Over the weekend, we brought you news of Nuclear Family, the Vuguru-produced SyFy series debuting today on Xbox Live. Nuclear Family, however, isn’t the only Vuguru product hitting the Internet today. The Michael Eisner-led studio also helped create Greetings From Home, a unique screwball comedy about a female soldier stationed in Afghanistan who receives regular video updates from her husband, children, mother, brother, and girlfriends. The series’ 12 episodes premiered simultaneously on AOL On, with each episode running around seven minutes.
The show’s protagonist is Pete Griffin (I’m not sure if the show’s creators noticed the similarity), an army man who loses a leg in the war and has to return home to a boring desk job. Through the strangest of coincidences, his return syncs with his wife Patty‘s deployment as an army nurse. Patty herself never appears; we see only the back of her head as she watches video of her family and friends, each one living in his or her own crazy world: Pete quickly finds parenting to be very challenging, and by the end of the first episode he is already begging his wife to return home from duty.
The video camera conceit is easily the show’s most unique idea. Without ever meeting Patty, her calming presence as a wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend becomes clear, with everyone in life slowly going crazy in her absence. Without Patty around, Pete’s hard-lined and rigid personality clashes mightily against the eccentric personalities of his kith and kin. This setup also makes exposition fluid and easy instead of being clunky and forced, as it is in many other shows of a similar nature.
The cast features some known names; Pete is played by Dash Mihok, whose had some notable roles here and there in films like I Am Legend and The Day After Tomorrow. Missi Pyle (of The Artist and Two And A Half Men, among other credits) plays the leader of Patty’s gal pals, a domineering mother named Sue. One of, if not the best bit part in the series belongs to long time comedy vet Estelle Harris (Mrs. Potato Head in the Toy Story films), who records her entire life due to technical challenges and is revealed to be a pot-smoking, serial-dating grandma.
Greetings From Home, produced in association with BermanBraun, boasts enough talent to entertain a general audience. With lots and lots of characters, it’s easy to find someone in this cast whose video updates you eagerly await.