Can We Do That?’s creators and stars – Ski-ter, Cory Tyler, and Charles Carpenter – are all successful actors in their own right; all three are in the midst of quite fruitful careers in commercials and television. They use these experiences to create a short (5-minute max) fictional web sitcom that always leads up to the same titular tagline, “Can we do that?”. A subset of Triune Entertainment, a production company headed by two of the three, the trio started filming in April 2006, and since then have been releasing roughly one or two episodes a month.
The three men play advertising executives – a producer, writer, and director – who are always trying to push the limits with overt sexuality mixed with a heavy dose of charm. Each episode begins with a bikini-clad curvaceous young woman writhing to the “Can We Do That?” theme song (links to these ladies’ modeling pages can also be found). In each professionally produced installment, the men face a dilemma – a missing stripper or producing instructional sex tapes for the uninitiated – and must decide how to move forward. As their brainstormed ideas get more and more raunchy, they are always left wondering at the end if they can get away with it, surfacing repressed memories of the fantastically slimy ‘90s Nickelodeon show, You Can’t Do That on Television. The acting style and absurd situations also conjure up images of a slicked up, Hollywood version of The Office. In an homage to Sesame Street, each episode is “powered by” something, as revealed in the end credits (though barely any of them could ever air on Sesame Street). But as arguably dirty and chauvinistic as the sleek and charming ad-men’s ideas are, it is all done with their tongues firmly lodged in their cheeks, and the result is surprisingly tasteful.
The first video posted is sure to hook viewers immediately, with a fantastically choreographed and executed fight scene commercial for bottled water. The next, titled “The Skintern” asks important questions, like whether strippers are “whores” or “sluts” – similar to the Tone-Def / Nina Blackburn conversation in Fear of a Black Hat – and revolves around a plot concerning a missing stripper, and whether the guys can get away with asking the intern to take her place. Many of the dilemmas seem to get summed up in “FCC’d up!”, where the boys (and their new intern – the old one has taken a job at a strip joint) fight the FCC, which wants to prevent them from making other lewd videos.