Really, it was inevitable.
Considering the mumblecore background of indie filmmaker Joe Swanberg, Netflix’s focus on youth-orientated programming with a focus on romance and the director’s recent work on “Love” — a youth-oriented Netflix comedy focusing on romance — today’s news comes as no surprise. The streaming giant has greenlit “Easy,” an eight-episode series from Swanberg himself about a diverse group of Chicago characters going through day-to-day deliberations over love, sex, technology and culture.
So what other than the cast — a stellar bunch including Orlando Bloom, “You’re the Worst” favorite Aya Cash, Malin Akerman, Marc Maron, Gugu Mbatha-Raw (“Beyond the Lights”), Jake Johnson (“New Girl” as well as Swanberg’s “Drinking Buddies”), Dave Franco and Hannibal Burress — sets Swanberg’s series apart from the likes of “Love” and “Flaked”? His offering is set up as an anthology series.
Other prominent mumblecore filmmakers have experienced great success on television of late: Mark and Jay Duplass have fully embraced the medium, as directors and writers on “Togetherness,” actors in “The League” and “Transparent” (respectively) and producing series like HBO’s “Animals.” Lynn Shelton has directed a number of excellent episodes for the small screen, including two half-hour blocks of Netflix hit “Master of None” and a half dozen episodes of “Fresh Off the Boat.” The emphasis the mumblecore movement puts on naturalism lends itself well to the medium, considering how much more time is given to delve into characters. And Netflix is especially appealing considering time restrictions are even more lax than broadcast or cable stations, allowing episodes to stretch past 30 minutes (or come up short).
Swanberg also starred in a series with similar themes between 2007-2009. “Young American Bodies” aired on IFC for 25 episodes and chronicled the lives of 20-somethings in Chicago. Swanberg, who also directed and wrote episodes of the series, studied film production at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale before moving to Chicago while in his 20s.
No timeline was provided for when “Easy” would be released. Swanberg’s latest film, “Win It All,” is currently in post-production and expected in 2016.