Richard Linklater is an expert at dissecting ordinary lives to uncover deep, transcendent meaning. His new comedy Everybody Wants Some, which follows the lives of baseball players, is set to hit theaters in April 2016; it's supposedly a continuation of Boyhood, which left off with Mason headed to college at the University of Texas.
If April seems like a long way off, the internet has unearthed the perfect Linklater tide-over. The pilot for $5.15, a comedy series he filmed in 2004, but which HBO ultimately turned down, recently found its way online. A strange blend of The Office and Fast Food Nation, the show, which is named for fast food workers' minimum wage, follows the quirky employees of Grammaw's Home Cookin' as they struggle to make ends meet. Linklater's fascination with small-town life and small-town people is apparent in the 33-minute episode, which begins with two foul-mouthed fry cooks unwrapping a box of apple fandango "desert treats" shipped from corporate headquarters.
From there we meet peppy night manager Mitch, deadbeat redneck Bobby, disgruntled waitress Wing, and a whole cast of characters that somehow make a job at a Midwest diner seem hilarious and intriguing. The only big name in the pilot is America Ferrera, who plays a waitress named Brianna—otherwise, it's a bunch of nobodies playing a bunch of nobodies, which only strengthens Linklater's premise. At this point it seems unlikely that the series will be revived, but the pilot definitely worth a watch.