Saturday, April 25, 2009

Women on the Verge of a Bad TV Show?

Have you heard the news that Pedro Almodóvar's comedic 1988 classic Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, the film that first won him a major following in the US and his first trip to the Oscars, is going to become an English language TV series for Fox?

Pass the gazpacho!


When I read the headlines I felt like I had downed a pitcher of glee. Smashing news, especially since Almodóvar himself is producing. But ... then I read the fine print. There's always fine print.

Apparently it's NOT a comedy but a "suburban drama" (huh?) AND it's about women who've known each other a long time (what? no complex comedic interweaving of strangers?) AND it's being written by a Grey's Anatomy writer? (oy!) This doesn't sound anything like the movie and it sounds way too much like a soapy redux of Desperate Housewives. Next thing you know we'll be hearing that they've cast generic TV actresses without any of the absurdist deadpan force of Carmen Maura and Julieta Serrano or the wacky presence of Rossy de Palma or the nervous comedic energy of Maria Barranco.


Pass the doctored gazpacho please. I need a heavy sedative. Don't wake me until the show goes off the air. (Do you share my admittedly horribilizing despair or do you think it'll all work out just fine?)

Spanish beauty: Check out this NYT 2004 portfolio of Pedro's women. Mmmm.
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17 comments:

Joe said...

Awful.

Ed Howard said...

I fail to see the least connection to the movie other than that both are about some women. Bizarre.

Noecito said...

I know it sounds bad but I'll probably end up loving it.

Can't help it. I (heart) trash.

Wayne B. said...

I am hoping for the best that the writer (Ms. Scheer?) just got some of the plot mixed up, was misquoted or something. Even if the show is a bomb at least it'll bring attention to Pedro Almodovar's original movie.

If Pedro is really producing then I don't see how generic actresses will get cast. Hopefully they'll balance comedy and drama evenly.
Some names: Parker Posey or Sigourney Weaver maybe?

Mariposa said...

I have issues with Almodovar. The films are great, but did he really need to kill bulls specifically for Talk to Her?

Iggy said...

I prefer to forget what I've read about it (that suburban drama thing) and concentrate on all the possibilities it offers for a great cast. I'd start having Swoosie Kurtz for Julieta Serrano's character.

NATHANIEL R said...

Iggy... ooh, great idea.

vince said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
vince said...

I usually like to wait until I've seen it before I judge. That being said, it does sound a little Desperate Housewives-ish. Still, you have to wonder, if Almodovar is producing . . . that could mean something or absolutely nothing.

Joe said...

I would watch the show with this fantasy cast:

- Joanna Cassidy or Jessica Walter for Julieta Serrano
- Daryl Hannah for María Barranco (or maybe Lara Flynn Boyle, but I don't know with that new face of hers)
- Bai Ling for Rossy de Palma (though is there really any substitute for Rossy?)
- Gina Gershon for Kiti Manver, the feminist lawyer (a boy can dream)

And I can't think of anyone for Carmen Maura... Holly Hunter maybe? I've never watched that show she's on now.

Anonymous said...

I think we should see it as a tv series produced by Almodovar, not as a remake of "Women". It sounds more exciting and less likely to fail that way.
Anyway, my guess is that it's going to be like the Crash TV show: it's there and some people watch it, but there's just no one talking about it.

NATHANIEL R said...

vince... way to speak practically.

Kamikaze Camel said...

Is it just that they wanted the title "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown" because surely there must be something they're not telling us as to how it in any way classifies itself as a tv remake.

Anonymous said...

Oh man! oh god! oh man oh god oh man oh god oh man oh god oh man oh god oh man oh god oh man oh god

Jesus Alonso said...

totally agreed on everything, Nat. I feel embarrassed, as spaniards, they're going to reduce this gem to Desperate Houswives redux.

Anonymous said...

'Classic'? I can't stand Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. It's just another obscenely overpraised impersonal little charade about nothing (see also: Raiders of the Lost Ark, Burton's Batman, etc.) that fits right into its decade when it comes to filmmaking, a decade which by and large blew miserably.

Almodovar sucks. Do the Right Thing = still the best 80s film ever.

Glenn said...

Bringing up Raiders of the Lost Ark does not make your argument better.