I’m having trouble with this one. Scotty has broken me down. With an Apple iSight, cell phone camera and “an ancient point and shoot that takes MPEG4 video”, he has taken office subversion to a level that no matter what I’m about to say I feel institutionalized. As though he will find a way to incorporate this very review into his irreverence and show me just how meaningless it all is. Thanks, Scotty.
Thanks also for making me laugh at the absurdity of office life. Thanks for being out there, fighting the good fight against office regimen. Thanks for working in the most generic office space possible to create one of the funniest web series in this millennium, Scotty Got An Office Job.
I challenge anyone out there to watch this show, at least three of them (at about a minute or so each, you’re looking at three minutes of your life) and tell me you are more productive than Scotty, the most-slash-least productive office employee on the planet. This, dare I say, reality web series is not only funny, but tense, entertaining and deeply creative as its creator Scotty Iseri walks the tightrope of employment by way of rapping, office synchronized swimming, office chair ballet and personal grooming, among other things, all while in the office and on the clock at work. No joke.
With 26 episodes in the first season (plus a couple of extras), and basically one a week starting with the first on Tuesday, June 17th, 2008 (they’re all dated), and 10 more eps so far in season 2, Scotty has managed to keep this one-man show fresh by coming up with a new idea each week. With three settings, his cubicle, the office kitchen and the conference room Scotty offers up a couple of dance numbers, a few songs – please please please watch episode 9, Monday August 11, 2008 for a great ballad to a late file he’s waiting to upload – and several other themes ranging from one horror show to one action show to, so far, two unbelievable Q and A sessions. These sessions, it must be noted, literally take place in the conference room while a staff meeting is happening as he discreetly and creatively answers questions previously sent to him by viewers. If only you had the balls to do what he does, you’d be so much more interesting.
And that’s the thing, we’ve all kind of wanted to do it on some level, but Scotty’s beaten us to the punch. He’s carrying out our fantasies and it’s all too relatable. I mean, how many of us surf the web, Facebook, twitter, fall asleep, take unnecessary bathroom or kitchen breaks at work? All of which are skewered in Scotty’s own absurd way and taken to the next level. He even has the audacity to record a Facebooking intern that he doesn’t like, as though he’s going to rat on her…while he’s making his show!
And therein lies the tension. There are real stakes to this series. He could get caught and he could certainly be fired (in this wacky economy no less). As he describes it, “I started innocently for shits and giggles and will do it as long as it’s still fun or until my boss finds out about it and I get fired.” And that’s getting closer to a possibility as people are beginning to share his videos on laughingsquid (in one week he went from a hundred views to four thousand) and his Twitter audience is growing. How long is it before someone inadvertently sends a “funny video” link to his boss, and there’s Scotty? Adding to the tension of the show is the fact that if he does get fired, there goes the show…that’s pretty deep. As for close calls, in one episode he tries to see how much personal grooming he can do at his desk and manages to only get a third of his beard shaved before getting caught. We don’t see the getting caught, but we do see the missing third and the twinge of shame in his smile as he tells us what happened.
Be aware though this is not to be tried at home, or work as it were, folks, a lot of what he does is very calculated. His songs are not sung out loud at work, but lip-synched to pre- or post-recorded music – a little of both it seems. And his talking is below a whisper and subtitled. But all of this adds to the tension, the inevitability that he will be caught at some point, or at least the feeling of it. There is even a snippet at the end of season one in which it appears he is being reprimanded for bad behavior by his superior, for reals.
Bottom line is that you should watch this show. Every Monday on Vimeo, MySpace, YouTube, Blip.tv or iTunes. I think it’ll be a good way to start your work week and maybe inspire you to do something productive with your time at the office, even if it doesn’t have anything to do with your job. Where do you think I’m writing this review?