Christopher Guest isn’t the originator of the mockumentary but he’s undoubtedly been one of the most influential practitioners of the format, so it feels long overdue that he’s finally made a move to the small screen with new show The Family Tree, after the likes of The Office, Parks and Recreation and Modern Family all have taken notable influence from Guest.

The good news is, Guest doesn’t lose anything by bringing his skills to TV, and the HBO comedy is going down well with the critics. “It is still a distinctly Guest production: often poky, always charmingly whimsical and, from time to time, so astoundingly funny you seem to have shot into a distant stratosphere of pure comedy” writes People Weekly of the show, which revolves around Chris O’Dowd’s character Tom Chadwick who has lost his job and girlfriend; receiving a box of odds and ends from his Great Aunt, he tries to piece the bits together to re-make his family tree. “It helps to be a fan of Christopher Guest--the genius mockumentarian responsible for movies like “Best in Show” and “Waiting for Guffman”--if you’re going to love his new HBO series, Family Tree” the New York Post.

Hitfox meanwhile write “Tom Chadwick is a man with a fixation that’s both reasonable and relatable, and he becomes our tour guide to the familiar, funny Christopher Guest worldview.” The premiere is this Saturday (May 11th).

Christopher Guest
Christopher Guest has finally made the jump to TV