While the trailer for Crisis in Six Scenes starts with a voice-over report and news footage of college students protesting the Vietnam War, don't let it fool you — Woody Allen's Amazon series is not based on a true story. Yes, the series is set in the late 1960s when a counterculture was being radicalized by the events of the day, but the plots that the characters act out in Crisis in Six Scenes aren't real. In May 2016, the legendary filmmaker spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about his then unnamed Amazon series and described it as "a comedy that stars me, Elaine May, and Miley Cyrus primarily; a domestic comedy that takes place in the late 1960s." He continued, saying, "And, hopefully people will find it amusing. It's not going to start any new religions, I can tell you that."
While Cyrus' character Lenny is an activist in Crisis in Six Scenes, Allen doesn't expect his comedy series to elicit any revolutionary responses. And, though Lenny as a houseguest may inspire the married couple of Sidney and Kay (portrayed by Allen and May) to get more hip to the social issues of the times, the series is firmly planted in fiction.
With some prodding from Lenny, Kay's book club of suburban older women discuss the idea of holding a protest at their local draft board, which amusingly includes pig's blood, burning bras, and snacks (thanks, Joy Behar!), but needs to be rescheduled for a bar mitzvah. Sidney, on the other hand, says he can't be part of any political demonstrations due to his allergy to tear gas. Of course, the issue of the Vietnam War draft was a serious matter at the time, but Allen doesn't appear to make the focus of Crisis in Six Scenes about the real-life impacts of these historical events — it's more the juxtaposition of a radical like Lenny mixing with the likes of Kay and Sidney. In this way, calling it historical fiction could even be a stretch and it seems better to go with Allen's own term of "domestic comedy."
The six episode Amazon series (there won't be any other seasons, according to Allen's Hollywood Reporter interview) will touch on the issues of 1960s racism, feminism, and socialism. However, while these real world events swirl around and influence Sidney, Kay, and Lenny — the story of Crisis in Six Scenes is wholly a comedy straight from the mind of Allen.
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