Better start clearing space off your PVR: according to Variety, the Coen brothers have just become the latest big-name directors to take their talents to the small screen. Yes, we have officially reached the peak of Peak TV.
After years of claiming not to even watch television, let alone be interested in making it, Joel and Ethan Coen have reportedly come up with a story too big to fit into a single movie. (Or maybe they just got tired of watching Fargo’s Noah Hawley win a pile of Emmys for essentially making premium cable Coen Bros. fan fiction.)
Set in the Old West, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is said to be an anthology series, featuring six intertwining story lines. And while that’s about it as far as early details go, we’ve come up with a few things we hope to see from our new most-anticipated TV series of… whatever year it eventually comes out.
1. George Clooney
For a long time, doing TV was considered “slumming it” for an A-list movie star. Not anymore. So we’re expecting a star-studded cast for the Coens’ first foray into prestige TV territory. And while Clooney’s stayed far away from TV ever since famously getting his big break on ER, if anyone’s capable of luring George back to the small screen, it’s the Coens.
2. John Goodman Raging
Like most Hollywood auteurs, Joel and Ethan Coen have developed a few signature directorial trademarks over the course of 17 movies: quirky criminals, slapstick violence, idiosyncratic dialogue, John Goodman completely and utterly losing his goddamn mind. If one of the six storylines in The Ballad of Buster Scruggs doesn’t involve Goodman going full Walter Sobchak on some poor co-star, we’ll be sorely disappointed.
3. The Next Breakout Star
Oscar Isaac. Hailee Steinfield. Alden Ehrenreich. The Coens have developed a real knack for giving promising young actors their breakout role. At this point, if someone doesn’t immediately book a Star Wars movie after working with the Coen brothers, they probably need a new agent.
4. Inept Criminals and Lovable Losers
The Golden Age of TV might as well be the golden age of the anti-hero (see: Breaking Bad, Mad Men, House of Cards, every single show on HBO). And the Coens are no strangers to stories about flawed heroes. They’re just flawed in a much different way. After season after season of dramas about self-destructive, damaged men, anything else would be a welcome breath of fresh air.
5. Roger Deakins
The legendary cinematographer has been behind the camera for all but two of the Coens’ movies, helping define the look of what a “Coen brothers movie” is, even while they pinball between genres, going from screwball comedy to crime drama and back. Despite a Hall of Fame-worthy career and 13 nominations though, Deakins has always been a bridesmaid, never a bride at the Oscars. But if he agrees to sign on for The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, we could easily see him getting rewarded with an Emmy.
6. Uncensored Dialogue
After years of trying to figure out exactly what happens when you “find a stranger in the Alps,” it’ll be nice to actually get to hear the Coens’ dialogue on TV as it was meant to be heard: with all the sweet, sweet, premium cable profanity money can buy.
7. Terrible Haircuts
From Dapper Dan pomade to Javier Bardem’s atrocious, crime-against-humanity pageboy cut in No Country For Old Men, the Coens love a good (read: bad) haircut. We expect them to see Billy Bob’s brutal Fargo bangs and raise them.
8. A Killer Soundtrack
OK, so the Coens aren’t exactly Tarantino when it comes to curating soundtracks, but you could still make a pretty solid Spotify list out of their greatest hits, from longtime composer Carter Burwell to T Bone Burnett and, uh, this “gem.”
9. Interior Design Advice
Let’s be real here; you probably learned more about what ties a room together from The Big Lebowski than you could from watching 100 hours of HGTV.