Unhappy: Will this original sitcom be the British answer to Curb Your Enthusiasm? | Netflix
A straightforward, offbeat London-based sitcom, filmed by a crew of just seven and funded from the writer’s own savings, has been purchased by Netflix and is set to screen from early November, to air alongside international shows achieved 10 times the budget.
The show, Unlucky, stars Tim Downie, an actor already known for his roles in the television series Foreigner and BBC Two comedy Upstart raven, and follows the investigations and misadventures of a reporter for a small Jewish newspaper.
The six-part show, written, directed and funded by Gary Sinyor, also stars BBC Radio 4 comedian Josh Howie and comedic actor Lucy Montgomery. It became a word of mouth success when it was briefly released on Amazon Prime as The Jewish investigator. Now, with support from Netflix, that old axiom about stories most specifically rooted in finding universal audiences needs to be tested again.
“This is the most extraordinary leap for the series, not only in terms of our finances, but also in terms of public perception,” said Sinyor, 59, who is now writing the second series and preparing more outrageous plots. for the third series. “I felt really weak for a while after doing these six episodes, which we all believed so much in. I kept looking at my bank account and wondering what I could do. Luckily my wife, Leesa, has a good job, and that kept us going. “
With an uncompromising script which has been described by suspicious TV executives as more of a British version of Calm your enthusiasm, Sinyor’s broadcast was initially refused by several UK broadcast networks. This may, in fact, have been held back by those early comparisons to Larry David’s hit American series, according to Sinyor: “I think a British take on this sense of humor is very different. Our anti-hero, Paul Green, is far from famous or rich, unlike Larry David.
The cast of Unlucky were delighted with the news, Sinyor said. “Tim, who plays Paul and is also an executive producer, blasted with happiness.”
Sinyor changed the name of the show to Unlucky on the advice of Ben Frow, director of Viacom CBS, who also wanted to screen the first series.
The writer has already witnessed the sudden success of an unlikely project. In the early 1990s, Sinyor and a group of actors and fellow filmmakers worked for free, fueled primarily by hope, on a small-scale British comedy about a young Jewish man who discovers he is truly the son of ‘a Yorkshire Cattle. breeder. Leon the farm pig, starring Mark Frankel, Brian Glover and Janet Suzman, and co-written and co-directed by Sinyor, made headlines. It eventually gained a place of admired quirk among critics and film audiences, sparking a renewed interest in British films.
“It’s like Leon once again. Neither of us had any money at the time. We all did it with no money and ultimately had enough success to justify it all. My whole career has been like this. I’ve begged the film industry to welcome me in and make me an insider, but the outside seems to be where I end up. It might be the best place for me.