George Clooney makes his return to television in Stan‘s Catch-22, a six-episode, hour-long limited drama series.
Catch-22 is a World War II satire that mixes an unusual brand of comedy with real-life dark themes, conveying the ravages of war with a humorous spin.
Girls star Christopher Abbott plays John Yossarian, an officer in WWII who, understandably, wants nothing more than to finish his mission and go home in one piece but unfortunately the United States military keep finding ways to stop him from getting his wish.
Mad man in charge Colonel Cathcart (played by Friday Night Lights star Kyle Chandler) holds Yossarian back by raising the number of missions he must fly to complete his service.
Christopher Abbott as John Yossarian
Kyle Chandler as Colonel Cathcart
Interestingly, Clooney was originally supposed to play Cathcart, but due to time constraints, including the fact that he produces the series, he ended up taking a smaller role as the war-obsessed General Scheisskopf.
Clooney plays the eccentric General Scheisskopf
But while the dark subject matter of the series might draw pause from those among us who don’t consider themselves war buffs, the remarkable dark comedy conveyed throughout the series makes it absolutely worth a watch.
The show uses humour as a means of deflecting the horror of war for example how they mock the foolhardy approach of the military which uses its troops as fodder in war without any real strategy.
There’s one scene where House star Hugh Laurie’s character Major de Coverley accidentally waltzes into a room filled with Nazis, obviously a terrifying moment, but its purpose is to act as comic relief, as Laurie does in most scenes because, well, he’s Hugh Laurie.
Hugh Laurie as Major de Coverley
The series is based on a satirical novel by celebrated author Joseph Heller that was first published in 1961 but if you’re wondering why they’ve decided to spin it into a series lo these many years later, Georgey boy has shed some light on this for us.
Speaking to Vanity Fair, the actor said that he feels the absurdity of the story rings true to the current political climate.
“We are in a very absurd moment in our history and the absurdity of all of this felt familiar in a way,” Clooney told the publication.
“It’s never a bad time to be talking about when old men make decisions and young men have to die.”
Peep the trailer below and catch the series when it hits Stan on May 18.