When talking about sin, you can’t help but get dark, and executive producer Morgan Spurlock’s (Super Size Me) new Showtime documentary series, 7 Deadly Sins, does lean toward the dark side, both in its stylish presentation, and through some black humor. That wryness comes from both the choice of stories that populate the seven episodes (each one devoted to one of the titular sins), and from Spurlock’s role as host, introducing each segment.
Spurlock tells us that the inspiration for having him host in such a manner came from him “having a fantastic, twisted childhood, watching lots of Twilight Zone and Outer Limits and Alfred Hitchcock Presents, wanting to kind of create our version of that. When we met with Showtime, I said I want to create kind of the nonfiction Alfred Hitchcock Presents. Kind of do the same thing that he did, with these strange worlds that we never get access to, but the best part about it is it’s all true.”
While it certainly isn’t hard to find real-life people who exemplify the seven deadly sins that compose the episodes — sloth, pride, gluttony, envy, wrath, lust, greed — Spurlock’s series finds unique angles.
“We wanted it to be entertaining, [and] wanted it to kind of feel dark — dangerous, almost, like it’s something you shouldn’t be watching,” he tells us. “I think that really comes across in the way that it looks. Stylistically it is very different than I think most things you see on television, which I love.”
Examples of this are the stories we saw in the “Gluttony” episode, which includes a segment about a woman who loves food to the point where she is very obese, and her regular-sized boyfriend, who is turned on by her extreme weight. The two even share food during sex, and their relationship is presented by the filmmakers in an artistic, compellingly beautiful manner.
“We hired a couple of other guys to come in and shoot [the series],” Spurlock says, about his decision to stay as host and executive producer, rather than director, on the series. “For me, it was one of those where I wanted to have some people who have very specific, different styles than I do as a filmmaker. I think it really benefited from having them be involved.”
Once the seven sins are chronicled through different stories in this first season, Spurlock also thinks there will be no problem revisiting them in future seasons.
“There’s an endless supply to cover each one of these areas,” he says. “What I love about this is we’ll be able to just keep going. There’s no end to the darkness that we can explore. At the same time, it may be dark, but it’s equally enlightening.”
7 Deadly Sins airs Thursdays at 11pm ET/PT on Showtime, beginning Aug. 7.
Courtesy of Showtime