Somewhat famously, Jody Hill's Eastbound And Down ended up running longer than anyone anticipated, adding an extra season after fans - and, perhaps more pressingly, HBO - demanded more.
This will not be the case with Hill's latest HBO series, Vice Principals. Speaking to Variety at the show's premiere last night, series star Danny McBride said:
"The whole series is only 18 episodes and that’s it. We just wanted to make a really long movie. It’s one school year and a complete story. This was an old screenplay that Jody (Hill) and I wrote back in 2006. But we needed it to be longer so we added and reworked it and broke it up into 18 segments.
HBO trusted us to make those episodes without anyone watching them, so they really, really trust us."
I'm totally alright with this approach! I think we need more series like this, where an end-point's in mind from the get-go and the people making the series can concentrate on delivering the best "segments" (to borrow McBride's terminology) rather than worrying about setting up potential plot threads for future seasons.
And even if you're not onboard with that, this is a nine-hour Jody Hill movie starring Danny McBride, Walton Goggins, and - for a time, anyway - Bill Murray. Let us not look this gift horse in the mouth. Let us instead be grateful that HBO keeps giving these lunatics the money and space they need to produce new material.
Vice Principals premieres July 17th. That's next weekend!