‘State of the Union’ Season 2 Ordered at SundanceTV, Short-Form Emmy Winner Sets New Cast

Nick Hornby's well-received short-form comedy series is headed back to SundanceTV for a sophomore season.
Rosamund Pike as Louise, Chris O’Dowd as Tom - State of the Union _ Season 1, Episode 4 - Photo Credit: Parisatag Hizadeh/Confession Films/SundanceTV
Rosamund Pike as Louise, Chris O’Dowd as Tom - State of the Union _ Season 1, Episode 4 - Photo Credit: Parisatag Hizadeh/Confession Films/SundanceTV
Parisatag Hizadeh/Confession Fil

State of the Union,” the Emmy-winning short-form comedy series created by Nick Hornby, will return for Season 2 later in the year.

SundanceTV, which premiered the first season of the show in May 2019, announced that Hornby and director Stephen Frears will reunite for the show’s upcoming sophomore season. Brendan Gleeson (“In Bruges”), Patricia Clarkson (“Sharp Objects”) and Esco Jouléy (“High Maintenance”) will star in Season 2, which will consist of 10, 10-minute episodes (just like Season 1). A specific release date for Season 2 was not provided.

Per SundanceTV, the Season 2 synopsis reads:

“State of the Union” cleverly explores relationships and the human experience. In this season, liberal campaigning Ellen (Clarkson) drags her traditional, self-made husband Scott (Gleeson) out of his comfort zone and into a hipster Connecticut coffee shop, where they have 10 minutes before their marriage counseling session to drink a coffee, gather their thoughts, and argue about everything from Quakerism to pronouns. Amongst the bickering they also discuss betrayals from their past, how they’re changing as people, and what the future of their relationship might look like in a changing world.

“The first season of ‘State of the Union’ was a triumph of storytelling form, captivating audiences 10 minutes at a time by smartly and authentically exploring our fundamental humanity and curiosity around what makes people think, feel, love, and interact,” Dan McDermott, president of original programming for AMC Networks, said in a statement. “We are thrilled to once again partner with the great Nick Hornby and Stephen Frears, and welcome Brendan, Patricia, and Esco, to break new ground in short-form storytelling with a series built on the most universal and unifying element of all the human relationship.”

Jamie Laurenson, Hakan Kousetta, Iain Canning, and Emile Sherman will executive produce Season 2 alongside Hornby and Frears. Sophie Reynolds and Kristin Jones will serve as producers.

The first season of “State of the Union” starred Rosamund Pike and Chris O’Dowd and centered on the duo as they met for drinks ahead of their weekly marriage counseling appointments. The show won the Emmy for Outstanding Short-Form Comedy or Drama Series in 2019, while Pike and O’Dowd won Emmys for Outstanding Actress in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series and Outstanding Actor in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series, respectively.

The first season of “State of the Union” received a positive critical reception; IndieWire’s Ben Travers praised Hornby’s dialogue and Pike and O’Dowd’s performances in his grade B+ review in 2019, when the series premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.

“Hornby’s dialogue walks the fine line between Sorkin-esque poetry, where the words draw so much attention to themselves you can only accept them as beautiful, made-to-order entertainment, and naturalistic expressions of love, frustration, and exploration,” Travers said in his review. “They’re witty enough to be written but not so smart they couldn’t have been thought up on-the-spot, under the best possible circumstances. Certainly, there’s a rat-a-tat rhythm between their shared thoughts that has to be accepted, or else the whole production would be bogged down by the spaces that should, realistically, be there, but that’s how it should be, and O’Dowd and Pike erase any lingering objections with their endearing personalities.”

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