‘Roar’: Alison Brie, Merritt Wever & Fivel Stewart Tease the ‘Surreal’ Feminist Anthology (VIDEO)
Roar is a collection of darkly comic, female-centered fables that share some spine-chilling DNA with The Twilight Zone and Black Mirror. In each of the eight standalone episodes, adapted by Carly Mensch and Liz Flahive (GLOW) from Cecelia Ahern’s short story collection, a woman finds herself in a very weird situation.
Take, for instance, Becky (Alison Brie, GLOW) the ghost of a bizarrely slain young woman who guides law enforcement to clues in “The Woman Who Solved Her Own Murder.” “The most fun part of playing this character was delving into the different tactics she’s trying to use to get attention from these male detectives. She’s trying to use the ones she did in life,” Brie says. But flirting doesn’t work when you’re dead – and invisible. So she ends up “channeling her anger” to both hilarious and heartbreaking results.
The most bizarre tale is “The Woman Who Was Fed By a Duck,” in which an aspiring lawyer Elisa (Merritt Wever, Unbelievable) ends up dating a mallard, voiced by Justin Kirk (Weeds). The waterfowl is first charming but becomes abusive, and Elisa must break free. “The show puts its characters in extraordinary or even surreal situations and then hopes that that helps illuminate something very real or very honest or very human about their internal experience,” Wever says.
The show also uses multiple genres. We may think we know what we’re getting at first in the period-piece Western, “The Girl Who Loved Horses” when a young woman, Jane (Fivel Stewart, Atypical) decides to get vengeance after a tragedy. But the story breaks from the typical shoot-em-up tropes. It’s a new take on the Old West in other ways too. Stewart, whose heritage is Asian American and Native American, says, “We haven’t really seen a woman-dominated Western or mixed-race Western before so we’re on a good path.”
Roar also stars series executive producer Nicole Kidman (Being the Ricardos) as a woman who eats photographs (for a trippy hit of nostalgia); Cynthia Erivo (Genius: Aretha) playing a venture capitalist/new mom finding mysterious and horrific bite marks on her skin; Issa Rae (Insecure) as a writer whose Hollywood dream becomes a nightmare; Betty Gilpin (GLOW) who sits on a shelf as a literal trophy wife; and Meera Syal (Yesterday) as a bored wife who returns her husband to a big box store.
Roar, Series Premiere, Friday, April 15, Apple TV+