A HBO series featuring Holly Hunter and Tim Robbins should be cause for celebration. Unfortunately, the new Alan Ball family drama “Here and Now” strands its cast in episodes that are as undercooked as they are interminable.Alan Ball is responsible for Six Feet Under, one of the best TV dramas about a family--and, arguably, the most disturbing one--ever broadcast. Here and Now, on the other hand, sounds like it was aiming to be the next This Is Us, but decided to take a supernatural detour.
In “Here and Now,” Hunter and Robbins play the well-meaning, progressive parents of four children of different races (the three oldest were adopted; the youngest, a high schooler, is their biological child). The show tries to be a few different things: A meditation on the state of political and interpersonal discourse in a polarized America; a sprawling story of two families in Portland who become linked; and an exploration of mental illness, the efficacies of self-help philosophies and the possibilities of mystical intuition.
If only these thematic strands didn’t involve people who are mostly insufferable...
Sort of like a This Is Us as rendered by Rod Serling.