The miniseries is Dunham’s first TV project since ‘Girls’ and Jennifer Garner’s first series since ‘Alias.’
After a 12-year hiatus, Jennifer Garner is returning to the small screen as the star of the HBO miniseries Camping, a half-hour, eight-episode comedy project about a group of adult friends who attempt a woodland getaway, only to be overrun by their own zaniness.
Also returning to television, and to HBO, are series creators Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner, the team behind Girls. Dunham and Konner write, show-run, and executive produce the new series, whose frothy tone is considerably different from the heavy-handed style that characterized their last hit show.
Camping is based on the British miniseries of the same name, and original series creator Julia Davis is also producing the American remake. As Deadline reports, the HBO project shares the hijinks-laden premise of the British original.
Camping centers on married couple Katherine (Garner) and Walt, whose intention for his 45th birthday was a delightful weekend in nature — at least, that is the plan for obsessively organized and controlling Katherine. But when the trip gathers her meek sister, her holier-than-thou ex-best friend, and a free-spirited tagalong in one place, the result is a weekend of tested marriages and woman-on-woman crime that won’t soon be forgotten. Plus bears.
From the looks of the trailer, Camping will retain the British series’ wry and wacky tone, which is an interesting departure for Dunham and Konner. The comedy team is best known for the darker and more confessional comedy style they fine-tuned over six seasons of Girls, and it will be interesting to see them work with lighter material.
Garner likewise is normally recognized lately for her turns in dramas like Love Simon and Dallas Buyers Club, but anyone familiar with her seminal work in 13 Going on 30 will know that she has the chops to carry a broad comedy. Also as evidenced by the teaser below.
Many of Garner’s fellow cast members are also no strangers to drama-comedy crossover. David Tennant (Doctor Who) plays Garner’s harried husband, and fellow campers include Juliette Lewis (August: Osage County) and Bridget Everett (Patti Cake$).
HBO recently hit its miniseries stride with two critically acclaimed limited-episode dramas, Big Little Lies (since renewed for a sequel season) and Sharp Objects. Like Camping, these series star largely female talent and their narratives revolve around the competitive and hostile relationships between their female characters. This shared subject matter makes Camping a logical addition to HBO’s slate, except that whereas Big Little Lies and Sharp Objects are both characterized by grimness, camp is primarily what flavors Dunham and Konner’s appropriately named series.
HBO has been showcasing plenty of breakout female-driven comedy, most notably Issa Rae’s Insecure and of course Dunham and Konner’s prior project. However, both Insecure and Girls included frequent diversions into heavy drama. HBO’s offerings for lighter comedy remain fairly male-dominated, as shows like Silicon Valley and Curb Your Enthusiasm currently fill that niche. With Veep heading into its final season, there is room in HBO’s roster for another female-led cringe comedy, and from the looks of the teaser, Camping is it.
Camping premieres October 14th.