Ever get the feeling that the world as we know it is essentially a very poorly run corporation? That God may be making it up as he goes along? That he is more than a little incompetent at his job as the universe’s acting CEO? If so, you’ve got company – that’s the premise behind Brian Keith Dalton’s hilarious religious satire, Mr. Deity, which just concluded its second season this March. Each season of the series, produced by Lazy Eye Pictures, consists of ten 2-4 minute episodes which initially premiered on YouTube but has since migrated to Sony’s Crackle.com.
Dalton writes, directs, and stars as Mr. Deity, the all powerful creator of heaven and Earth whose intelligence and work ethic is on par with Steve Carell’s Michael Scott on The Office. Mr. Deity sets about creating the universe with his long suffering assistant, Larry (Jimbo Marshall), who is given the unenviable job of pointing out the contradictions in Mr. Deity’s largely improvised and evolving religious doctrine. The first episode depicts the book of Genesis as a poorly conceived business plan. “The whole thing is a train wreck,” exclaims Mr. Deity as he surveys his newly created universe. “You had six days to work on this,” replies Larry. “Actually I had seven, but there’s no way I’m coming in tomorrow. I’m so depressed.” Jesus (Sean Douglas) is portrayed not as the son of God, but as a young corporate go-getter eager to move up the company ladder (Mr. Deity often mistakenly refers to him as Jesse.) While trying to sell Jesus on the idea of his own crucifixion, Mr. Deity describes it as a “really good career move for you – get you in on the ground floor.” The devil is Mr. Deity’s on-again off-again girlfriend, Lucy (Amy Rohren) who is outraged to find out that she’s been depicted as a snake in her ex-boyfriend’s first attempt at scripture.
All said, Mr. Deity is a model of innovation and professionalism in web-based television. The writing and acting are first rate and the minimalist set design and top-notch production value add up to something that is wholly original. The show looks to be heading to cable TV as Dalton signed a deal with Sony Pictures at the end of season one and is currently trying to get the show on HBO. In the meantime, the show is still up on Crackle and continues to rack up its view counts. Episode 1 (above) has netted over 2.8 million itself. Even the requisite un-official fan site and Wikipedia page have popped up.