I’m experiencing so much boundless joy over this news item that I don’t even know where to begin. I guess just with the news itself? That’s how this works, right? Okay: FX has ordered a comedy pilot co-created by Gillian Robespierre and Elisabeth Holm. Robespierre will direct and co-write the pilot with Holm, and Jenny Slate and Ari Graynor will star.
Let’s break this down together while I work to process all of the glee that has flooded my heart. Robespierre, Holm, and Slate are the forces behind last year’s Obvious Child, a comedy so wonderful and so progressive and so empowering that I cried tears of joy for about half of it. (I also laughed, so it’s fine.) First-time filmmakers Robespierre and Holm co-wrote and Robespierre directed Obvious Child, which stars Slate as Donna, a comedian who gets pregnant after a one-night stand, realizes she’s barely able to take care of herself, much less a child, and decides to get an abortion. What makes the film so revolutionary is that the abortion isn’t a massive, life-ruining decision. It’s a meaningful but relatively simple one, and Donna sees it through.
To filter this through the story that has and will continue to dominate this week’s news cycle, Slate, Robespierre, and Holm are like The Avengers of feminist filmmaking. And though Graynor wasn’t in Obvious Child (the film’s only flaw), she’s a badass comedic force, too; you probably recognize her from Celeste & Jesse Forever, For A Good Time, Call…, Nick And Norah’s Infinite Playlist, and from all of your dreams about the perfect best friend.
The foursome’s pilot is described as follows (You had me like, 14 sentences ago, FX, but this summary is still much appreciated):
“An honest comedy exploring the adult female friendship of two creative partners as they embark on a cross-country road trip. Jenny Slate and Ari Graynor star as ‘Lou’ and ‘Viv,’ two gutsy born and raised New Yorkers who discover each other in their 30s, make a movie together, and jump into the great unknown of their next project. Lou and Viv find strength and vulnerability in each other, learning how to have a fight and somehow still get back in the car. It’s like Thelma and Louise — but nobody dies.”
Fun reminder: FX is the network behind Justified, Fargo, er, The Comedians, and Louis C.K.’s fantastic series Louie. C.K., who writes, directs, and stars in the series, has spoken regularly about how FX gives him full creative freedom; he’s basically allowed to do whatever he wants, short of assassinating someone. As a result, Louie is a freewheeling, surreal viewing experience, one that vacillates wildly in tone and subject—some episodes are darkly comic, some absurdist, others like a raw, open wound, still others full of naked baths with Pamela Adlon. In other words, FX is fucking down with brilliant comedians, which bodes well for Robespierre, Holm, Slate, and Graynor.
Production for the show starts Tuesday. I’m gonna go run around the block 400 times now.