2018 has been a bit of a mixed year for HBO.
On the one hand, things look rather positive: they launched acclaimed new comedy Barry, starring Bill Hader, back in March, and have had some domination over the summer with Succession and, more importantly, the Amy Adams miniseries Sharp Objects, which is among the very best shows of the year.
At the same time, Game of Thrones has taken a year off, meaning an obvious gap in the scheduling that nothing can properly fill ratings-wise, and for the first time in what feels like forever they aren't leading the nominations at the Emmys.
2019 promises better things with the return of not just Thrones, but Big Little Lies and True Detective too (which looks like it's bringing some serious Season 1 vibes), however with Season 8 being GoT's last they are in need of a few new hits, both critically and commercially. Luckily, they have a lot of series in the works that might just help on both fronts.
This is, surprisingly, HBO's first foray into foreign language drama, with My Brilliant Friend a co-production alongside Italy's RAI, and it's an ambitious effort at that.
The first adaptation of one of the pseudonymous Elena Ferrante's Neopolitan Novels, which are made up of My Brilliant Friend, The Story of a New Name, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, and The Story of the Lost Child, there are plans in place to adapt all of them in what will ultimately be a 32-part piece.
The books have been a literary sensation, covering a decades-long companionship between two women, and the series should enjoy similar success, with My Brilliant Friend telling the story of their childhood friendship.