Armando Iannucci, creator of Veep, has a new sure-to-be-hilarious show headed to HBO. Avenue 5 is set 40 years in the future and set on a luxury space cruise ship experiencing technical difficulties. In a new Avenue 5 featurette below, Matthew Spencer, the head of passenger services (played by Zach Woods) walks us through the many futuristic amenities aboard the ship.
Avenue 5 Featurette
As this video explains, space and luxury go hand in hand. After all, “the first three letters of space spell spa.” Aboard Avenue 5, you can take part in enjoyable activities, like shopping in space, which has “all the fun of shopping, plus, space!” You can also “buy a gift and look at a moon.” It’s all part of the experience of the Avenue 5 cruise, which is the setting of HBO’s Avenue 5.
The series stars Hugh Laurie as Ryan Clark, “the confident and suave captain of “Avenue 5,” a space cruise ship with luxury amenities like gourmet buffets, a spa, an observation deck and yoga classes. As the series begins, Avenue 5’s eight-week journey around Saturn is underway and its systems are optimal. But when the ship suddenly encounters technical difficulties, it’s up to Ryan and his crew to calm the disgruntled passengers and find a way to deal with unexpected events onboard — though they may or may not be equipped for the task.”
In addition to Hugh Laurie and Zach Woods, Avenue 5 features Josh Gad, Zach Woods, Rebecca Front, Suzy Nakamura, Lenora Crichlow, Nikki Amuka-Bird, and Ethan Phillips. The series was created by Armando Iannucci, which means it has a very good chance of being pretty damn funny. Scripts come courtesy of Armando Iannucci, Simon Blackwell, and Tony Roche.
And here’s a breakdown of just who these people are playing, via HBO:
Josh Gad as Herman Judd, the billionaire face and name behind Avenue 5, and the whole Judd brand, including hotels, fitness clubs and space tourism. Judd is used to a life of luxury; his fortune was made from holiday resorts and he thinks he’s good at everything else. Terrible at science, he leaves that to the experts he employs to give him the answers he wants.
Zach Woods as Matt Spencer, head of customer relations. Despite being a nihilist, Matt is a nice guy who can’t wait to get to the end of his final cruise before promotion to a more senior role on Earth. He has a performance background, but gave up trying to make it as an entertainer years ago.
Nikki Amuka-Bird as Rav Mulcair, head of Judd Mission Control on Earth. Extremely intelligent, intense, and slightly odd, she is frustrated and exhausted by lack of control. Rav is racked with guilt at having sent her two best friends into space in an attempt to fix their failing marriage.
Rebecca Front as Karen Kelly, a born leader who illicitly boarded Avenue 5 using her sister’s non-transferable ticket. Strong-willed, articulate, likeable, Karen soon finds herself becoming the voice of the passengers, enjoying her newfound power.
Lenora Crichlow as Billie McEvoy, second engineer. Young, outspoken, smart, career-focused, but exhausted by responsibility, Billie loves building and fixing things. She is terrified of dying in space.
Suzy Nakamura as Iris Kimura, Judd’s right-hand-woman. Straight to the point, sharp and serious, Iris has a very particular sense of humor. Iris is a “fixer,” there to work out what Judd wants, even if it’s unclear, and make sure it happens whilst ensuring it doesn’t cause anyone or anything any harm.
Ethan Phillips as Spike Martin, elderly space enthusiast and former astronaut. Spike is a grizzled womanizer and heavy drinker who is also surprisingly good with kids. Spike thinks he should have a higher status due to his achievements as an astronaut, but not many people know who he is. He often boasts of being the first Canadian to land on Mars, which isn’t strictly true.
Avenue 5 premieres on HBO January 19.
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