George Clooney's adaptation of the iconic Catch-22 airs this week and the reviews are excellent
Excellent book, excellent show. Set record.
In many ways, it's fitting that George Clooney will be directing and starring in the upcoming adaptation of Joseph Heller's seminal novel because to many, the Oscar-winner first came to prominence on the small screen.
No, we're not talking about his small cameo in Friends when he played a doctor that extracted a Scrabble tile from Marcel's stomach - as memorable as that was - but rather his beloved turn as Doctor Doug Ross in ER.
Of course, plenty has happened since then and whenever Clooney's name is attached to a project, viewers usually follow suit.
To make things even better, the two-time Oscar winner is returning to the political/war domain and with the likes of Three Kings , Good Night, and Good Luck, and Syriana on his CV, we're certain that his work on Catch-22 is going to be worthwhile.
Oh yeah, it also helps that the book is one of - if not THE - finest pieces of satire from the twentieth century.
In case you're unfamiliar with the plot, Catch-22 is the story of the incomparable, artful dodger, Yossarian (Christopher Abbott), a US Air Force bombardier in World War II who is furious because thousands of people he has never met are trying to kill him.
But his real problem is not the enemy, but rather his own army which keeps increasing the number of missions the men must fly to complete their service.
Yet if Yossarian makes any attempt to avoid his military assignments, he'll be in violation of Catch-22, a hilariously sinister bureaucratic rule which specifies that a concern for one's own safety in the face of dangers which are real and immediate is the process of a rational mind. A man is considered insane if he willingly continues to fly dangerous combat missions, but a request to be removed from duty is evidence of sanity and therefore makes him ineligible to be relieved from duty.
Elsewhere, the supporting cast is excellent with the likes of Kyle Chandler, Hugh Laurie, and Ireland's own David McSavage on the billing.
At present, the miniseries has a rating of 86% on Rotten Tomatoes and 70% on the more reliable Metacritic.
Here's what the reviews have been saying:
The Guardian - "Catch-22 is indisputably well-made, and above all a smart show, perhaps too smart for its own good - every shot feels considered, every head-spinning layer worth talking out to make sense of it"
Washington Post - "Hulu's version... strips "Catch-22" down to its essential brilliance and then builds it back up into a sweeping, beautifully filmed, humorous yet tragic tale of a young man forever changed by war.
Deadline - "The writers streamline Keller's writing into an explosive, small screen, force which is as much horror as satire and heartbreak."
The Hollywood Reporter - "The ambition in Catch-22 should be applauded, as should the results."
Catch-22 airs on Thursday at 21:00 on Channel 4.
Take a look at what's in store.
Clip via Hulu