No one said the wait would be easy for life-long friends Josh and Duffy.
In order to be the first ones in for the new Future Space sci-fi flick, they need to overcome superfans dressed as alien triplets that speak and act with one mind (but need more practice), a Spoiler who’s hell-bent on ruining the film for everyone, and an unforgiving five-minute out-of-line rule (though they’re not battling any “professional media whores,” at least not yet).
It’s only through their love of all things Future Space and an unrelenting fraternal bond that they’re able to surpass these, and other obstacles in order to see their object of teenage affection come to life again on the big screen.
The Line, staring Bill Hader (SNL, Superbad, The Jeannie Tate Show) and Joe Lo Truglio, is the tale of these two BFFs who wait in queue for no less than eleven days to see the latest installment of their most favorite movie franchise, which no doubt helped to inspire Josh and Duffy’s arrested development.
Throughout the seven episode series, we see our heroes maneuver between fellow psycho-fanatics and an authoritarian movie theater manager determined to keep order.
It’s a mostly family-friendly fanboy romp with a Disney ending that plays straight into the Comic Con demographic. Although at times the 28-minute series feels as long as Josh and Duffy’s wait outside the theater, the loosely autobiographical premise is fleshed out with a solid narrative that investigates the depths of middle-aged nerddom.
The show, thought up during the writer’s strike by Hader and SNL writer Simon Rich, has a venerable pedigree with the names of famous late-night sketch comedy personalities listed in the credits. It’s produced by Lorne Michaels’s production company Broadway Video Entertainment, directed by head writer and Weekend Update co-host Seth Myers, and comedian Paul Scheer plays a bit role.
As for The Line, it hits most of the right chords. It could use some trimming, but in a short amount of time the show develops several characters while hitting the right genre gags without making the storyline feel stale.
You have Carl the stoic, intellectual fan who speaks the Klingon of Future Space, Duffy’s pre-teen son who causes Josh to reasses his priorities, a tough-love dispensing theater manager with a soft spot, those three aliens that take role-playing too far, and plenty of collector memerobilia. (But no fake website at www.futurespacethemovie.com with a mock trailer? C’mon, Lorne, get more hip to new media.)
When the closing credits roll, The Line has done a good job of making sitting on the sidewalk an entertaining, quasi-sci-fi, epic adventure.