Woody Allen’s first — and perhaps only, given how he described disliking and feeling inadequate under the pressures of writing for television — television series will be streaming on Amazon in a couple of weeks, and after much talk about what this thing would turn out to be (especially after Miley Cyrus signed on to co-star), it turns out, surprise (!), Woody Allen-TV looks pretty much exactly like everything else you’ve seen of Allen’s. It’s nostalgia-steeped (it’s a period piece, but even his non-period pieces are), the cast is listed in alphabetical order, Jewish family dynamics are explored, Allen’s character spouts his neuroses to anyone who’ll listen, and you’ll perhaps feel uncomfortable watching it for reasons entirely outside of the series itself, depending on your thoughts about the separation of art from the artist.
Crisis in Six Scenes takes place in the 1960s and sees Allen’s semi-meta character (he’s also a TV writer struggling to get an idea across) and his wife, a psychiatrist played by Elaine May, having their comfortable suburban lives and mores changed by a hippie with radical politics — played by Miley Cyrus. (In order to comprehend the bizarrerie of the pairing, try watching the trailer — or a trailer for any Woody Allen film, for that matter — to “We Can’t Stop.”)
Of the process of making the series, Allen told Deadline last year, “I have regretted every second since I said OK. It’s been so hard for me. I had the cocky confidence, well, I’ll do it like I do a movie…it’ll be a movie in six parts. Turns out, it’s not. For me, it has been very, very difficult. I’ve been struggling and struggling and struggling.” That said, it looks, at least in the trailer, that it came together coherently, that it could be an amusingly quirky exploration of ’60s revolution from the perspective of older characters, and that there are some good lines about guacamole. (Of course, this is Allen, so there’s about a 60/40 chance of it being totally forgettable and irrelevant v. being brilliant.) The series premieres on Amazon on September 30.
Watch the trailer: