HBO's 7 Days In Hell Now Available On Demand

Jul 09, 2015 by Alex Castle

7 Days in Hell premieres on HBO at 11pm on Saturday, July 11, and is available now to watch on demand.

As the real Wimbledon draws to a close, it’s a good time to look back at the greatest match ever played there. The greatest match in the history of tennis, for that matter: the 2001 Charles Poole/Aaron Williams match that stayed stuck in Deuce for seven excruciating days.

Of course, that match never happened, but the new HBO mockumentary Seven Days In Hell goes to great pains to make it look like it did, by using official HBO Sports iconography and personalities like Soledad O’Brien and Jim Lampley, commentary by real tennis stars Serena Williams, John McEnroe, and Chris Evert, and grave-sounding narration by Jon Hamm.

That sense of realism mingles nicely with the completely silly premise of this film, and the wall-to-wall barrage of jokes. “Tennis match lasts seven days” might seem like a thin premise to hang an entire show on, but 7 Days in Hell takes its sweet time to get there, presenting the backstories of long-haired, American hotshot Aaron Williams (Andy Samberg) and his irreverent, racket-strumming rise and fall, and English tennis prodigy Aaron Poole, who despite his gifts on the court, knows absolutely nothing (played, fittingly, by Game of Thrones’ Jon Snow, Kit Harington).

There is some seriously graphic, bawdy humor here – if the sight of male anatomy offends you, keep your hand close to your eyes – but there are a lot of great gags here and I laughed out loud more than a couple of times. The show is loaded with cameos, including Lena Dunham, Michael Sheen, Howie Mandel, Will Forte, Fred Armisen, Mary Steenburgen, and Dolph Lundgren. And when magician David Copperfield gets one of the best lines in the whole thing, you know you’re in rare comic territory.

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