“The world ain’t built for guys like us.” So says Colin Farrell’s The Penguin in our first official glimpse at the Max series, which is due to air in 2024. It came as part of Max’s “The One to Watch” teaser trailer, which also offered us glimpses of House of the Dragon Season 2, The Regime (starring Kate Winslet), the latest season of Curb Your Enthusiasm, and The Sympathizer, starring Robert Downey Jr.
But, of all the titles, the one with the most buzz is certainly The Penguin. A spin-off of Matt Reeves’ The Batman, this takes place one week after the film and features Farrell’s titular character, Oswald “Oz” Cobblepot, trying to fill the void in the underworld Carmine Falcone’s death left behind. Cristin Milioti stars as Sofia Falcone, Carmine’s other daughter (other than Catwoman), plus the great Clancy Brown. While we only got a small taste, it looks like the visual style of the series is well in keeping with The Batman’s ultra-dark Grieg Fraser cinematography.
Other interesting morsels from the trailer include a peek at The Franchise, a comedy series about the making of a big-budget superhero epic starring Billy Magnussen and comes from the makers of Veep. They also teased Tokyo Vice season 2, which will please many fans of the first season, as all was pretty quiet on that front, which made many of us worry Max might be shelving the show. We also got a sizzle reel promoting the return of The Last of Us, Euphoria and The White Lotus, although those shows certainly won’t be back until 2025.
Will The Penguin series be a solid spin-off with life of its own? Indeed, with Succession, Winning Time, Perry Mason and Barry all done at HBO, their ranks seem thin this year. Hopefully, a few of the new shows remind us that there’s still meaning to the old catchphrase, “It’s not TV, it’s HBO”