Jenny Slate Re-Teams With Obvious Child Director for a TV Series

By  · Published on March 6th, 2015


Jenny Slate has been primarily a TV actress for a while, and lately she’s maintained regular or recurring roles on Married, Parks and Recreation, The Kroll Show, House of Lies and the animated show Bob’s Burgers. Despite breaking out as a name to know last year in a movie, the very acclaimed Obvious Child, she’s probably more suited to the small screen and now deserves her own starring gig there. According to Deadline, that gig could be happening at FX, the home of Married, by way of a potential show in development with the cable network.

As TV is also the most embracing place for indie filmmakers these days, Obvious Child writer/director Gillian Robespierre and Elisabeth Holm, who had a story-by co-credit on the movie, will also be involved with the scripting of this untitled pilot. It’s not my prayed-for Parks and Recreation spin-off focused on the Sapersteins, including her character, Mona Lisa, but it’s probably the next best thing.

It’s easy to have hope for projects like this, a re-teaming of collaborators from a successful movie. It’s not just that we trust all parties to bring the same quality of talent to their next thing, but an immediate reunion implies these people meshed well personally as well as creatively and professionally, and a lot of times great chemistry off screen translates to the same on screen.

Fox Searchlight Pictures

That’s why we can also be excited about another TV series in development with another re-teamed actress and director. Also reported by Deadline is news that Netflix has ordered an eight-episode drama called The OA from Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij, who previously worked together on the movies Sound of My Voice and The East. While not made clear, presumably they’ll be co-writing the material again with her starring and he directing. All that’s specified is that it’s their vision and they’re two of the show’s executive producers.

Marling and Batmanglij will be perfect for this new venture. They actually originally devised Sound of My Voice as a web series, and back when the movie premiered at Sundance, I imagined that between her work co-writing with Batmanglij and Another Earth director Mike Cahill she might be the one to bring us the next Lost. Perhaps The OA, which is so far only described as having mystery elements, can be that thing I suggested four years ago.

Christopher Campbell began writing film criticism and covering film festivals for a zine called Read, back when a zine could actually get you Sundance press credentials. He's now a Senior Editor at FSR and the founding editor of our sister site Nonfics. He also regularly contributes to Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes and is the President of the Critics Choice Association's Documentary Branch.