Blake, Smart was magnificently inappropriate, whether she was antagonizing Tim Blake Nelson’s “Mirror Guy,” clashing with Jeremy Irons’ Ozymandias, or longingly stroking a big blue dildo. Now Smart’s moving from that HBO role to an HBO Max series where she’ll play the lead character, a Las Vegas diva.
The project carries even more promise than that brief description, considering that Parks And Recreation co-creator Michael Schur is executive producing alongside three co-creators, Broad City alums Paul W. Downs, Lucia Aniello, and Jen Statsky (who will also write). All involved are more than well-versed in throwing down with complex female characters, and the inclusion of two powerful female voices as writers is fantastic news. The project will explore a “dark mentorship” between Smart and a 25-year-old newcomer (casting not yet announced) to the Vegas scene.
From HBO Max’s press release, here’s the official explanation of how this gathering of talent happened, straight from Head of Original Content Sarah Aubrey:
“When this dream team came to us, we jumped at the chance to develop this project, which features two complex female characters working in comedy and facing the professional and personal challenges that come along with it. When Jean Smart came aboard, we were even more delighted to move forward. We’re excited to be working with this winning combination of talent and confident the show will fit perfectly into our robust slate of HBO Max Originals.”
In the release, Paul W. Downs added that he’s thrilled to work again with Lucia Aniello, and Jen Statsky again because “[f]or far too long, male voices dominated” writers rooms while crafting female characters. Damn straight, and this project is only the latest in a vast swath of HBO Max Originals to come. Although the Smart-starring series obviously won’t materialize until some point in the future, HBO’s newcomer streaming program will offer a handful of original series (along with over 10,000+ hours of library content) when it launches on May 27. Here’s everything we know about the service, which looks to be a real contender in the streaming universe.
(Via HBO Max)