Variety shares highlights from the Camping panel at The Summer TCA Press Tour.
“Camping” was a draw for stars Jennifer Garner and David Tennant even though neither of them are particularly avid about roughing it outdoors.
“This is the best way to camp,” Tennant told reporters on Wednesday during HBO’s portion of the summer Television Critics Association press tour in Beverly Hills. “You get to go home at night and have a shower. … I assumed I would hate camping. I do quite like home comfort and a shower and not smelling. These things are important.”
The eight-episode limited series is based on a British comedy of the same name created by Julia Davis. The “Girls” duo of Jenni Konner and Lena Dunham wrote and directed the series. For all involved, “Camping” was a fun and frothy diversion from more cerebral and intense material they’ve tackled of late.
“You can only play so many psychopaths without taking it home,” Tennant said. “It was lovely to play someone so sweet and open-hearted.”
“Camping” also marks Garner’s return to series TV since her 2001-2006 run on ABC’s “Alias.” The appeal of “Camping” was all about the writing, she said. Garner plays a controlling woman who organizes a weekend camping trip with friends to celebrate her husband’s (played by Tennant) 45th birthday.
“Being in a scene with David and saying, ‘Do you want me to have a dysfunctional pelvic floor for the whole of your birthday weekend,’” Garner said. “Who gets to say this?”
The fact that the series shot in Los Angeles was a big plus for Garner as she juggles her career with raising her three young children. Working on eight episodes of a half-hour series is quite a contrast from the demands of the job when she was starring in “Alias.” “Being the lead in a single-lead 22-episode show — I don’t think I could do it anymore. I don’t know how moms do it,” she said.
Konner and Garner said they would be game to do more episodes of “Camping,” although it is designed to be a limited series.
The series also marks the final entry (for now) from Konner and Dunham as producing partners. The two have decided to go their separate ways. Dunham was expected to take part in the panel via satellite from New York, but was felled by the flu, HBO executives said.
Konner emphasized that the decision to part was an amicable one, driven by their mutual desire to explore other opportunities.
“We feel super lucky to have had eight amazing years together,” Konner said of her partnership with Dunham. “We just want to do different things. There’s no drama to be found there. It’s just work. It’s just about the creative process.”