Joseph Gordon-Levitt Is Swimming Through Existential Dread In The ‘Mr. Corman’ Trailer

“Raise your hand if you think you’re a lucky person?” That’s the question Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s teacher character asks his elementary school students at the start of the trailer for Mr. Corman, an upcoming series on Apple TV+. That the character’s own answer is yes is as interesting as the fact that almost none of the kids say yes (what a bunch of cynical and/or aware tykes). Through the trailer, we’re seeing his character spiral through a life where, it seems, adversity has been freshly introduced. Is he lying to the kids about feeling lucky? Is he lying to himself?

Clearly, Mr. Corman is floating somewhere between quarter-life and mid-life crises while trying to outrun the crush of unfulfilled dreams (a career in music and a pairing with his creative partner don’t seem to be working out how he thought they would) and the resulting negativity that can weigh down a life if you can’t quite live the truth of aphorisms about living in the moment and not looking back. (You know, if you aren’t lucky, like those who read the above and don’t relate. And good for you if that fits.)

The show, which JGL (I can call him that, we spoke on the phone once) created, marking a return to both television (remember 3rd Rock From The Sun!) and writing/directing (remember 2013’s Don Jon!) seems centered in the dramedy space, dealing with heavier questions about roads taken and not, but there’s also some humor and the ammunition for more with a strong supporting cast including Arturo Castro (Broad City) and Juno Temple (Ted Lasso). There are also moments in the trailer that suggest fantastical daydream sequences (and maybe a little song and dance?) to help visualize the character’s freakouts about life, adding to the anticipation when paired with the cast and a not-entirely-serious tone.

Apple TV+’s ‘Mr. Corman’ drops on August 6.