I was thrilled when I read in the January 18 edition of Entertainment Weekly magazine that Christopher Guest (director of such improvised comedic masterpieces as Waiting for Guffman and Best in Show) will be creating a similarly styled comedy for HBO called Family Tree. It’s the story of a 30-year-old unemployed man (played by Chris O’Dowd) who inherits a box of family mementos from a great aunt he never met. He decides to explore his family lineage, using the clues found in the treasures in the box, and starts meeting the odd people that are his family members.
According to the article, the series will be shot in Guest’s trademark faux documentary style. And, as in his movies, it will be improvised. While the show is unscripted (each episode has an eight-page outline), the writers created an extensive back history for each character and a family tree going back to the 1700s.
The show is set to premier in May. I gave up cable TV over a year ago, but this might be enough to bring me back so that I can subscribe to HBO!