I don’t think I was alone one weeknight a while back when, during a commericial break of Morgan Spurlock’s 30 Days, I was puzzled as to why Eric Schaeffer was on my TV screen. And starting tonight, America will have a chance to watch someone that they may or may not realize is a prolific indie filmmaker. Eric is perhaps best known for his 1993 debut feature (with Don Ward), My Life’s In Turnaround. Since that film, I’ve been a fan of both him and Ward.
While Don Ward has kept a pretty low profile since that debut, Eric has been everywhere. And, I do mean everywhere. Following the duo’s short-lived Fox sitcom, Too Something, Eric went on to make more and more features on his own. This included the Sarah Jessica Parker/Ben Stiller vehicle, If Lucy Fell, but included many more obscure casts and titles like Fall and Wirey Spindell. On top of that, Eric explored more and more TV acting work. Remember him on the network shows Everything’s Relative, First Years, and Century City? Yeah, me neither, really.
But Eric’s film career has rebounded a bit lately. In 2001, SXSW premiered his feature, Never Again, which went on to be picked up and released by Focus Features the next year. The feature following that, Mind The Gap, premiered at SXSW in 2004 and won a special jury award as well as raves in Variety. The one thing that remains true about Eric’s work is this… people tend to either love him or hate him. And now, with his new series, that’s more evident than ever. And now there’s a brighter, more controversial spotlight.
The indie engine that could is back on TV with Starved, premiering tonight on FX. The show has received Eric’s typically mixed reviews, with The Hollywood Reporter calling it, “bold, brash, wrenchingly personal and divertingly clever.” But, then, the Boston Herald says it “just might be the most repulsive show to hit the airwaves this year.” Yup, sounds like Eric’s split the critics once again. Meanwhile, there’s apparently some controversy over the new show’s subject matter. Check out this E! Online story for more details.