The internet loves its cakes. Seriously. It also loves Dyna Moe, a.k.a Nobody’s Sweetheart a.k.a. Mad Men illustrator extraordinaire. So it’s only natural that Cakey! (or Cakey! The Cake from Outer Space), the web series she created with Mr. Ghost himself (writer/comedian Kirk Damato) would be the perfect viral treat, right?
Not exactly. The show debuted as a short on Channel 101 in 2006 to scattered acclaim before being picked up by SuperDeluxe for an ill–fated run of creative frustration and low popularity as the comedy video-sharing site slid into the deadpool.
But Cakey deserves another look – it’s not a flawless piece of work cooked up for the web video world, though it could have been more fortunate there.
The episodes can get repetitive and the story of a boy with rapid-aging disease and his talking cake with superpowers from space is bound for a pretty niche audience. But the series is certainly original, well-produced, and bound to make you smile and wonder in the face of sheer absurdity. Let’s start with the trailer, shall we?
Now you see what I mean.
Over the course of the seven SuperDeluxe episodes we’re treated to plenty of witty dialogue and plot writing that puts Cakey and Duncan in all kinds of entertaining situations. Episode two provides a bit of zany backstory to flesh out the characters a bit, but it’s obvious that this is more about the hijinx and absurdism than a sustained narrative arc.
The series really does hit its stride in the latter half, treating us to a ridiculous Cakey-fied bake sale and (personal favorite) parent-teacher conference before everything is said and done:
And while the book report of the final episode is a fun celebration, it does seem a bit abrupt and inconclusive for a finale, even in Cakey’s world. It turns out that difficulties with SuperDeluxe are to blame, as the proposed episode #8 (very conclusive – “Death of Cakey”) was either too lengthy, too crazy, or perhaps both.
Either way, we’re pointed towards illegal bootlegs of the series’s Channel 101 progenitor (the official copies had to be deleted as part of the SuperDeluxe agreement) to get an idea of what was in store. It certainly doesn’t pull any punches:
With that, the tale of a charmingly experimental, logistically unfortunate web series comes to a (uplifting?) close. It’s one of the many examples of a show that pushed limits and turned heads, only to face the harsh realities of the overloaded, frenetic web video world. Cake-lasers from space can only do so much.