Few shows’ schedules were hit harder by the coronavirus pandemic than HBO’s Emmy-winning drama Follow-up. As mentioned in a scattered (and superb) New Yorker piece, season 3 of the beloved satire about the wealthy Roy family was to begin filming in April 2020, before the pandemic changed those plans.
According to series creator and showrunner Jesse Armstrong, HBO executives urged him to wait for things until they could have as normal a movie experience as possible “instead of getting Logan to do a series of webinars we can broadcast on HBO Max.” The wait paid off when HBO announced today Follow-up season 3 comes out in full in october. The network has not yet set a specific date, but lets it be known that Sunday, October 17 (the week after Indigenous People’s Day) looks pretty juicy.
Despite feeling the effects of the pandemic more than other productions (and tragically, the series lost actor Mark Blum, who plays Cruise Division Bill Lockhart to COVID-19), Follow-up season 3 will not address the pandemic at all. In his speech on the decision, Armstrong refers to humanity’s remarkable ability to quickly adapt to a new normal, even though the new norm is frightening. As such, it is not necessary to go into the complex political, social and personal implications of the pandemic we have all just lived through. And in the typical Follow-up-ian mode, Armstrong points to a magnificent example from World War II to further explain the decision.
“There is a moment when Mussolini is deposed in 1943, and there is a sense of hope – the Allies are coming, and it feels as if it may be the day after tomorrow. But there are still two more years in the war, and (WWII memoir writer) Iris Origo does not know. It’s just very human, the thing about adjusting yourself to a new position. Within seconds, the new world feels completely real and alive, and you will quickly adapt to it. ”
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