Last Friday, visual artist and film director Terence Nance’s new late night series, Random Acts of Flyness, premiered on HBO. The show promises to explore various cultural subjects like the patriarchy, white supremacy, and sensuality from a unique perspective, not unlike Nance’s 2012 film An Oversimplification of Her Beauty. The first of six episodes is now available to watch for free on the premium cable outlet’s official YouTube channel, as are several clips from the premiere, including the surreal “White Thoughts” infomercial featuring Mad Men‘s Jon Hamm.
“Do you suffer from white thoughts?” Hamm asks viewers. “White thoughts are a symptom of an aggressive disease called ‘acute viral perceptive albinitis,’ also known as ‘whiteness.'” After the suited Hamm appears in the sketch’s opening vignette and rubs a dark gel onto the head of the Hamm pictured watching a Black Lives Matter protest and thinking aloud, “Violence isn’t the answer,” the aforementioned “white thoughts” disappear from his brain. The infomercial then runs a logo for the gel, thereby dubbed “White be Gone” and billed as an “All Natural Woke Skin Care Product.”
The six and a half-minute sketch leaves and re-enters the fake infomercial sketch on multiple occasions. It adds various meta layers, like Hamm the actor questioning his role in the piece and being reassured by the director, or Nance the showrunner reviewing a final cut of the bit and discussing it with Random Acts of Flyness‘ first assistant director, Annalise Lockhart. It’s definitely not like anything else on television at the moment, which is why you should watch it, and why HBO made the whole first episode available for free on YouTube. Check it out below.