TV Critic’s Corner

Are Glenn Close and George Saunders TV’s next power couple?

Author George Saunders is working on a new TV show that will star Glenn Close.
David Crosby
Author George Saunders is working on a new TV show that will star Glenn Close.

The proper news angle here is that Glenn Close is returning to TV. The former star of “Damages” — oh, and she has made a few movies and starred in some Broadway shows, too — is going to star in a comedy pilot for Amazon.

Called “Sea Oak,” the show is about a meek woman played by Close who dies in a home invasion but then returns as a rage-filled zombie determined to live a better life. That better life involves making big demands on her nephew and nieces, who live in the Sea Oak housing complex where she died.

The angle that thrills me, though, is that the project is being written by author George Saunders. It’s based on Saunders’s short story of the same title from his 2000 collection “Pastoralia,” and it’s being directed by Hiro Murai, who directed seven episodes of the inventive first season of FX’s “Atlanta.” The promise here is great.


Saunders is the author of a few novellas, the recent novel “Lincoln in the Bardo,” and a number of short story collections, including the miraculous “Tenth of December.” His work is strikingly original, marked by satire and tragedy, absurdity and innocence, skepticism and generosity. He chronicles the slow dehumanization of modern American culture in a time of profound consumerism, with sci-fi tricks all over the place, but he is also a remarkably compassionate and articulate writer who tells deep stories about the heart and spirit. I can’t wait to see how his imagination plays on TV.

In other Saunders news, Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman have bought movie rights to “Lincoln in the Bardo.”

Matthew Gilbert can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @MatthewGilbert.