HBO’s “The Brink”: Jack Black’s Tenacious Diplomacy

HBO's The Brink


HBO’s new dark, satirical political comedy The Brink, premiering Sunday, June 21, at 10:30pm ET/PT, stars Tim Robbins as a hard-drinking U.S. Secretary of State Walter Larson, Jack Black as disinterested diplomat Alex Talbot and Pablo Schreiber as drug-dealing Navy fighter pilot Zeke Tilson.

“This job sucks ass. I should’ve asked for secretary of the interior. No one’s going to take you away from a hooker in the middle of the night to save Mount Rushmore,” Tim Robbins snarls in HBO’s new series The Brink, which does to present U.S. policy in the Middle East what Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove did to the Cold War in 1964.

Robbins plays The Brink’s Secretary of State Walter Larson, who, despite his drinking and kinky sex hobbies, is a Jedi master of foreign relations. Jack Black plays Alex Talbot, a low-level state department employee in Pakistan whose sole interests in the country are scoring primo weed and European girls at state gatherings. “I spend all day organizing clean water projects only to see them sabotaged by the Taliban,” he says. “I deserve a little Danish nookie.” Pablo Schreiber plays drug-dealing Navy fighter pilot Zeke Tilson, who has a major mishap while under the influence during a crucial mission.

When a coup sends Pakistan into chaos, the new extremist leader (Iqbal Theba) threatens to use the country’s nukes. While Larson tries to sway the president (Esai Morales) away from the military option, Talbot stumbles onto some embarrassing personal details about Pakistan’s dictator that might avert global war.

The Brink is a darkly funny, sharply sarcastic study of men who have the fate of the world in their hands but can’t control themselves. It will appeal to anyone who felt Zero Dark Thirty needed more comic relief.

HBO's The Brink

© HBO Credit: Merie W. Wallace

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Some things I like (in no particular order): Sports, Star Wars, LEGO, beer, 'The Simpsons' Seasons 1-13, my family and the few friends who are not embarrassed to be seen with me. Why yes, I am very interested in how much you like 'Alaskan Bush People.' #LynxForLife