HBO Latino’s new, multi-lingual (Portuguese + Spanish with English subtitles) series El Hipnotizador debuts TONIGHT, and I was lucky enough to be invited to watch the first episode earlier this week at The McKittrick Hotel (home of Sleep No More, everyone’s favorite creepy AF interactive theater experience); this may seem like an unusual venue to premiere a TV show, but in retrospect, there is no place on the planet that is better suited to host such a dark and mysterious screening event.
If you’ve not heard about the show’s premise, it revolves around Arenas (played by Argentina’s Leonardo Sbaraglia), a hypnotist with the ability to entrance people and make them reveal their deepest, darkest secrets. He also happens to be a character shrouded in secrecy, and spends sleepless nights (induced by his rival, Darek, who has caused him to become a perpetual insomniac) pacing hotel room floors, much to the dismay of the other guests. Without revealing too much more of the enigmatic plot, let’s just say that if you were (or still are) a fan of True Detective, there are definitely some vibes here that you’re sure to get hooked on immediately, and I’d highly recommend tuning into the show this evening at 10pm EST.
The screening event itself went above and beyond almost every other premiere I’ve ever attended, so props to HBO Latino for pulling out all the stops; in addition to a Sleep No More-esque interactive experience before the screening, which involved wandering the venue and speaking to and/or trying to avoid eye contact with a whole slew of mysterious and sometimes unsettling actors in character (I’M LOOKING AT YOU, GIRL IN THE WEDDING DRESS AND ALSO GUY WITH THE BIRD MASK), they put on a vaudeville show, had tarot card readers on hand AND invited an IRL hypnotist to engage the audience. And then, of course, was the screening itself, which was (as hinted above) enthralling, to say the least.
If you aren’t able to access HBO Latino, the series is also available to stream on HBO NOW. (And if you don’t have THAT, probably get it and be the hero of your friend group, yeah?)