Review: Willie Mays swings away on HBO Max, and Cartoon Saloon’s fifth feature lands on Netflix later this year
Willie Mays, the iconic baseball player and the most famous movie star of all time, is now the world’s oldest living person. He will celebrate his 91st birthday on July 14, but we can celebrate his departure from our screens.
Willie’s body has been on display for more than two decades, but you’d never know it watching HBO Max, according to the series’ producers and series showrunners.
The show, which premieres on Monday, July 9 at 9/8c, is a dramatization of the famous Mays family saga of the 1940s, centered around the famous baseball career of the Hall of Famer. The series, which has already been renewed for a fourth season, will air for two episodes per week until the show’s run of 10 episodes wraps in December.
The story is based on the memoirs of George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart, who wrote the legendary Broadway play The Man who Liked Women, Women Who Liked Money, and the screenplay for the film. HBO Max has ordered 10 episodes to debut on the cable network this fall. The show also stars Tim Blake Nelson, Michael O’Keefe, Nick Offerman, Kevin Pollak, Paul Guilfoyle, and Sarah Silverman.
With the exception of the opening credits, the show is largely faithful to the original film. However, there have been some changes, to show the more modern times in which the Mays family was forced to grapple with the racial divide and the growing social and economic inequalities of the 1960s. And while HBO Max is no longer limited by the cable network’s rules that only TV series with an older audience can be produced for the channel, it appears that the current batch of episodes takes place in the mid-1990s, shortly after the release of the 1996 film Mays’ biggest box office hit The Color Purple.
That is to say HBO Max is a television adaption of the Mays saga, with a modernized twist, but it does not