If you think a female news reporters named “Anita Balzac” is funny, there is an animated web series for you. Flash Sports Tonight, is, well, a flash (animation) based sports web series where two anchors host a quick recap of recent sporting news, complete with dirty jokes, cleverly named field reporters, and some brief sports commentary. There’s no question the audience for the show skews towards men who well like sports and women…and lowbrow humor.
The format of the FST eps are the essentially the same as the ESPN flagship Sportscenter that it so cleverly mocks. The pair of anchors are a welcome mix—Doc, a snide old man, and Jock Jarrelson, a smooth talking ex-jock who clearly missed his onfield heyday. Field Reporters “Anita Balzac”, in the vein of ESPN’s Erin Andrews and Vinny Tressellini, a tough talking New Yorker, support the anchors with extra stories. The regular characters are well established, complete with extra content in the vein of bios and backstory on the FST site.
Production values for the show are decent. It looks like any other flash based animation series, and they do some decent Photoshop to juice up the jokes. Then again, chances are, people aren’t watching for the brilliant flash animation—they come for the laughs which the series doles out in spades.
The writing on the show is crude, reminding me the classic chose your own adventure flash series The Romp Booty Call Game from the start of the decade. The episode about Plaxico Burress shooting himself (he was aiming at Tiki Barber), BCS rankings, and steroid use have some good laughs. The steroid use episode, actually a five minute song set to the “We Didn’t Start The Fire” by Billy Joel, with the words “What a bunch of cheating liars” replacing the famous chorus is a must see.
What’s holding the series back from being great is that there simply is not enough of it. The latest episode I could find was the Superbowl preview and that was about four weeks ago. Content like this has a massive potential audience (think bored 17-23 year old men stuck in class/cubicles), so more material would benefit the show. Plus, a flash based programming that’s short is perfectly constructed for mobile devices.
And finally while most of America cares a little bit about sports, they probably don’t care enough about it to see it lampooned more than a clever remark on Sportscenter. Bottom line, if you think lampooning Tiki Barber’s sexuality, ripping on the BCS, and lampooning college football coaches is hilarious; this is the show for you.