‘Four Weddings’ gets a reboot
Wrapping up five seasons of an award-winning series with a musical is a risk that only Amazon’s “Transparent” could take.
Risks are part of the show’s DNA, said series creator Jill Soloway.
“We were all just kind of flying in our risk spaces,” Soloway said of creating the finale, “and today, we are still flying in our risk spaces by having made a musical as a way to say farewell to this family.”
Actor Jay Duplass added that, after several seasons of pushing boundaries, upon hearing the idea he thought: “That’s nuts, and it totally makes sense, and that’s what we have to do.”
Soloway joined sibling and executive producer Faith Soloway, as well as the cast of the Amazon series, during a Television Critics Association meeting to talk about the fitting conclusion for the characters as they mourn the loss of one of the show’s central characters.
The finale begins with the death of Maura, played by Jeffrey Tambor, who left the show last year after allegations of sexual harassment on set. Approaching the death of Tambor’s character with a musical gave the cast a creative outlet to also mourn their own loss, Jill Soloway said.
“Our cast is mourning Maura, and as actors and creators, we’re mourning what happened with our show,” Jill Soloway said on Tambor’s exit, adding: “It was a chance to heal together.”
The “Transparent” musical finale, which debuts Sept 27. The show exits the television scene with others in its wake, including Ryan Murphy’s award-winning “Pose”.
While Jill Soloway said they don’t take responsibility for the push toward more representation on screen, they are grateful to have been a part of that conversation.
“I feel more like a child in awe than parental. I came to all of this so late in my life. I wasn’t even queer until my late 40s,” Jill Soloway said. “So I couldn’t take responsibility for this revolution. I have always felt just in awe.”
“Making it into a musical in some ways just rescued it from being overly serious,” Soloway said.
We had to find our way back to joy,” Soloway said, “and the musical allowed us to do that.”
The series was based on Soloway’s own family, the creator has said. Soloway’s sister, Faith Soloway, wrote the music for the final episode, which she said was pulled from songs she had been writing about the family her entire life.
Shakina Nayfack, a newcomer to the cast, said the stars and producers wanted a worthy farewell to honor its legacy.
LOS ANGELES: Imagine “Four Weddings and a Funeral” without Hugh Grant?
That was the challenge for the makers of a new TV series that puts a 21st-century twist on the 1994 British romantic comedy that made the fumbling, quintessentially English Grant an international star.
So they decided to center the 10-episode series for Hulu on American characters with British connections and chose a multiracial cast.
“One thing I didn’t want to do was have a floppy-haired British guy,” series co-creator Mindy Kaling said, referring to Grant.
“There are other ways of being really sexy,” Kaling told reporters on Friday at a Television Critics Association meeting.
The TV series, also called “Four Weddings and a Funeral” will launch on Hulu on July 31. Kaling, best known as a co-star and a writer on the US version of “The Office”, said that re-imagining the beloved British film was daunting.
“It’s terrifying, because we all love the movie so much,” said Kaling, also known for creating and starring in “The Mindy Project”.
Then the idea for a number of “gentle subversions” came to her, including depicting “a love story between an African-American woman and a British-Pakistani guy.” (Agencies)
In addition, she said she had never seen a film “where a British-Pakistani and an African-American are best friends at work – and they work in finance,” she added.
“The fact that the characters do not seem to have these racial boundaries… was really refreshing,” said Kaling, an American of South Asian heritage.
The “Four Weddings and a Funeral” movie followed the ups and downs of an all-white group of close British friends as they search for, miss out on, and lose love. It brought Grant a Golden Globe and launched a series of romantic comedies written by Richard Curtis.
The Hulu TV series was shot in London with the cooperation of Curtis. It also incorporates nods to famous scenes from other Curtis movies, including “Love Actually” and “Notting Hill”, both of which starred Grant. (Agencies)
By Katie Campione