On the other side of Mr. Deity, below Script Cops, and right next to Sands of Passion you’ll find the C-Spot – a fresh, weekly line-up of comedy series programmed and promised for all the 52 weeks in a year from Sony Pictures Television’s contest-laden, video-sharing site, Crackle.
Packaging successful, pre-existing shows with brand new ones to create a “spectrum of original web series that showcase irreverent characters and stories,” C-Spot will debut the latest installment from each series on that show’s night of the week, just like a good old fashioned broadcast TV network.
Sean Carey, Senior Executive VP at Sony Pictures Television, thinks this will attract the web video connoisseur hungry for frivolous substance: “By updating the content daily, we’re looking to engage, entertain and continue to feed the appetite of digital media users seeking more than just one-off viral videos.”
C-Spot is looking to appease not just Crackle visitors, but all “digital media users” by distributing its videos around the web (YouTube, AOL, etc.). Will it satisfy? Yes, very much so. A look at what’s in store for the first 13-week season shows that Sony’s upped the ante and is using its resources (brand, access, and $$$) to produce high quality, engaging content, that’s better than the initial offerings I’ve seen from any other studio.
Here’s your weekly schedule:
Monday – Hot, Hot Los Angeles
From the same duo behind Getting Away with Murder (IFC’s web comedy about an unlikely hit man) Andrew Schwartz and Bennett Baker Barbakow of Test Pattern Media bring a sexy scorcher about LA that (like some other vids about Hollywood’s absurdity) is just spoofy enough to be true. Best-friends-turned-bitter-enemies ridden with Los Angeles clichés treat the city like a playground and battle for all its toys in a Horrible People meets Silk Stalkings-for-the-West-Coast kinda way.
###Tuesday – The Writers Room
Like the The Patrice O’Neal Show: Coming Soon, you can’t quite tell whether or not The Writers Room is a behind-the-scenes preview for an actual television series. A few giveaways let you in on the joke, but for the most part, the neuroses-infused banter between nervous late-night talk show writers desperate to please host and commander Kevin Pollak seems legit.
Wednesdays – Gaytown
If Chelsea were in the sunny hills of Califronia, it’d look something like Gaytown, a bizarro community where men loving men is the norm and heterosexuals are ostracized. Created, written, produced, and starring Owen Benjamin, the series follows Owen’s quest to come-out. It’s more social critique than comedy (though I’m still not convinced it succeeds at either), but thankfully doesn’t rely too heavily on inappropriate stereotypes for laughs. It also co-stars Payman Benz of Awkward Pictures. He’s hysterical.
Thursdays – The Roadents
Produced by Bix Pix, animator Justin Hilden created this 2D/3D animation delight, pitched as “The Odd Couple meets Easy Rider for the YouTube generation” starring two freakish guinea pigs roadtrippin’ in a 1983 Winnebago. Throw in a touch of the improvisational animation stylings of Dan Meth and I’d say that’s an accurate description.
Fridays – Gorgeous Tiny Chicken Machine Show
Given that videos like this exist, GTCMS doesn’t seem so far-fetched. From wife-and-husband duo Kim Evey and Greg Benson of Mediocre Films (they also created Retarded Policeman) it’s Pee Wee’s Playhouse mixed with You Can Awesome and that SNL skit where Chris Farley is a contestant on that Japanese game show. Evey’s accent and the sing-a-longs make it all worthwhile.
Weekends – Best of What Penn Says
In January 2008, Crackle armed magician-cum-comedian Penn Jillette with four Sony HD cameras – one on his persoon, one on his car, one at home, and one in his dressing room at the Rio in Las Vegas – to let the impassioned man say whatever the hell he wants. This “Best of” highlight reel captures the most entertaining bits from the daily vlog.