HBO continues to be that guy with the Pynchon paperback on the train, adapting as many books into TV shows as it can so that you’re all made aware that HBO reads, has a rich intellectual life, and probably doesn’t even own a television to watch itself. Its latest literary acquisition, according to Deadline: The Madonnas Of Echo Park, the Brando Skyhorse (yes) novel about the Los Angeles neighborhood that’s home to a close-knit population of sinewy tree-people who roam the hills, filling them with the colorful sounds of their own name and the scents of desperation and eucalyptus oil. Ha ha, no, that is inaccurate. It’s actually about a less famous example of someone clinging to their cultural identity while facing the encroachment of younger usurpers—namely, the Latinos who have struggled to preserve their community’s heritage against an influx of gentrifying hipsters.
Playwright Julia Cho (who also previously worked on HBO’s Big Love) is handling the script, which will explore the way those respective groups learn to live with each other, besides the latter opening some really great taco trucks. And the development represents a much-needed win today for executive producers Aaron Kaplan and Kelly Marcel, whose previous collaboration Terra Nova finally died, despite its equally timely examination of what happens when a bunch of upper-middle-class people start moving into dinosaur neighborhoods. Anyway, consider this show HBO’s attempt to balance the scales after celebrating the lives of gentrifying hipsters in Bored To Death and How To Make It In America.