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HBO's 'CRASHING' (Renewed for 3rd Season)

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  • ProfessorChaos
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    Tonight was the season finale of Crashing, expertly directed by comedy great Judd Apatow. This episode, the best of its brief 8-episode first season, should be a contender for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series (finale written by star Pete Holmes & Judd Apatow.) The final 10 ten minutes, set at a Christian baptism makes a great comedic set piece wrapping up the season’s arc following Holmes’ split from his wife, played by Lauren Lapkus who has her standout moment of the season in the finale.

    Pete Holmes should also be a serious contender for Best Actor in a Comedy Series. The Emmys love nominating comedians playing variations of themselves, and Holmes is a refreshing spin on that concept: an unfamous version of himself, struggling to make it in New York’s stand-up comedy scene. The series gives Holmes a lot of surprising dramatic material, in addition to an honest look at standup, and the pain of trying to play to empty rooms at 1am. Comedy-field voters may find a lot of relatable elements with the lead.

    Perhaps shockingly, the season finale features a career-best performance by troubled comic Artie Lange (who appears in 5 out of the season’s 8 episodes.) While I’m not sure if he qualifies for Supporting Actor, rather than Guest, the season finale gives him time to both support Holmes as his only friend, while also having some scenes to explore spirituality. That last aspect is especially poignant (if not frustrating) given his recent drug arrest, and history of addiction. It’s the open discussion of addiction & jail throughout the series that also makes Crashing fresh. Yet its not exploitive, as Holmes’ wide-eyed innocence serves as a contrast to the creatures of the night he encounters.

    Really hoping this series breaks through at the Emmys. It’s beautifully written, directed & acted in, with a lot of great Guest Acting contenders as well (specifically Sarah Silverman & TJ Miller, assuming Lange goes Supporting.)

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    ProfessorChaos
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    Season 2 of Crashing premieres Sunday, January 14th following the season premiere of Divorce

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    ProfessorChaos
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    The first two episodes of Crashing’s 2nd season (both written by Pete Holmes & Judd Apatow) have been very funny. They’ve also done some immediate character progression by having Pete question religion & have his first (hilariously cringeworthy) sexual encounter since his wife left.

    The biggest leap seems to be George Basil as Pete’s former nemesis/now current roommate Leif. He had the biggest laugh out loud moments in the 2nd episode. His new age, aloof hippie is a hilarious pairing for Pete’s sheltered fish-out-of-water

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    ProfessorChaos
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    This Sunday’s episode (S2, E6) titled “Artie”, written by star Pete Holmes & producer Judd Apatow, will probably be submitted for the Writing & Directing categories.

    The episode takes a hard look at drug addiction, with comedian Artie Lange, playing himself (who was arrested last year for heroin & cocaine possession), deals with his decades-long drug habits

    Here’s an article from Newsweek on the episode:
    http://www.newsweek.com/addiction-artie-lange-hbo-crashing-pete-holmes-episode-6-season-2-809878

    ARTIE LANGE, ADDICTION AND HBO’S ‘CRASHING’: PETE HOLMES GOES INSIDE SEASON 2 EPISODE THAT EXAMINES LANGE’S STRUGGLES

    BY TIM MARCIN ON 2/18/18 AT 12:00 PM

    These days, Artie Lange is known for two things: being one of the funniest comedians on the planet, and his very public battle with addiction. Lange has long used comedy to help talk about his substance abuse problems, but the way he handles it on Sunday’s episode of HBO’s Crashing is more intimate—and intense.

    The show, currently in its second season, was created by comedian Pete Holmes and is a fictionalized, thinly-veiled version of his life on and off stage. (Think Louie C.K.’s Louie.) Lange has been a part of Crashing since the beginning, and he hasn’t been shy about mining his experiences—no matter how high or low—for the series.

    Season 2 has been more low than high for Lange’s character. Things are crumbling around him, but he always seems to have a joke for every occasion. “Artie can’t not be funny,” Holmes told Newsweek. “You shoot a scene with him, and you’re like, ‘Look, Pete is worried, he came to your house and saw people doing drugs and he thinks you might be using again.’ That’s the scene. Somehow Artie will pipe in so many jokes.” (One of the laugh lines is a bit of wordplay that will be instantly familiar to Lange’s fans. “Who were those guys, you had two sketchy guys in your apartment?” Holmes asks. “They’re my sketch group,” Lange snaps back.)

