Doping in cycling has been around forever, but the 1980s, ’90s, and 2000s rank among the darkest years for the sport.
A huge number of the riders in that period doped, with Lance Armstrong among the most cunning and sinister offenders.
Many others doped, but in addition to taking lots dope and lying about it for years, Armstrong was also a vindictive person who personally went after people he didn’t like, and, by several accounts, he made their lives hell. That, in short, made him different from the other dopers.
Alas, the sport is trying to move on.
That’s why it’s rather jarring to see Armstrong in the new mockumentary from HBO scheduled for July 8. “Tour de Pharmacy” is a “fictional, none-too-serious look” at doping and the Tour de France. (In case you missed it, Armstrong won seven Tours but had all those titles stripped.)
The trailer, below, came out Friday, and Armstrong has a cameo in it.
The movie might turn out to be funny, and maybe worth watching, but if you’re a bike-racing fan, it looks kind of cringe-inducing, even as a mockumentary.
Absurd and sad, much like pro cycling in the 1980s, ’90s, and 2000s.
Here’s the press release:
In 1982, during a dark and fictitious time in cycling history, the sport’s most venerable, time-honored race was marred by the doping of virtually all of its competitors. Riddled with nefarious characters, that year’s competition was a hornet’s nest of moral depravity. Through the perspective of five riders, TOUR DE PHARMACY gives an inside look into the grim realities of the darkest event in a sport notoriously tainted by controversy.
Starring and executive produced by Andy Samberg (“Brooklyn Nine-Nine”; HBO’s “7 Days In Hell”), and written and executive produced by Murray Miller (“King of the Hill”; HBO’s “Girls”), this fictional, none-too-serious look at that sordid event debuts SATURDAY, JULY 8 (10:00-10:50 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO.
The special will also be available on HBO NOW, HBO GO, HBO On Demand and affiliate portals.
Among the notables making appearances in TOUR DE PHARMACY are: John Cena, Daveed Diggs, Orlando Bloom, Freddie Highmore, Jeff Goldblum, Danny Glover, Julia Ormond, Dolph Lundgren, James Marsden, Kevin Bacon, Nathan Fielder, Will Forte, Maya Rudolph, Joe Buck, Mike Tyson, J.J. Abrams, Phylicia Rashad, Chris Webber, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje and Lance Armstrong.
TOUR DE PHARMACY marks Samberg and Miller’s second collaboration for HBO under their Legends of Sport banner, following the 2015 mockumentary “7 Days In Hell,” which was called a “bawdy, outlandish skewering of tennis” by the New York Times, and “strange and splendid” by the Los Angeles Times.
The special is helmed by returning director Jake Szymanski; written by Murray Miller; executive producers, Andy Samberg, Murray Miller, David Bernad; produced by M. Elizabeth Hughes; co-executive producer, Jake Szymanski.