[Ed: This is the latest installment of our weekly web series critic column Pass The Mustard. No sugar coating, no doublespeak, no hand holding. Just brutally honest reactions from one guy: Ned Hepburn. We'll throw a handful of web series at him each week. Agree, disagree, love him, hate him, but please don't punch him. Got something clever to say in retort? Leave a comment below. He'll probably read it and embarrass you later. His opinions are his own, so take them or leave them. See last week's column here.]
Look, I know I come off like an asshole on here. It’s kind of my schtick. I got flack for calling the show about the Chinese guy in the Chinese food store “racist” the other week, despite it being billed as a “comedy”. Which it wasn’t. It was about as funny as a dead cat soundtracked by a Daniel Johnston song. Hey, sometimes things just don’t stick. Sometimes your baby is born with the umbilical cord around its neck. Sometimes the fat guy arrives to the buffet before you do. Sometimes the project just won’t work.
Robot, Ninja & Gay Guy- a roommate comedy about, you guessed it—isn’t necessarily good, nor is it particularly bad—which is a fairly common thing among web series. It merely sits in the middle idling and not doing anything particularly memorable or special, but certinately isn’t “bad” by any means. There’s a certain amount of promise here especially among the three actors, I feel, but not in this project. Perhaps you could do something that doesn’t come off like a Mad TV sketch.
This is a revolving sketch show by two Cuban comedians. I like this. It’s sort of like a mainstream version of Tim & Eric, the sort of thing that you’d see on an airplane after a movie and before the airline edit of The Office or whatever. The two dudes responsible for this have a deal with a Telemundo-esque station and it shows, because it’s almost exactly like the Over The Top style Telemundo comedy you see on TV but can’t understand because you only took up to 10th grade Spanish. Regardless, it’s passable.
This web series deals with survival from zombies. The main dude does a pretty decent job of making the whole thing look like Mythbusters, while his buddy-pal-friend provides some light bro comedy. It actually works very well as a concept. Although it’s not something that personally I’d be into, I found myself watching all of the episodes and feeling like I’d learned something. The main guy definitely has a Nickelodeon matinee idol vibe about him which all the more makes me think that he should focus the show more on the ‘Mythbusters With Jokes’ angle because that works better. I like it. Not so bad.
A Choose-Your-Own-Adventure style show on YouTube? This works. This works fairly well. This could work better. I’ll spare you the details on what the show is about as I’d recommend you get a feel for it yourself – but for what the show lacks in production cost it makes up for in inventiveness. The great thing about watching these web shows is that you get a sense of what it must’ve been like 100 years ago in the movie industry – a hell of a lot of 10 minute shorts that don’t make sense – some rising above others – and occasionally someone doing something new. Well, this is something new done very well on such a low budget. I’d love to see this with a major league budget, and I applaud them for their originality.
THIS WEEKS MUSTARD: Spade