Today is a good day for people (like myself) who have been in mourning since 30 Rock ended in 2013: For one, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, created by Tina Fey and Robert Carlock, is now available on Netflix for your binge-watching pleasure, and it's amazing. And two, Deadine reports that Alec Baldwin's got a new HBO show, and though he won't be playing his beloved 30 Rock character Jack Donaghy, he will be playing someone just as cool...
Well, basically, anyway. In the HBO show, Baldwin will play Joe Byrne, a billionaire real estate developer and philanthropist who is unexpectedly put into the position of New York City mayor. Baldwin is (obviously) an actor, not a real estate developer, but he is a prominent NYC socialite and philanthropist. And, most notably, he has long been engaged in the political realm, even flirting with the idea of becoming mayor of NYC. There's no way these similarities are coincidental, especially since HBO has never shied away from all things meta, from Lisa Kudrow playing a washed-up actress on The Comeback to the writing workshop on Girls to the friendship between Emily Mortimer and Dolly Wells in Doll & Em.
Interestingly, this show will be a one hour drama, rather than a comedy. It'll be written by Wells Tower, an award-winning fiction writer. Hopefully, the drama will be able to explore the darker facets of Baldwin's life, in addition to his mayoral ambitions. Here are some elements that make Baldwin the perfect candidate to play himself, which I hope make it into the show.
Joe Byrne is a democrat, as is Baldwin. Rich and powerful people are often portrayed as Republican on television (Jack Donaghy, to use a random example), so exploring what happens when liberal politics and money come together would be fresh and rife with possibility.
It would be great if Alec Baldwin's infamous outbursts could be explored on the show. In real life, they make him a complex and flawed person, a gifted artist with a dark side, which would create a very interesting character on TV. Baldwin has self-mockingly referenced these events in the past, and it would make sense for him to further explore his dark side on his show.
His personal life
Baldwin, like so many actors before him, has a much younger wife who is also a yoga instructor. A younger wife, or girlfriend, makes sense for Byrne's character, and including that plot could explore criticisms of cradle-robbing and gold-digging. Both Byrne and Baldwin are divorced, and Baldwin's highly publicized and contentious divorce from Kim Basinger could also be great dramatic fodder.
Baldwin is an animal rights activist and is involved with many NYC charitable institutions. Byrne is described as a philanthropist as well, and the intriguing self promotion of being a charitable public figure would offer lots of room for exploration.
Wouldn't it be great if we saw a silver fox politician ask the waiter what was in the soup? More vegan representation on TV, please.
Are famous people qualified to run for office? Baldwin thinks so, but the questions surrounding his political ambitions will certainly arise in his new show.
Baldwin comes from a family of actors. Though his character won't be an actor, I hope that there will still be some family competition. Maybe the Baldwin brothers will appear as Byrne's brothers in a perfect meta moment.