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Pete Holmes’ CRASHING Wants Failure to Feel Real and Optimistic

If you’re a frequent visitor of this here website Nerdist dot com, chances are you know exactly who Pete Holmes is—thanks to his podcast, You Made it Weird. And if that’s the case, then it also probably wouldn’t surprise you to find out that his Judd Apatow-produced new HBO series, Crashing, focuses on, as Holmes put it, “how you keep your soul in a world that keeps negotiating for pieces of it.”

At the its-not-TV network’s 2017 Television Critics Association winter press tour stop, Holmes and Apatow brought their brand of earnestly hewn comedy to a Pasadena ballroom in order to bring a bit of levity to a largely drama-focused session.

The show follows a younger version of the comedian prior to his own real-life success. In it, Holmes’ wife has just cheated on him and now he’s—you guessed it—crashing at his more successful friends’ homes and trying to figure out life and how to bumble through life before you make it.

Which feels right in line with what people are looking for these days when, as Apatow said, “Life has gotten very scary and absurd; it’s a whole new ballgame.”

For Holmes, the show has its surface level charms, particularly with the stellar guest line-up of comedians playing real-life version of themselves like Sarah Silverman, Steve Agee, Artie Lange, T.J. Miller, and so many more (seriously, even Gina Gershon is up in this shit). The show isn’t just a look at comedy and comedy people, it’s about optimism and curiosity in the face of the unknown, of life and how it messes with all of us—especially when wading in the unknown.


“Just under the surface,” explained Holmes, “you’ll see it’s written from the perspective of ‘What is this? What’s going on here? What’s this reality?'” It’s the same sort of wonderment that makes something like his podcast so charming to hear.

“When we pitched the show to HBO I only talked about Joseph Campbell, Buddha and Christ,” said Holmes, “[Judd] begged me to remind them it’s a comedy.”

That level of curiosity allows for a loving look at people’s mistakes and quibbles. It’s all about the juxtaposition of how people ultimately “want to be good; people want to be good and loving, but life keeps messing that up,” said Holmes.

Crashing premieres February 19th on HBO. Are you looking forward to it? Let us know in the comments below!

Images: HBO

Alicia Lutes is the Managing Editor of Nerdist, creator/host of Fangirling, and is spending far too much time squirreled away in a ballroom in Padadena covering the 2017 TCA Winter Tour. Keep up with her on Twitter!

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