HBO Europe is doubling down on scripted in Spain with a hipster series set in Madrid. The premium broadcaster has ordered Por H o por B. The comedy is written by Manuela Burló Moreno and the characters are based on her own short film Pipas.
The series, which has an English working title of Whatever, stars Marta Martín and Saida Benzal, who will reprise their roles as friends Hache and Belén. The 10-part half-hour series is produced by Lacoproductora and Globomedia.
It comes after HBO Europe ordered an adaptation of Fernando Aramburu’s novel Patria, Isabel Coixet’s Foodie Love and Alex de la Iglesia’s 30 Coins.
Por H o por B follows Hache and Belén, who are reunited after a few years of not speaking to each other and find themselves living in the hipster Madrid neighborhood of Malasaña – a far cry from their roots on the outskirts of the city. The culture clash leads to a cataclysm of ridiculous and awkward consequences as they navigate their friendship, and the fake new world they’re now a part of.
Shooting has started in Madrid, with Brays Efe, Itziar Castro, Javier Bódalo and Fernando Albizu also joining the cast. Jorge Pezzi and Javier Pons are executive producers alongside Miguel Salvat, Steve Matthews and Antony Root.
Moreno said, “Por H o por B shows the reality of that extra layer we all wear to try to fulfil our sense of belonging, although we all know that the best thing is to be our true selves. The series is about the search and need to belong, and the thin line between what’s cool and what’s not. All this through the main character’s eyes, two girls from Parla who will do their best to survive in the most hipster neighborhood of the capital.”
Miguel Salvat, Commissioning Editor of Original Programming of HBO España, added, “In Por H o por B we’re diving into the culture of appearances, ephemeral trends, and things that confound us daily that we don’t dare to question. It’s a story of two fish out of water, culture clashes, being awkward – or not caring about being awkward – about identity and the need to belong. Manuela has lived many of the situations we will see. She knows what she’s talking about and how to tell this story. There are many Malasañas around the world. Por H o por B is universal and local at the same time. A fresh new voice is arriving to HBO.”