April 18, 2024

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EXCLUSIVE: Big Beach, the production company behind Starz’s Vida and Facebook’s Sorry For Your Loss, has landed television rights to Alexandra Tanner’s debut novel Worry.

Worry follows two siblings-turned-roommates, one a 28-year-old media employee, navigating an absurd world on the verge of calamity. The book has been described as a “Seinfeldian” novel of existentialism and sisterhood.

Lesley Arfin, co-creator of Netflix comedy series Love, which starred Gillian Jacobs, has signed on to write the pilot episode alongside Tanner.

Worry was released last week by Scribner and was described by the New York Times as a “fabulous comic novel of young adult angst.”

Set in 2019, it follows 28-year-old Jules Gold — anxious, artistically frustrated, and internet-obsessed — who has been living alone in the apartment she once shared with the man she thought she’d marry when her younger sister Poppy comes to crash. Indefinitely. Poppy, a year and a half out from a suicide attempt only Jules knows about, searches for work and meaning in Brooklyn while Jules spends her days hate-scrolling the feeds of Mormon mommy bloggers and waiting for life to happen.

Then the hives that’ve plagued Poppy since childhood flare up. Jules’ uterus turns against her. Poppy brings home a maladjusted rescue dog named Amy Klobuchar. The girls’ mother, a newly devout Messianic Jew, starts falling for the same deep-state conspiracy theories as Jules’ online mommies. Jules, halfheartedly struggling to scrape her way to the source of her ennui, slowly and cruelly comes to blame Poppy for her own insufficiencies as a friend, a writer and a sister. And Amy Klobuchar might have rabies. As the year shambles on and a new decade looms near, a disastrous trip home to Florida forces Jules and Poppy — comrades, competitors, constant fixtures in each other’s lives — to ask themselves what they want their futures to look like, and whether they’ll spend them together or apart.

The series will be executive produced for Big Beach by Tim Foley and Michael B. Clark. Zoe Levine will be the creative executive for Big Beach.

Big Beach is best known for its indie films including Little Miss Sunshine and the Ruth Negga-fronted Loving. It also produced A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Lulu Wang’s The Farewell, Ben Kingsley-starring Jules and Amber Sealey’s Out of My Mind in addition to series Vida and Sorry For Your Loss.

Tanner said, “I can’t wait to share Jules and Poppy’s diabolically competitive, intensely intertwined dynamic with a whole new audience — imagining Worry’s purgatorial dread and spiralistic, sororal mania as an episodic series with Lesley and the Big Beach team has been the true zenith of my time on earth so far.”

Big Beach’s Foley added, “We fell in love with Alexandra’s singular voice from the first sentence, and couldn’t stop laughing as these modern girls flounder their way toward adulthood and family in New York City.  The book somehow manages to be both completely original and familiar simultaneously. The show will be about a dysfunctional family, and Big Important Themes: competition, identity, search for meaning. It will also be about getting stoned with your sister and staring at the internet for so long you think you’re your own ancestor.” 

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