“Slam dunk,” “Swish,” “Nothing But Net.” Those are just a few of the (cliched) reviews touting “Survivor’s Remorse,” the new Starz show written by Mike O’Malley. “I think someone even wrote ‘Drained From Downtown,’ ” O’Malley (inset) chuckled when we reached him in LA. “I work on everything as if everyone’s going to love it. This time, I guess they do.” No doubt. The show, starring Jessie T. Usher as a basketball player from Boston who scores a giant NBA contract but never quite leaves his past behind, is getting overwhelmingly good reviews. How does O’Malley explain it? “Nowadays, people are consumed with so many stories, I think they’re looking for something a little bit refreshing,” he said. “And as a writer, you have a tremendous amount of freedom when you write for cable television.” The show, produced by Red Sox chairman Tom Werner and NBA star LeBron James, is funny but also serious, something that appeals to O’Malley. “I’m not interested in working on something that hard just to be trifling,” he said. “What appeals to me is that characters, in between the laughs, have substance. And whether it’s ‘The Sopranos’ or ‘The Wire’ or ‘Mad Men’ or ‘Breaking Bad,’ it’s really just about the characters.” O’Malley will be in town next week for the New Hampshire Film Festival.
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