Original TItle: Hard
English TItle: Hard
Sometimes TV shows have premises that are designed solely to get your attention and then once you give it some time and accept the premise there’s not much else to it. The new Brazilian show Hard from HBO seems like one of those shows at first glance, but once you get dug in a little it’s surprisingly entertaining, and has a lit more heart than you might expect.
The show starts with what seems to be a typical upper-class family in Rio De Janeiro, but almost as soon as the show starts the father dies, so the mother, Sofia, is left care for her two teenage children on her own. She assumes her husband has left them in good financial shape and everything will be taken care of, until her mother in law steps and tells her what has actually been going on. The truth is that her late husband did not run a software company as she believed, but in fact, he was the mogul behind one of the biggest pornography websites in all of Brazil. While that’s a lot for Sofia to take it, it’s not all, because wee also learn that the studio is mortgaged to the hilt, and the only chance Sofia has to support her family is take over the day to day running of the studio.
Any show that is based in the world of pornography is going to have a big hill to climb in terms of people getting past the more risqué aspects of it. There is no shortage of sex and nudity in Hard, they hit you right in the face with it when Sofia tours porn studio’s headquarters in the first episode, and it doesn’t lighten up much from there. Luckily, the show’s producers took the time to build some interesting characters and storylines in there as well, with most of the season’s six episodes focusing on Sofia’s transformation from housewife to full-fledged porn impresario, it’s fun to see both her successes and failures along the way.
One aspect that didn’t have too much effect on the plot was Brazil. The family seemed like any family, and the porn stuff could have happened in any country where it is legal. This may result from Hard being based on a 2008 show from France, so it’s already being translated from another culture. The fact it could have taken place in any number of countries doesn’t detract at all from the overall quality, just don’t expect to glean too much about Brazilian culture.
Of course, if nearly gratuitous amounts of sex and nudity are not your bowl of noodles then this probably isn’t the show for you. However, besides the language being spoken this feels very much like many other HBO shows with good production quality and writing, and like most of those shows, it is very easy to watch. So if you have fond memories of that old HBO, “Adult Content,” warning, this is one to check out.
Subs & Dubs: Only subtitles, no dubbing as far as I can tell. Though will all the moaning and heavy breathing going on in the during the porn parts I imagine dubbing would sound pretty silly.
Where to watch: It’s an HBO show it’s right now it’s only available through them, on apps like HBO Max.
Trailer: I can’t find a trailer with English subtitles but you can get the gist in Portuguese