When I was a kid, it was HBO, Showtime, and Cinemax. Those were the ‘Big 3’ premium channels. And while HBO was the biggest, they all competed with one and other. Then more than a decade ago, HBO separated itself with its original programing.
First with shows like Oz and Tales from the Crypt, and later with the massive successes that were The Sopranos and Sex and the City. This allowed them to branch out and do period pieces like Rome and Deadwood. HBO had become undisputed king of the premium market. So Showtime responded with their own mega hit – Dexter. Since then they have both developed more quality programming. HBO with critical slam dunks in Boardwalk Empire and Game of Thrones, and Showtime with Shameless.
Cinemax however is no longer part of that ‘Big 3’, seemingly replaced by Starz who jumped in line with Spartacus, Party Down, and most recently Camelot. With the massive success HBO has had over the past 15 years with original programming it’s no wonder that other channels are getting in the game, and it’s finally time for Cinemax to make a real push.
Said to be in the vein of Pulp Novels and Noir films, Femme Fatales looks to be constructed a little like the old Tales from the Crypt show. Each episode unconnected with the others, save for an intro from the host. This time however, instead of a decrepid corpse as your host, it’ll be a beautiful woman named Lilith.
So Cinemax is throwing their hat in the ring, but they aren’t going after HBO or the others. They have a niche and they appear to be sticking to it. Cinemax has always been the most sexually fueled of the channels and this show is sure to fit that mold. In fact I will go so far as to guarantee boobs in every episode…
Here is the trailer:
So it’s peaked my interest. The show starts May 13th (this Friday) and if it’s at least mildly successful at delivering the promised ‘Noir’ feel I’ll make a point to watch it.