Dallywood, beyond my original conception, is not at all about dallying. After all, buddiesJeff Hoferer (also the creator) and Bryan Massey are far too busy checking their IMDB Star Meters, psyching each other up before auditions (and then consoling each other), or staring at their vision board to be wasting any time. It took me a while to figure this out, but the physical location where the budding actors are not dallying isn’t in Hollywood, it’s in Dallas (hence the name). They’re kings of their own backyard scene, big fishes in a presumably little acting pond.
Hoferer and Massey (both keep their real names for their characters, presumably to keep their Star Meters churning) bond over auditions and bookings in an industry lingo that sounds familiar, but I’m guessing has its own Texas twang. They, of course, lack the post-pubescent charm of Clark and Michael, and the wisdom, bitterness, and writing chops of the Easy to Assemble crowd (both among many series with interior nods to the machine that is the entertainment industry).
Another thing that Dallywood lacks is funny. Hoferer himself seems to have inadvertently put it best when, in episode 4, after listening to buddy/neighbor Massey recount a bogus love anecdote involving a cupcake and a femme banal, he begins to hang himself from an IKEA plastic chair.
Okay, that’s probably a bit too harsh. Dallywood does have its moments. In episode 2’s ‘STARmeter,’ after Massey catches Hoferer with a tissue box and moisturizing lotion in front of the computer, he runs through the usually rote and overplayed list of self-congratulatory euphemisms, and scores nicely with ‘crisping your Glover.
Their latest installment, ‘Best Actor in Texas‘ really starts to gain some traction. This is thanks to arch enemy Roger Bottoms (he of the “#1 Actor in Texas” t-shirt), who steals the show and gets things hopping (he’s played by Massey, but credited as Bottoms). Wearing a cowboy hat and a bristly chopped brush of a blond mustache, Bottoms pumps up the intensity. First in the audition waiting room – alongside Massey on the couch in touch of flawless screen editing – and subsequently as Bottoms and Massey mano a mano in the studio, competing for the same stunt role.
And it’s here that Dallywood finds its pace. In its heart it wants to go slapstick. And when it comes to stunts, Massey knows his stuff. Just check out his IMDB page.