“Welcome to ‘Painting with John’ Season Two, the show where I do not teach you how to paint,” John Lurie deadpans in the trailer for his hit HBO series, returning February 18. Watch the full trailer for Season 2, exclusive to IndieWire, below.
Lurie — who writes, directs, and stars in “Painting with John” from somewhere in the Caribbean — may seem to be joking, but the multi-hyphenate talent is being serious. Dead serious.
“When season one of the show came out, I got so many people saying, ‘Oh you live in paradise. You’re so lucky.’ And I’m thinking, ‘It is paradise,'” Lurie says in a close-up. “But we didn’t show you the bad stuff.”
The horrors of Lurie’s day-to-day life? Well, let’s start with his eerie washing machine, before discussing the downside of spring. “During the rainy season, there’s these little gnat things,” Lurie explains. “They just sting you because they’re mean.”
Despite his worries of appearing as a “talking raccoon” onscreen, Lurie is effortlessly at home in front of the camera, whimsical antics and hauntingly delicate watercolor paintings included.
Per an official description, the unscripted series is “part meditative tutorial, part fireside chat” with the second season introducing Cowboy Beckett alongside Lurie’s latest artistic ventures.
“I have to be completely candid: I have these conversations in my head when I’m painting,” Lurie says. “We shot the first season and all these reviews are like, ‘I’d like to hang out with John Lurie sometime. He seems like a good person to have a beer with.’ But nobody who knows me wants to hang out with me.”
IndieWire’s own review of the series leaned in to Lurie’s lore: “Whether you know Lurie as an actor or a musician or a painter, ‘Painting with John’ almost works best if you’re unaware of his other work,” critic Steve Greene wrote, “or can pretend he’s some mystical forest-bound sage dispensing ideas about the nature of creativity to anyone who’ll listen.”
The oscillation between “the absurd and the sublime” moves swiftly from one brushstroke to the next — much like life itself, as Lurie reminds us.
“Life can be pretty horrible, but there are also beautiful moments,” he sums up. “I believe that human beings should shine, shine from within. There’s no ending to this story, so…thank you!”
“Painting with John” is photographed and edited by Erik Mockus, with Adam McKay and Todd Schulman executive producing. Nesrin Wolf, Helen M. Cho, and Matt Dwyer also serve as producers.
“Painting with John” will be available on HBO, premiering Friday, February 18 at 11 p.m. ET, and available to stream on HBO Max.