Fred Armisen, Julio Torres & Ana Fabrega’s HBO series ‘Los Espookys’ is hilariously groundbreaking
It hasn't gotten the attention of Big Little Lies, Euphoria or Game of Thrones, but new HBO series Los Espookys is is one of the funniest new shows of the year and also hilariously groundbreaking. Co-created by Fred Armisen, SNL writer Julio Torres and Ana Fabrega, the series is about a group of goth-leaning 20-somethings in an unnamed, somewhat surreal Latin American city who turn their love of horror into a business. As others have said, it's kind of Scooby-Doo in reverse, with the Los Espookys team helping out whenever a scare is needed, be it a fake exorcism for the local priest, a real estate scare scam, or a seaside town in need of a sea monster. Renaldo (Bernardo Velasco) is the ringleader and idea man; Andrés (Torres) is the make effects guru and heir to a candy fortune with a mysterious past; Úrsula (Cassandra Ciangherotti) is a dental hygienist by day and the team's logistics coordinator; and Tati (Fabrega) is the up-for-anything pinch hitter who also juggles dozens of (very) odd jobs. Armisen plays Renaldo's encouraging Uncle Tico who lives in L.A. where he is a legendary parking attendant.
The show is mostly in Spanish with English subtitles but plays fair by having what English is spoken subtitled in Spanish. While subtitles sometimes feel like work, here they're part of the fun, with jokes are weaved into them frequently. Los Espookys is very absurdist but rewards attentiveness, with layers upon layers of jokes, and manages to be very smart and very stupid all at the same time. Fred Armisen may pull viewers in (and he's great here) but it's Torres and Fabrega who you'll end up looking forward to each episode. The show is not just case of the week, either, and gets more interesting and complex as it goes. That said, the homemade effects they create are all great and gross and funny in their own right. If you liked the first three seasons of Arrested Development, any show associated with Tina Fey, and the What We Do in the Shadows series, you should add Los Espookys to your queue immediately.
Los Espookys airs Friday nights at 11 PM on HBO and is also streamable on demand and via HBO GO and HBO Now. Watch the trailer and a few clips below.
Meanwhile there are Los Espookys live events with Fred, Julio and Ana in Los Angeles (Regent Theatre on 6/18 with SNL alum Laraine Newman and Greta Titelman too), NYC (Murmrr Theatre on 6/29). Tickets for both those events are on sale now.