There’s something in the air. Russia, Ukraine, Iraq, Syria, Armenia, Greece: a student of history might be compelled to think that it’s starting to feel like 1938 all over again. So why don’t we laugh about it?
Apparently television writer Roberto Benabib thought it was a good time to do just that when he decided to single-handedly bring big issues back to American comedy with his HBO political satire, The Brink. The new series follows a Secretary of State, a low-level State Department operative, and a somewhat obtuse fighter pilot (played by Jack Black, Tim Robbins, and “Porn Stache” Pablo Schreiber, respectively) through a handful of international locales as global society teeters on the brink of a third World War.
But Benabib is not just any run of the mill American show creator — he is a first generation Mexican-American show creator. So who better to lead the free world in Benabib’s screwball universe than, well, another Mexican-American? And who better to play the part than Hollywood’s perennial go-to Mexican, Nuyorican actor Esai Morales? Yeah, Hollywood’s never been great at telling the difference, but at this point let’s just call Morales an honorary Chicano.
In a recent chat with the NY Daily News, Morales revealed a bit more about his role, stating that despite the show’s goofy cast of characters, President Julián Navarro is far from a buffoon. In fact, he fancies his stately Republican POTUS as more of a centrist JFK type, rather than some of the more bumbling recent presidents. Though Morales did admit he was pleased to display some of his underutilized comedy chops for the first time.
The series, which premiered in late June, has thus far garnered mixed reviews, but critics are more or less in agreement that the cast is top-notch. So fire up your Apple TV and head on over to HBO GO to judge for yourself. The first three episodes are currently available for streaming.
The Brink airs Sundays at 10:30PM on HBO.