We’re now deep into the first season of Avenue 5, HBO’s sci-fi comedy about an interplanetary cruise gone spectacularly wrong. So far it’s been…okay-ish, I guess?
Eh, I won’t lie: I’ve been pretty disappointed in this show. It comes from Armando Iannucci, the guy behind the hilarious Veep, and stars people like Hugh Laurie, Josh Gad and Zach Woods. With comic talent like that, the series should be a lot funnier than it is, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to improve.
That’s why I’m a little surprised to hear from Variety that HBO is bringing Avenue 5 back for another season. “We’ve loved every minute of Avenue 5’s inaugural voyage,” said Amy Gravitt, HBO’s executive vice president of programming. “Armando Iannucci and his team are masters of smart and incisive comedy, and the ensemble cast, brilliantly captained by Hugh Laurie, is second to none. We can’t wait to see what’s in store for our hapless heroes in season two.”
Laurie is good as the hapless Captain Ryan Clark, a figurehead who finds himself needing to actually show some leadership when the Avenue 5 cruise ship is knocked off course somewhere around Jupiter; I just wish he were given funnier things to say. “It’s thrilling to discover that space isn’t finite after all,” Laurie said. “I’m very excited to be continuing on this journey with Armando and HBO, and also an amazing group of actors and writers who make me laugh every day. Here’s to the future!”
Iannucci himself also weighed in:
It was so great to be back again with HBO for the first season of ‘Avenue 5,’ so I’m doubly thrilled that HBO have now seen fit to put Captain Ryan Clark and his passengers and crew through even more physical and emotional hell next year too. Nobody provides angst-ridden laughs better than Hugh Laurie, and we’re looking forward to seeing what further impossible situations and existential crises we can plunge him, Josh Gad and the rest of our fantastic cast into next. To the end of season one and beyond (into season two)!
See, everyone is talking like Avenue 5 is a creative and dynamic series that hilariously satirizes the coming corporate-controlled dystopia, and not a formless Orville rip-off with limp jokes that doesn’t seem to know what or who it wants to target. Where’s that show? I’d watch that show.
Well, maybe the series is about to get seriously good. We’ll see this Sunday.