Workshop

Do you ever wonder what it’s like to be a struggling actor in LA? Calls back for roles are few and far-between, waiting tables has long since become a major drag and getting cast in low-grade porn an ever more enticing option? Well, in case you’re really curious there are about three hundred seventy four web serials that you can watch to get a vague idea of what it’s like.

I know LA is a big place and it’s spread out and you have to drive a car everywhere, but don’t any young aspiring subjects of Us Weekly cover stories ever talk to each other? Variations on the “tale of a young actor” has quickly gone from minor nuisance to rapidly-spreading invasive specie, and Workshop appears to be the latest subspecie of net-kudzu to be cataloged by us webotanists.

So before I go any further, a note to any budding screenwriter/actors with a “novel” idea about the trials and tribulations of showbiz: Please Stop. I don’t care how cleverly you’ve twisted the premise of Entourage (which is a stupid show to begin with) or how your main character has to keep his/her superhero status a secret during auditions or, in the case of Workshop, how tedious and pointless it is to attend workshops.

Now that I’ve vented, here’s the scoop on what Workshop is about. Nate Golon and Kimberly Legg have created a series that, ostensibly, seeks to document what goes on behind the scenes of the otherwise glamorous world of young Hollywood. But judging by the premiere episode – the first of 13 – the exact same things happen that do in anybody else’s life. Presented are the parts of what a reality television would cut out because they’re boring despite being the actual “reality.”

I assume that Nate and Kimberly, being actors, find humor in these episodes, and maybe if you’ve attended workshops you do, too. Unfortunately, I can’t relate. That’s not always a bad thing. Niche-y shows like All’s Faire and The Guild play to their Renfaire and WoW audiences while still providing enough entertainment for those outside the subculture.

WorkshopAll the jokes in Workshop I either didn’t get or were too predictable to be funny. This isn’t an absurdist or surreal production, nor is it parodic or satirical. It’s actually much more like a soap opera than the comedic series it claims to be.

Fortunately for the cast and creators, they all seem to get decent gigs around town (including a lot of soap opera work), so somebody is recognizing potential acting talent. That’s great for them and I suggest they continue to work that angle because from this brief introduction, there’s not much going for this show. Then again, given what passes for quality television, a vapid “comedy” may take them straight to the bank.

Check it out at WorkshopTheSeries.com.

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