Sweetbitter (TV series)
|Created by||Stephanie Danler|
by Stephanie Danler
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||6 (list of episodes)|
|Producer(s)||Donna E. Bloom|
|Running time||28–29 minutes|
|Picture format||1080i (HDTV)|
|Audio format||5.1 surround|
|Original release||May 6, 2018 –|
Sweetbitter is an American drama television series, based on the novel of the same name by Stephanie Danler, that premiered on May 6, 2018 on Starz. On July 13, 2018, it was announced that Starz had renewed the series for a second season.
Sweetbitter follows "Tess, who shortly after arriving in New York City, lands a job at a celebrated downtown restaurant. Swiftly introduced to the world of drugs, drinking, love, lust, dive bars and fine dining, she learns to navigate the chaotically alluring, yet punishing life she has stumbled upon."
Cast and characters
- Ella Purnell as Tess
- Tom Sturridge as Jake
- Caitlin FitzGerald as Simone
- Evan Jonigkeit as Will
- Eden Epstein as Ari
- Jasmine Mathews as Heather
- Daniyar as Sasha
- Paul Sparks as Howard
- Jimmie Saito as Scott
- Katerina Tannenbaum as Becky
- Sandra Bernhard as Maddie Glover
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||U.S. viewers|
|1||"Salt"||Richard Shepard||Stephanie Danler||May 6, 2018||0.038|
|2||"Now Your Tongue Is Coded"||Cherien Dabis||Stuart Zicherman||May 13, 2018||0.160|
|3||"Everyone Is Soigné"||Adam Bernstein||Kenneth Lin||May 20, 2018||0.174|
|4||"Simone's"||Shira Piven||Liz Tuccillo||May 27, 2018||0.217|
|5||"Weird Night"||Ry Russo-Young||Stephanie Danler & Deborah Schoeneman||June 3, 2018||0.185|
|6||"It's Mine"||Stuart Zicherman||Jaquen Castellanos & Azie Dungey||June 10, 2018||0.210|
In July 2017, it was reported that Starz was developing a television adaptation of Stephanie Danler's novel Sweetbitter and considering ordering it to series. The project was based on a pilot script developed by Danler and Stu Zicherman, written by Danler, and produced by Plan B Entertainment. Starz ordered additional scripts and assembled a small writers room with an eye toward a potential straight-to-series order. Starz president and CEO Chris Albrecht said at the time, "It’s a book that several of the women at Starz had read and were excited about. When we heard it may be a project, I literally had some of my colleagues come and say this is one we’ve got to get; it plays into young female demographic but as we know women of all ages will certainly be attracted to great stories."
In October 2017, Starz officially ordered the show to series for a first season consisting of six half-hour episodes. It was also announced that Richard Shepard, had come on board to direct and executive produce, Donna Bloom would serve as producer on series, and that Laura Rosenthal was leading the ongoing casting search.
In January 2018, it was announced at the annual Television Critics Association winter press tour that the series would premiere on May 6, 2018. On July 13, 2018, it was reported that Starz had renewed the series for a second season.
On October 6, 2017, two days after the show was ordered to series, it was announced that Ella Purnell had been cast in the series lead role as Tess. Later that month, the rest of the main cast was announced. These included Tom Sturridge, Caitlin FitzGerald, Paul Sparks, Evan Jonigkeit, Daniyar, Eden Epstein, and Jasmine Mathews. On January 17, 2018, it was announced that Jimmie Saito had been cast in a recurring role as Scott, "the restaurant’s handsome, strong-minded sous chef". On October 24, 2018, it was reported that Sandra Bernhard had been cast in a guest starring role for season two.
On March 1, 2018, Starz released the first poster and trailer for the series.
On March 10, 2018, Starz opened the "Starz Sensory House" at the annual South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin, Texas. The "sensory house" featured a multitude of screens playing the trailers for both new shows on a loop. Various types of food and drinks were available and designed thematically to Sweetbitter and other new Starz series Vida. For “Sweetbitter,” Sugarfina handed out a selection of alcohol-inspired sweets, including martini almond olives and champagne gummy bears. Additionally, a series of six artisanal cocktails were also available, designed by Austin-based bartender Tracy Rowland. One such cocktail based on Sweetbitter included the "Autumn in New York", featuring cognac, sherry, coffee, bitter lemon and a rosemary garnish. Other services contained in the sensory house included mini manicures that were offered by the Austin-based Nails Y’all, and a perfume bar Roux Saint James, which created four custom scents inspired by “Sweetbitter’s” four main characters. The Starz Sensory House was located at 88 Rainey Street in Austin and operated until March 12.
On April 26, 2018, the series held its world premiere at the SVA Theatre in New York City, New York during the annual Tribeca Film Festival. Following the screening a discussion was held with creator, executive producer, and writer Stephanie Danler, showrunner Stuart Zicherman, and cast members Ella Purnell, Caitlin FitzGerald, Tom Sturridge, and Paul Sparks.
The first season has been met with a mixed to negative response from critics. On the review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the first season holds a 30% approval rating with an average rating of 5.25 out of 10 based on 23 reviews. The website's critical consensus reads, "Sweetbitter fails to live up to its well-received literary source material -- or stand out from the many big-city coming-of-age television series that came before it." Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the season a score of 52 out of 100 based on 14 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews."
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