Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy is her first book for adults, and the first trailer for an upcoming HBO adaptation of it makes that abundantly clear. “Look at my tits,” one character crows as others drop F-bombs, drink, smoke, fight each other and generally get up to other NSFW shenanigans. Whether that’s an accurate representation of the plot or a sneak peek meant to be exceptionally shocking remains to be seen.
The three-part miniseries has certainly assembled enough strong performers to put it on any self-respecting TV snob’s radar. With Michael Gambon, Keeley Hawes, Rory Kinnear, Monica Dolan and Julia McKenzie, not to mention unproven actress Abigail Lawrie, in the cast, and Jonny Campbell sitting behind the camera, it could stand a chance of awards attention in the coming Emmy season – provided that screenwriter Sarah Phelps has captured the jet-black humor of Rowling’s novel.
Here’s the official synopsis:
The Casual Vacancy centres on Pagford, a seemingly idyllic English village with a cobbled market square and ancient abbey. Behind the pretty façade however, is a town at war: rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils. Pagford is not what it first seems.
At the Parish Council meeting the subject of Sweetlove House and its legacy arises. Howard Mollison, the Chairman, heads up the faction who want to see an end to the legacy; the thorn in his side is Barry Fairbrother, who makes an impassioned speech outlining the importance of the legacy, and the services it provides. For now, Barry has won the argument.
When Barry dies suddenly, Pagford is left in shock, and the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the village has yet seen. Three candidates are soon lined up: Miles Mollison, Howard’s son; Colin Wall, Barry’s friend; and Simon Price, Barry’s half-brother.
The Casual Vacancy arrives on HBO on April 29th.