As Lainey has said, we here at LaineyGossip are Taffy fans. As in, fans of writer Taffy Brodesser-Akner. Whether it’s one of her masterclass celebrity profiles or her first novel, Taffy is a must-read. That novel, Fleishman Is In Trouble, is now also a limited series starring Jesse Eisenberg, Claire Danes, Adam Brody, and Lizzy Caplan.
The series premieres on November 17 on FX On Hulu (I hate this branding so much), and the trailer dropped on Tuesday. Eisenberg stars as the 40-something Toby Fleishman, who is divorcing Rachel. One day, she drops off the kids unannounced and then disappears. The novel is told from the perspective of Toby’s best friend, Libby (Caplan), and the trailer carries that over, with Libby narrating the introduction to Toby, Rachel, and Toby’s predicament.
Brodesser-Akner, who has already conquered journalism and prose, adapted her book for the screen. The pilot is directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, the team behind Little Miss Sunshine and Battle of the Sexes, as well as the Paul Rudd Netflix series, Living With Yourself. Besides the aforementioned actors, the cast also includes Josh Radnor and Christian Slater (as Archer Sylvan, PERFECT casting). You can’t argue with the pedigree, especially the part where Taffy adapted her work. Is there any form of writing she can’t do? Probably not.
As for the series, it looks pretty good. They obviously don’t want to give too much away, and it’s hard to encapsulate everything the book touches on in two minutes. Toby and Rachel’s divorce, Rachel’s disappearance, those are the big things. Libby’s discontent gets a mention. There are quick references to the issues of class, intimacy, and success at play in the novel, too. But Fleishman is an opus, short of giving away the whole thing, a trailer will struggle to contain the multitudes of this story. So, if you watch this and think it looks like a Woody Allen knock-off, don’t despair. A catchy comparison would be Nora Ephron on a bitterness bender, but really, Fleishman is a work by Taffy Brodesser-Akner. It’s smart, funny, insightful, it’s about people and perception and everything you think you know at the beginning is changed by the end. Taffy Brodesser-Akner is coming for her prestige TV moment.