    The scene in question is part of this week’s episode, which is a direct and tender confrontation with Lange’s real-life struggle with drugs. The comedian has long battled addiction, and in between seasons of Crashing he had a very public relapse. In December, he pleaded guilty to possession of heroin and is scheduled to be sentenced on February 23.

    In real life, Lange is best known for his appearances on Howard Stern and in movies like Beer League. On Crashing, his character is a mixture of charming and funny and angry and deceptive. Pete, meanwhile, is a jovial, naïve, former-evangelical still clinging to bits of that belief. The clash between those personalities can be painful to watch, especially when Artie twists himself into knots trying to assuage Pete’s concerns—just to get his friend off his back.

    If the interactions feel real, it’s because, in many ways, they are. “A lot these scenes included improvisation, and in that improvisation the lines were completely blurred,” Holmes said. “It’s like, ‘Where does my character end and where does his character end?’”

    In Newsweek’s conversations with Holmes, it’s clear the episode meant a lot to both him and executive producer Judd Apatow. And it’s one that was important to Lange. “This episode was hard to do,” Lange told Richard Roeper last week. “But I wanted to do it.” (Lange was unavailable for comment for this story.)

    Crashing’s look at addiction can feel unflinching. What makes it effective, though, is that it doesn’t take any easy outs. There is confusion and hurt when Pete, a 32-year-old up-and-coming comedian, confronts the 50-year old veteran of comedy and drug use. Pete thinks Artie is chucking away his success; Artie can’t convey the torment—physical and emotional—he’s suffering.

    After all, how can a naive man-child like Holmes possibly understand Lange’s pain? In the show, it’s not so spelled out. But in real life, the death of his father after a tragic accident looms large. In 1985, during Lange’s first year of college, his father—Lange’s best friend and hero—was working on a roof, fell off and became a quadriplegic. He died in 1990 after “losing the will to live,” Lange told Rolling Stone in 2009.

    “Pete’s sort of still living in that bubble: ‘If you’re a good person and you’re honest and you’re funny and you look people in the eye, shake hands and smile, everything will be fine,’” Holmes told Newsweek. “And Artie is on the other side like, ‘Sometimes you do everything you can. You’re trying to be a good person. And your father falls off a roof.’ He’s showing there’s more complexity and ambiguity in the world.’”

    Without venturing too much into spoiler territory, Pete and Artie have a major fallout near the end of the episode. Pete trots out tired pleas for Artie to get clean—“Don’t you owe it the people who love you?” he demands—and Artie responds in furious anger. It seems like there are no jokes left to tell.

    But then, moments later, comedy reasserts itself and Artie is back onstage. “We’ve all had shit days, try as hard as you can not to do that again,” Lange says to the crowd as a dazed Holmes looks on.

    “Is anybody else having the time of their life?” Lange continues. “I am.”

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    ProfessorChaos
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    HBO has renewed Crashing for a 3rd season. Hoping they give it a strong Emmy push this year

    http://deadline.com/2018/02/high-maintenance-crashing-renewed-season-3-hbo-1202298793/
    ‘High Maintenance’ & ‘Crashing’ Renewed For Season 3 By HBO

    Nellie Andreeva

    February 21, 2018 6:15PM PST

    HBO has given Season 3 renewals to the two comedy series that are in the midst of airing their second seasons on the pay cable network, the pot-themed High Maintenance and Pete Holmes and Judd Apatow’s Crashing.

    There is no word yet on the future of the new Alan Ball drama series Here and Now, which is currently airing its first season.

    Created by Katja Blichfeld and Ben Sinclair, the under-the-radar High Maintenance, which made the leap from the web to TV, has been an unlikely success story. Providing a peek into the cramped apartments, grinding routines and urban neuroses of New Yorkers, the show stars Sinclair as The Guy, a bearded, pot-dealing deliveryman whose growing clientele is keeping him busier than ever.

    Blichfeld, Sinclair and Russell Gregory executive produce..

    Created by and starring Holmes, Crashing draws on Holmes’ own experiences as a comedian, offering a behind-the-scenes look at the world of stand-up comedy.

    Holmes executive produces with Apatow and Judah Miller.

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    ProfessorChaos
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    Jimmy Kimmel agrees with me on that heartbreaking “Artie” episode:

    https://twitter.com/jimmykimmel/status/973077160880619520

    I hereby nominate @peteholmes & @artiequitter for #Emmys for episode #6 of @CrashingHBO

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