I recently had a chance to talk to Gloria Calderon Kellett, creator of one of my favorite shows, Get Ripped. Let me be clear – ‘favorite’ isn’t a term I throw around lightly when it comes to entertainment. I’m someone who watches all kinds of stuff – on the web, I’ll check out anything from Gemini Division to The Roadents. In terms of traditional TV shows… well, let’s just say that I’ve watched every single episode of Family Guy, House, Futurama, Grey’s Anatomy, The O.C., and 24. With all of these shows, however, once I watch every episode, I move on. Get Ripped was the exception to that rule – I’ve watched every episode so many times that my friends have threatened to stop talking to me if I ever mention it to them again.
It was with great sadness, then, I learned that the four episodes of Get Ripped are all I have to satisfy me, at least for now. In case you haven’t seen the show, this is how Kellett describes it, “The premise for the character when I wrote it originally for the stage was to get behind the facade of the salesman. I had joined several gyms and there is always that guy in the front. He’s intense and he’s kind of ‘full of it’ but deep down he’s just a dude trying to make it through the day just like the rest of us. I wanted to explore who that guy was. And Derek came out of that exploration of character. He’s a former fat kid who decided to do something about it. So the same intensity he used to put into eating he now puts into working out. He’s really tragic because, thus far, food is the love of his life and while now ‘hot’ he’s very unhappy… and, oh yeah, it’s a comedy.”
“How many eps are there, and what can we expect in upcoming episodes?” I asked her next. Little did I know she was about to drop a bomb on me. “There are only four episodes of Get Ripped,” she explained. “[Although] I think it would be funny to see a day in the life of Derek…from waking up to heading to bed.” I had to take a minute to let this information sink in. No more episodes? No more Derek talking about turning our unseen protagonist into “a hot piece of A”? No more of those brilliant insights into Derek’s life, like this one, one of the funniest moments I’ve seen in any show, web or otherwise, “I had a Twinkie today, and you know what? It was so F***ING AMAZING that I was crying the entire time.”
Why would 60Frames do this? I later asked Kellett for more details, and she explained simply, “The original order was for 4 episodes, and… I’m just too swamped to do more [at] this time.” It’s understandable; considering the simplicity of the plot, Derek is a very complex character, and every detail down to his smallest movements reveals something about his personality. The intimacy of the online medium also helps us pick up on the slightest nuances of Derek’s actions. I guess all I can say is that I hope to see more episodes of Get Ripped – if not, I look forward to seeing another online project from Kellett. I asked her how the experience of working on the web has been, and she explained, “This is my first online project, [and] it’s very exciting to be getting in on this new medium now. My favorite part was the ability to write something and see it shot as I wrote it. Often times we get notes or have to change things for the censors. And it was fun to just be able to write something and put it out there. It felt like when we were kids and would make up a play to preform in the living room for family members. It had that type of ‘play’ feel to it. But instead of my aunts and uncles it’s the online community who is our audience.”
Here it is, one last time, episode 2 – ‘Nutrition’ from Get Ripped: