HBO’s Here and Now needs to stop preaching and start entertaining

The Show: Here and Now, Season 1, Episode 3

The Moment: Angsting

“There’s nothing shameful in admitting you’re depressed,” enlightened but bossy counsellor Audrey (Holly Hunter) tells her enlightened but gloomy husband, self-help writer Greg (Tim Robbins), as they lie in bed.

“It’s not depression,” he replies. “It’s existential. It’s grief.”

“Over?” she asks.

“Life,” he says. “It went by so fast. I feel like everything is over now. Us. Our kids. The world.”

“It’s not over,” she says, her eyes searching his.

“A big chunk of it is,” he insists. “When I really felt like I was part of it and it was part of me, that’s gone. I haven’t figured out yet how to be old. I feel so irrelevant.”

“Honey, practise what you’ve preached your whole life,” she says. “Over a million copies sold. Be here now.”

“It’s a hell of a lot easier to make that argument when you’re 25,” he says.

The creator of this series, Alan Ball, made Six Feet Under, one of my all-time faves, as well as True Blood. So I’m going to keep watching, hoping his tale of this right-living-yet-not-happy couple, their three adult children whom they adopted from countries the U.S. abused and their biological teenage daughter, eventually settles in and stops proffering egregiously theme-stating conversations like this one, and other such conversations about Trumpism and racism that demonstrate how woke/despairing/2018 we all are.

Ramon (Daniel Zovatto), the hunky gay son they adopted from Colombia, is seeing visions involving the number 11:11, and he’s seeing a therapist, Navid (Marwan Salama), who is a great character. So unlike Greg, I’m tempering my angst with hope that Ball knows what he’s doing and is taking me somewhere better than this.

Here and Now airs Sundays at 9 p.m. HBO and is available on demand. Johanna Schneller is a media connoisseur who zeroes in on pop-culture moments. She usually appears Tuesdays and Thursdays.


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