Youngish, white, manboy protagonists are the bread and butter of 90% of modern day American comedy. The Frat Pack, The Apatowverse, Lonley Island, Tim and Eric…it’s a manboy world, the rest of us are just living in it.
Guy Friends, a new web series produced and starring a group of NYC-based comedians, fits squarely into the boys behaving badly realm of comedy, but finds it’s laughs in mocking the genre almost as much as reveling in it.
Guy Friends follows a band of buds, each of whom embodies a classic type of “bro”; we’ve got Reese (Damien Luvara), the overly-confident jackass, Clegs (Mike Thurstlic), the good-natured and easily-influenced burnout, and Bronski (Dave Droxler), whose vague sense of maturity (and ability to keep a girlfriend) make him the beleaguered straight man of the group. Described on the web site as a “Sex and the City for douchebags”, Guy Friends features dude-comedy pushed to absurd levels.
The natural enemy of a guy-friend is a girlfriend, and the story of the series involves a rift that forms between the guys at Bronski’s 30th birthday party (an “awesome sausage fest” that involves the three guys and a room full of balloons) when Bronski lets slip that his girlfriend doesn’t like Reese and Celgs. This leads to a campaign by Reese and Clegs to prove the girl is cheating on their bro, evidence and personal boundaries be damned.
Guy Friends isn’t the prettiest web series out there in terms of video quality, but it makes up for it in the quality of the performances. The acting style falls somewhere between sketch comedy and full-blown theatrical farce, and the three leads all display excellent comedic timing and a willingness to commit to their loserly characters at the expense of any sort of dignity. This is a cornerstone of comedy, and something from which web-series with less experienced actors tend to suffer.
The show is up to it’s third episode, and it’s still unclear how intricate the plot will end up being. Somewhere alongside the cheating girlfriend plot, there’s also a stripper-assassin following the boys, Reese’s psycho ex-girlfriend, and a memorably insane pimp who wants to sell the boys into white slavery (he asks if Mexican-American Reese could “pass for Italian”).
The series is strongest when it pushes past the typical Frat Pack style of comedy into cartoonish surrealism, so I’m hoping these threads will come back into play, and that we get a chance to see how the boys handle a REAL crisis. I’m guessing not well. Check it out at GuyFriends.tv.