Deep State New Series Premiere

Epix will premiere a new series this weekend, thereby increasing the pay TV service’s lineup of original programming. But it’s the title, “Deep State,” which is creating some confusion in social-media circles.

Having originated in the U.K., the program is a dark spy thriller, starring Mark Strong as an MI6 assassin who is drawn out of retirement, returning to a sordid, violent life that’s unknown to his new wife and children. The show has already premiered in much of the world and been picked up for a second season in advance of this weekend’s U.S. premiere.

On social media, though, the name “Deep State” has seemingly given some people pause, thanks to the term’s current popularity in conservative media. While the series feels fairly traditional as British TV thrillers go — with Strong, known for such movies as “Sherlock Holmes” and “Kingsman,” as a conflicted operative, initially motivated by revenge — promotion for the show has prompted some to assume it’s pro-Trump propaganda, reacting to commentators like Fox News’ Sean Hannity talking about an “illicit deep-state scheme” plotting against the president.

Promoted tweets for the show have thus produced sight-unseen responses like “I get enough of this involuntarily, I don’t need a show on this” and “I don’t want to watch it just because of that [name].”

Matthew Parkhill, who co-created “Deep State,” conceded that it’s been “weird” to see that reaction, given that the show was originally sold prior to the U.S. election. Citing the movie “Syriana” among his inspirations, he said the idea was drawn from his love of espionage thrillers, building twists from the layers of intrigue, and a deeper conspiracy, unpeeled over the eight-episode first season.

 

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