Frank Langella
Credit: UNSCRIPTED: John P. Johnson


Be actors! Come on, be actors!” Frank Langella’s acting-teacher character exhorts his students in Unscripted, the improvised HBO original series about the struggle to make a career doing just that. But executive producers — and Ocean’s Eleven pals — Steven Soderbergh and George Clooney (who also directs the first five episodes) have something else in mind: Bryan Greenberg (one of those receiving Langella’s godlike instruction) says on the show’s website that Clooney told him, ”I don’t want to see you act.” In playing themselves while still giving riveting performances, the cast manages to take both pieces of direction. By unfurling spicy cameos (Meryl Streep, Brad Pitt, and Sam Rockwell among them), incorporating elements of the principals’ true lives, and demanding of them honest in-the-moment reactions, Unscripted attains a reality that just might contain the seeds of that long-awaited antidote to Reality. EXTRAS None.

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