HBO is a prime destination for great comedy with shows like Silicon Valley, Veep, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Larry Sanders Show and more in the cable network’s roster.
But their new collaboration with Fred Armisen and Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels is something much different.
Fred Armisen is a writer and executive producer on the project and will also appear in the role of Tico. The half-hour series is set in a strange and dreamy version of present day Mexico City following a group of friends turning their love for horror into a peculiar business. The project was ordered to pilot at HBO in November.
Bernardo Velasco will lead the series as Renaldo, the leader of the titular group. The characters is described as noble, kind, serene and obsessed with gore. He’s always running out of cellphone minutes. Cassandra Ciangherotti will play Ursula, a calm and collected dental assistant. She provides teeth for the group’s monsters. She loves horror and her sister Tati but above all, teeth. Ana Fabrega stars as Tati, Ursula’s sister and Los Espookys’ test dummy.
As for co-writers Fabrega and Torres, they’re playing ursula’s sister Tati and Renaldo’s best friend Andres, respectively. Tati is always juggling a bunch of different odd jobs like breaking in other people’s shoes and testing child safety locks while Andres is a dark and mysterious heir to a chocolate empire.
“Saturday Night Live” creator Lorne Michaels will also executive produce via his Broadway Video production company, with Broadway Video’s Andrew Singer also executive producing. Alice Mathias will co-executive produce. Fernando Frias directed the pilot. Broadway Video will produce in association with Antigravico and Más Mejor.
Even though Armisen is predominantly working behind the scenes of the series, he’ll also appear on the show occasionally as Renaldo’s uncle Tico, who is living his dream of being a prodigious valet drive in Los Angeles.
All these character descriptions give us a clear idea of what that “strange and dreamy version of present-day Mexico” setting description is all about. It almost feels like a Portlandia version of Mexico. However, since it’s in Spanish, I’m not sure if it’ll have the same kind of appeal. Viewers are lazy and can often be turned off by subtitles. But maybe the involvement of Fred Armisen and the unique story angle can get audiences interested. At the very least, it will give Hispanic viewers a new comedy that will hopefully tap into their culture in a way that other shows do not.