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Thread: Family Tree

  1. #1
    BillBrasky's Avatar
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    Family Tree

    No air date yet for this HBO/BBC2 coproduction starring Chris O'Dowd and produced by Christopher Guest, but it is scheduled to premiere sometime in the spring. The series stars O'Dowd as a guy traveling the world to investigate his family lineage. Christopher Guest regulars Michael McKean, Fred Willard, Ed Begley, Jr., and Guest himself will be making appearances throughout the first season.

    Here's a brief interview where Guest talks about the series



  2. #2
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    Re: Family Tree

    Wow. Guest seems like a great interviewee. *yawn*



  3. #3
    BillBrasky's Avatar
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    Re: Family Tree

    Haha. He has always been like that. He's a funny man but a very dry, deadpan interview subject.
    He is not one of those guys that is always "on". He's the anti-Robin Williams.



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    Re: Family Tree

    Here's a picture from the series. And on the main HBO page, if you toggle to Family Tree, it has it listed as "Coming in May." Which seems odd to me, as I just assumed it would premiere at the same time as Veep's second season, which should be at the beginning of April. I assume we'll get a trailer of some kind on Sunday, when Girls and Enlightened premiere, so maybe they will have the date officially confirmed then.



  5. #5
    BillBrasky's Avatar
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    Re: Family Tree

    Is Nina Conti playing herself in the series? She has her "Monk" puppet there:



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  6. #6
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    Re: Family Tree

    Oh god. I really hate ventriloquists. I hope that doesn't happen often.
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    Re: Family Tree




  8. #8

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    Re: Family Tree

    Full-length trailer:



    The trailer also reveals the premiere date: Sunday, May 12th at 10:30 PM.



  9. #9
    BillBrasky's Avatar
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    Re: Family Tree

    Longer set visit/behind the scenes thing:




  10. #10

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    Re: Family Tree

    I really liked this, excited for more. Sorry such a generic recommendation but I dunno it's good and funny!



  11. #11
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    Re: Family Tree

    Yeah, this is really low-key and dry in that typical Christopher Guest way but really good. The guy who plays Chris O'Dowd's friend in this reminds me of Ricky Gervais in his voice and mannerisms. Really looking forward to seeing where this will go in subsequent episodes. In Entertainment Weekly it said there is an episode where Bea and Monk develop a stand-up act similar to Conti's act in real life.

    "I take a lot of the heat, it has to be said"



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    Re: Family Tree

    Anybody know the name of the song that played over the end credits of the first episode? I wasn't able to find any info online.



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    Re: Family Tree

    Quote Originally Posted by Medibot View Post
    Anybody know the name of the song that played over the end credits of the first episode? I wasn't able to find any info online.
    It was Ron Sexsmith singing. The credits said the song was written by Christopher Guest. Its nowhere online yet, and I don't know the song name, but Ron Sexsmith's Facebook says they are "working on it."



  14. #14
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    Re: Family Tree

    This show is ok so far. I feel like the mockumentary format is tired, thanks to The Office, Parks & Rec, etc. - even if Guest invented the format. I just wish Americans would stop doing English accents.



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    Re: Family Tree

    Wasn't a big fan of the pilot which is super disappointing because of how much I love everyone I involved. I'll give it time though.
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  16. #16
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    Re: Family Tree

    Yeah I wasn't feeling the first episode at all. The second one was funnier at least. I partly blame my expectations, which for some reason included the belief that this show was about a British guy who learns he's adopted and travels to America to find his birth parents. If that's where it's going, it's kind of crazy how long it's taking to get to the premise. I also don't get much out of the fake '70s britcoms -- what a weird and obscure joke to commit so much effort to executing.



  17. #17
    BillBrasky's Avatar
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    Re: Family Tree

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil View Post
    I just wish Americans would stop doing English accents.
    Well, remember Michael McKean played a British guy in "This is Spinal Tap", so it's not the first time he's done it. And the other guy, Jim Piddock, actually IS British (he appeared as Fred Willard's co-host for the dog show in "Best in Show" and co-wrote this series with Guest). To the extent that there are "writers" for this show- there's obviously a lot of improvisation, some of which works and some of which doesn't. I wasn't really feeling that whole runner of that woman O'Dowd was dating talking about her clavicle, seemed like a big waste of time.

    I think a lot of it is funny though-albeit in a quiet, inward laugh kind of way rather than laugh out loud. That includes the fake British '70s sitcoms- I appreciate that kind of attention to detail. I also really like Conti's character and am really looking forward to the episode where she and Monkey develop their act (already laughing at the preview clip of them at a Greek wedding- 'Glad to see you all doing well, despite the economic collapse').



  18. #18
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    Re: Family Tree

    I think so far this is pretty good. We're enjoying it.



  19. #19
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    Re: Family Tree

    This has quickly become my favorite thing on TV at the moment (OK, not a lot of competition for that title during the summer, but still). It has made me really sad that there are only 2 more episodes of this left, because I look forward to seeing it on Sunday nights more than anything else right now. The first four episodes of the show were OK, but the last 2 episodes that have been set in the US I think have pushed the show to a whole new level. The fighting Abraham Lincolns in the Civil War reenactment episode were amazing. My favorite scene so far though was Monk Skyping with a incredulous Tom, insisting that Bea can't talk right now because she's sleeping. "Were you the reason Bea got fired from her job, Monk?" (Guilty pause) "....No." The whole scene was so absurd but also a little bit touching. Monk is such a great character.

    I also like Tom's friend Pete a lot and am looking forward to him joining Tom in America in this next episode. Another thing I like about this show is that it has an arc and a through-line that makes total sense, where one episode has led into the next in a very natural, logical way. Even Tom's witnessing of a car crash and meeting that girl in this recent episode wasn't really a throwaway moment but had been foreshadowed with Tom's previous job as a crash investigator.
    For a show that is very loosely written out and based mostly on improvisation, it really seems like everything has been planned out very well and hopefully will culminate in the final episode.



  20. #20
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    Re: Family Tree

    I enjoyed the way the series concluded in the final episode, although if the show is ostensibly a mockumentary (and it features the same to-camera interviews found in The Office, P&R, and Modern Family), it has to be the most invasive one ever, given that Tom and his girlfriend somehow agreed to allow themselves being shown having sex (?) That one kind of jarring scene aside, the show was generally a gentle, quietly amusing affair featuring a lot of enjoyably loopy characters.
    I'm not sure whether it really lends itself to a second series or not; it will be interesting to see if it gets one since the show was kind of based on the British model, where usually they try to keep things to one or two series at the most. Plus Guest doesn't seem like the kind of guy to keep doing the same thing over and over, he usually does one project and moves onto the next thing pretty quickly.



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