TV Review: George Clooney’s ‘Catch-22’

  • Variety
TV Review: George Clooney’s ‘Catch-22’
Only television could contain “Catch-22.” Joseph Heller’s capacious World War II novel, stuffed with philosophical monologues, paradoxes, and a wide-ranging cast of expendable flyboys centered on the inertly gloomy Yossarian, provides little foothold for any potential reworking. A 1970 feature adaptation was so fraught that a Time cover story on the director quoted him as saying he was “pregnant with a dead child” during production. George Clooney’s new attempt, streaming on Hulu May 17, signals the star’s ambition, and his pragmatism. The archetypal movie star executive produced the series, appears in it, and directed two episodes, and he has come to TV for a reason: It’s a way to surmount a tricky piece of the American literary canon, but to do so with the benefit of six hours and streaming-service money.

But if only TV could make “Catch-22,” perhaps only TV would be foolhardy enough to try. The
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