Spoofing a sappy TV genre, in this case supersaturated teen soap dramas starring good-looking kids with too much money, is a really dangerous thing. It can be like poking fun at the fat kid or booing at the Special Olympics – you don’t come out looking good.
The problems, the holes, the bad acting, the idiotic plot twists, the over the top romances, etc. are so obvious in the originals that to parody them can leave the audience rolling their eyes as if the whole thing were one bad pun.
The bathetic music intro song by American Idol’s Brandon Rogers shows the all too familiar scene: a white background, wind blown hair, camera pans on the actors as they stand and smirk in their greatest GQ poses.
At first you’ll moan, “Ohmigod. Not another one!” but then something catches your eye. The opener subtly builds. Something’s not quite right. Each character looks more absurd than the next. Wait, was that guy with the squinty eyes sitting in a wheel chair? It is a brilliant intro sequence that gets you primed for what’s to come.
Brittany Mitchell is the first character we meet. She’s moved to Valley Peaks from Colorado to live with her half-sister Crystal. Cheerily she tells us about her hopes to start a new life after her father was poisoned by her mother just before she hung herself. Girls in bikinis run around giggling and get all soapy while washing cars as favors for hunky guys (kinda like another web series that doesn’t take itself too seriously). You get the idea.
Bad, over the top acting with emphasis placed on facial expression and vocal nuances permeates the show as well as archetypal characters reminiscent of the teenybopper dramas you love to hate. Not only do the actors nail this form, but the writing works equally well.
The great heavy-handed dialogue, long overly dramatic and yet blank–eyed pauses. It’s all there. The plot stays true to the genre it imitates by twists from tragic ski accidents to exploding motorcycles. Mind blowing questions like, “If four out of five people suffer from diarrhea does the fifth one enjoy it?” are asked and never answered. Profound life observations such as, “Women are like crocodiles – you never know what in the hell they are thinking,” are brought forth with deft precision.
This show is funny. There are six episodes so far and eighteen more to come (I swear I saw Pedro from Napoleon Dynamite in the Mexico segment of episode 5). Check it out now at ValleyPeaks.tv or on their Youtube channel, which includes some video blogs by various characters and two sweet music videos, Splash Party and Haircut Party. Unlike booing at the Special Olympics, in Valley Peaks everybody wins.