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HBO’s ‘Fantasmas’ Is an Immersive Journey Into the Singular Mind of Creator Julio Torres: TV Review

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Alison Herman TV Critic As a writer for “Saturday Night Live” from 2016 to 2019, Julio Torres was able to create immersive worlds — the existential melancholy of a sink; the font obsession of an “Avatar” super fan — in just a few minutes’ worth of sketch.

Over time, the comedian has only acquired more space and resources to realize his singular vision. Since 2019, Torres has co-created and co-starred in the surreal sitcom “Los Espookys”; recorded the hourlong special “My Favorite Shapes”; and directed his feature debut, “Problemista,” acting opposite Tilda Swinton.

With every added level of authority, Torres has assumed even greater control of the ultra-specific sensibility evident in his earliest “SNL” breakouts.

Torres’ imagination yields glamorous, distinctly queer realities with the logic of a fairy tale, grounded by the bemused frustration of an author who had to traverse the American immigration system to bring his dreamy art to life.

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