Is three minutes long enough to get you where you want to go within a sexy dramedy and leave you feeling both satisfied and wanting more? In this case, I’d answer with whatever the Australian word is for “yes.”
Forget the Rules is an award winning Australian-based cross-media comedy/drama that follows the lives of 3 twenty-something roommates living in Melbourne. Upon release in October of ’05 it played simultaneously over the airwaves on Australia music television station Channel V, YouTube, Facebook, MySpace, and uniquely on 3G mobile phones via Optus mobile. According to their web site’s fun facts section, it was the first comedy/drama series to broadcast all episodes at the same time on so many venues.
The three main characters, Lisa (Louise Crawford), Pepe (Steven Cabral), and Pony (Daniel Kitchener) all have great chemistry. The more episodes you watch, the more you enjoy the trio and the situations they in which they find themselves involved. As is the case with Seinfeld, Friends, or any at-least-moderately-well-contrived sitcom, when you get to know the characters’ personalities and quirks you’ll more quickly relate to and laugh at their humor.
That means to get the most out of Forget the Rules it takes a certain level of commitment. Luckily, because the episodes’ short length is combined with great writing and thoughtful content (of a mostly sexual nature), this isn’t too hard to do.
The first three episodes revolve around Pony, who has just reconnected with a woman on FaceBook, who he remembers as being the best sex he’s ever had. Naturally, he can’t wait to hook up again. It turns out the woman, Alex, has gone through a sex change procedure and is now a man. TWIST! Pony, after meeting the new Alex in person, is rightly shocked and confused while Lisa and Pepe find the whole situation to be very entertaining.
Of course, given the closeness of the three roommates and degree of comfort they have in sharing personal things with one another, all of them quickly find themselves connecting with Alex on a personal level ending in an “Emotional 3Some.”
Season one connected with more than 900,000 viewers across Australia with very little marketing. It was also nominated for 2 MIPCOM (Cannes) Internet & Mobile TV Awards in 2006: best original content and best interactive format – both of which it won. Pretty impressive.
Forget the Rules‘ Wikipedia entry cites creator and executive producer Jim Shomos: “We didn’t think when we were starting this out that it was going to be the first (to be aired on TV, internet, and mobile phone) – we didn’t even think it was going to be on TV, we weren’t even sure about mobile, but that’s the ways it’s all come out.”
So why did it succeed? Shomos explains, “young audiences need ‘more story per minute’ and emphasized the importance of fast paced stories with rapid developments, particularly for short form content.” The team seems to have pulled this off perfectly.
Graphic descriptions of how a woman physically becomes a man and a demonstration of a Prince Albert connector with a banana and two apples certainly keeps me entertained and eager for more three-minute installments of what the Sydney Morning Herald describes as “snack drama.” Check it out at ForgetTheRules.com to see if it keeps you as satisfied.