HBO and its counterpart streamer HBO Max have been succeeding in recent months with premieres of shows that have seemed to take over the pop culture discussion in America. With the incredible debuts of The Sex Lives of College Girls, Julia, and Minx, HBO has been top of the list when it comes to compelling television and worthwhile storytelling from different points of view. Last week, the newest addition called Irma Vep premiered its limited series, which seems to already be a win for HBO Max and audiences everywhere.
According to a report from comicbook.com, Irma Vep has recently achieved the coveted honor of having a perfect score on the aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes. With one episode down and another premiering tonight, June 13th, Irma Vep has also received the distinguished “Certified Fresh” award from Rotten Tomatoes as well. It should be noted that this score is due in large part from the 28 critics who submitted their reviews to Rotten Tomatoes, and the Audience Score on the same website shows the series with a 70% from 23 users. Even so, it is a marvelous rating for a series that is brand new to the streamer, as well as a concept that is over 25 years old.
A limited series adaptation of the 1996 film of the same name originally written and directed by Olivier Assayas, Irma Vep stars Alicia Vikander, Vincent Macaigne, Adria Arjona, and Byron Bowers. Vikander portrays Mira who is an American movie actor that travels to France in order to star in a remake of a silent movie called Les Vampires. Mira is dealing with a recent breakup and decides to play the character of Irma Vep in the movie within the tv show. It’s on the movie set that Mira becomes conflicted in not knowing what is real or fake, as she tries to balance her own struggles with that of her character. Assayas returned to the writer’s room and director’s chair for the limited series, which Vikander executive produced alongside Assayas.
While the series has the makings of an interesting comedic performance by Alicia Vikander, IMDB also refers to Irma Vep as a drama, while the original 1996 film was a crime thriller. The film version starred Maggie Cheung playing the main character as a fictionalized version of herself, as the movie explored many facets of the French film industry from the eyes of someone who lived outside of France at the time. The HBO television adaptation was screened at this year’s Cannes Film Festival in May before it eventually premiered to American audiences on June 6th.
With the critical success of Irma Vep, the miniseries might be seen as a route that subscription streamers can take in order to gain ground among loyal viewers. The once sought after premises containing romantic entanglements among vampires and humans, such as Twilight and The Vampire Diaries, might be having a moment once again with the acclaim that Irma Vep has brought to households across the country. Audiences shouldn’t be surprised if they see adaptations similar to this one in the future.