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Fantasmas Review 2024 Tv Show Series Season Cast Crew Online

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Fantasmas Review 2024 Tv Show Series Season Cast Crew Online

As a writer for “Saturday Night Live” from 2016 to 2019, Julio Torres was able to create immersive worlds — the existential melancholy of a sink; the font obsession of an “Avatar” super fan — in just a few minutes’ worth of sketch. Over time, the comedian has only acquired more space and resources to realize his singular vision. Since 2019, Torres has co-created and co-starred in the surreal sitcom “Los Espookys”; recorded the hourlong special “My Favorite Shapes”; and directed his feature debut, “Problemista,” acting opposite Tilda Swinton. With every added level of authority, Torres has assumed even greater control of the ultra-specific sensibility evident in his earliest “SNL” breakouts. Torres’ imagination yields glamorous, distinctly queer realities with the logic of a fairy tale, grounded by the bemused frustration of an author who had to traverse the American immigration system to bring his dreamy art to life.

With his new series “Fantasmas,” Torres answers the hypothetical of what his former workplace might look like were he in Lorne Michaels’ chair. (Like “Los Espookys” and “My Favorite Shapes,” the six-episode season airs on HBO.) “Fantasmas” is not technically a sketch show; there’s a loose, over-arching narrative about Torres’ protagonist, also named Julio, getting evicted from his lair inside a water tower. But it’s also filled with digressive vignettes packed with high-profile guest stars, who gamely blend into the Torres cinematic universe. Anthropomorphizing is a favorite mode of his, hence Steve Buscemi playing an aging, punk personification of the letter “Q.” So is aesthetic excess with no practical purpose, giving us Aidy Bryant in a faux commercial for toilet dresses. Then again, if you need to be sold on the concept of sequined skirts for your commode, this is not the show for you.

Torres may revel in fantasy, but there are also elements of autobiography in his character. “I wake up and I just sort of … Julio” is how he describes his job. “I can feel the inner lives of shapes and colors.” It’s a joke, of course; in a gig as a consultant for Crayola, he urges the company to develop a clear-colored crayon. But the line is also a reasonable description of Torres’ oeuvre, which ascribes magical portent to objects like the oyster-shaped, diamond-encrusted earring Julio loses and tries to find in this alternate New York City. The setting is both alien and recognizable, a place where the “first and only queer hamster nightclub” is now a hamster CVS.

There’s also a personal element to Julio’s search for a home. Everywhere he turns, Torres’ character is asked for “proof of existence,” an officially sanctioned form of ID he professes not to believe in. Before getting his green card, the real Torres had a visa reserved for “aliens of extraordinary ability”; in “Fantasmas,” his alter ego learns famous people don’t need to prove their existence. But getting famous requires either selling out (his agent offers him a commercial for a “woke” credit card called Cha Ching) or leaning into cynical, identity-based stories. It physically pains Julio to pitch an executive (Natasha Lyonne) on the kind of show she wants. He calls it “How I Came Out to My Abuela.”

For those already versed in Torres’ CV, “Fantasmas” has some repetition. His passion for the color “clear” comes up in “My Favorite Shapes”; a bit about dramatic hand acting has had several lives, moving from Instagram to “The Tonight Show” to this newest iteration. But this Hollywood critique is both new and biting, even as it’s softened by the silly context. With backers like HBO, A24 and Emma Stone — an executive producer on “Fantasmas” who also appears in the show’s “Real Housewives” parody “True Women of New York” — Torres has successfully forged a platform for his uncompromised, unfiltered voice. But between the lines, “Fantasmas” hints at how hard he’s had to fight to stay himself, even if his work suggests Torres couldn’t be anyone else if he tried.

Fantasmas Review 2024 Tv Show Series Season Cast Crew Online

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