How much drama, comedy and self-mocking melodrama can you fit into a 3-minute sketch comedy? The Independent Comedy Networks’ Best of Friends, aka BŌF (which sounds like ‘oaf’ and could be the web serial answer to the Metal umlaut), attempts to find out.
Best friends and and Mamrie Hart and Stephen Soroka (both improv comics who also created and produced the series) occupy a play-world bubble within New York City, one in which the Big Apple is both their oyster and sandbox, and they get to be buddies-in-crime.
Mini-dramas play out quickly in BŌF’s universe, whether it’s prospect of parenting, Marmie becoming Steve’s boss at the workplace where he was just fired, or the inseparables separating when Mamrie flies to Australia to allegedly attend the opening of Senor Frog’s down under. (So far all the episodes have been shot in warmer climes; it remains to be seen whether they will maintain their buoyant moods into winter.)
‘It’s Just Business’ is BŌF’s highpoint thus far, as their conjoining at work allows for a variety of great innuendos (the “let’s talk turkey” line that Mamrie uses to negotiate for Steve’s job back is followed by her bending over and squeezing her breasts together; Steve concludes the episode with the same gesture between the buttons of his shirt). One of the best unaffiliated moments includes Mamrie offering her fellow female co-worker a bite of bagel sandwich: a sliced bagel with a whole bagel inside. It’s a gag very much in line with the duo’s improv tendencies.
The fresh-scrubbed and lovely Hart is a fireball of energy and charisma that would be hard for anyone to keep up with. Soroka does a more than reasonable job, if overacting a bit at times. Whether it’s just for fun, an attempt to keep up, or part of the shtick isn’t quite clear.
Thankfully, there’s no bothering with any of the silly, sitcomesque notions of sexual tension between Steve and Mamrie, which leaves them, and us, more room for comedy. They really are just best friends, and as they consistently ham it up in an array of mock-suave ways, we’re not only not titillated, we’re also free to remain in their bubble of fun with them, immune to any sharp edges that make up the real world. You’ll perk up just from watching their uber-charming opening theme song.
Check out Best of Friends at ICN.tv.