BBC America is adding a host of new shows to its most recent development push, and among the projects is a comedy-drama Zero Motivation, based on the 2014 film and critical darling of the same name.
Amy Poehler is producing, along with Natasha Lyonne (Orange Is The New Black) and Zero Motivation director Tayla Lavie; writer Tami Saghar (Broad City, Girls, Inside Amy Schumer) is also on board.
Information on the new series is still scant, but the original Zero Motivation film has been available on Netflix for awhile, so if you haven’t yet checked it out, now’s the time.
Zero Motivation follows three women in the Israeli army as they navigate the waters of friendship, ambition, and ambivalence. Best friends Daffi (Nelly Tagar) and Zohar (Dana Igvy) and their senior officer, Rama (Shani Klein), want very different things out of their time in the army – and the women finds themselves working together and against one another as they grapple with finding meaning and happiness.
Winning the award for Best Narrative Feature at Tribeca Film Festival in 2014, along with six Ophir awards, Zero Motivation has been widely well-received, so it’s no surprise that there’s interest in doing more with the property.
One of the standout elements of Zero Motivation is the way it oscillates between dark humor and drama with ease, using physical comedy, killer one-liners and stark dramatic contrast to tell a multi-dimensional, female-driven story. It’s difficult to compare Zero Motivation to anything else because its narrative structure and tone feel so fresh, and that’s exactly what’ll make the film great source material for a series.
What’s made some of our favorite shows stand out is that they embrace multitudes. Great television doesn’t fit neatly into boxes with reductive labels. From Orange Is The New Black to UnREAL, the shows that reflect the bizarre, contradictory, horrifying and funny nature of what it is to be human are the ones that leave us the most deeply affected.
The Zero Motivation series in development is reportedly a “comedic drama, and it’s easy to imagine that fact considering the talent involved. The series will likely find a way to capture the tonal variety of the film and turn into something that manages to be comedic, poignant, ambitious, and moving – all at once.
What might be most encouraging, though, is that the creative leadership behind the project is exceedingly familiar with the source material and with bringing to life strong, inspiring and multi-faceted women onscreen. A big part of what made Zero Motivation so outstanding was the fact that it was driven by characters who felt real. If the series captures that essence and depth, it’ll be just as special.
TV could always use more characters who dare to color outside of the narrowly-defined and antiquated lines of what it means to be a female protagonist, and a Zero Motivation has the opportunity to reboot a beloved film into a series for a younger audience.