Speedie Date: Cute, Sweet, Ugh…
Enter crabby reviewer. Speed dating is incredibly interesting subject matter for the web series format because it can be done in real time and has real stakes involved. It’s a romantic comedy in five or six short minutes, what’s not to love? It’s precisely the reason that there are more than one or even two of these series out there. It’s also the reason why the bar is high for a show like Speedie Date on Strike.TV. And it’s also the reason I was bored to tears by Speedie Date’s first episode.
The writing is cute and sweet, the acting is cute and sweet and the filmmaking is adequate (read: cute and sweet), but unfortunately that bores me. And though there’s a cute and sweet twist at the end, I still wouldn’t come back to this show. Thematically this episode is about ‘taking chances’. Take a chance on finding love while speed dating, and conversely, if all you do is speed date, then take a chance on a real date. So, why, pray tell, doesn’t the writer and/or director take a chance in their filmmaking?
Nebish Mike is a serial speed dater is confronted by reluctant forty-something Heather. Veteran Mike launches into his stats while Heather is, “underwhelmed.” She starts questioning the entire concept of speed dating and it’s incumbent on Mike to change her mind. And he does, while learning something on his own. It’s textbook writing, complimented by textbook directing, and my professors at film school would have creamed their pants had I created this. It’s why I never liked them (that’s not true).
But the internet is a new frontier. Please please please stop with the short filmmaking and start entertaining us or getting under our skin. Use the form, push the form, change the form. The creators, director-producer Kristiina Hackel and writer Lorin Wertheimer are clearly smart and talented people with impressive resumes, I can only hope that they figure out how to take their concept, writing and filmmaking to a level beyond cute, sweet and adequate or this show is going to die before it gets past the next two episodes promised us.
Sketch Toons: Kool-Aid Porn
First viewing, wasn’t laughing; second viewing, chuckling. Okay, I’m going to watch this one more time, live, with you reading this and I’ll let you know what happens, here we go…and an LOL, nice. Forty-one seconds of pure unadulterated Kool-Aid porn. That’s episode one of Sketch Toons, from Emmy-nominated writer Charles Horn, who’s credits include The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Robot Chicken.
What’s there to say? The animation is a little too slick for its own good, I think, and maybe the pacing is a little slow, but honestly I feel like a retard critiquing something this short and relatively effective. It epitomizes the zeitgeist-to-death term, ‘it is what it is’. This is an irreverent, slightly offensive incredibly short cartoon with some humor, it is what it is.
My only thought is that with credits as long as the sketch itself, I hope in the future we can get maybe three toons in one episode just to balance it out. Not to mention it might be a little more satisfying of a viewing experience, because although I think the short is funny(ish), the only reason I’ll come back is due to the Robot Chicken pedigree (I can’t believe Robot chicken has a ‘pedigree’) and not because this sketch left me wanting more.
So I guess the review is: has promise, but the jury is out until I see more, and not just one more, but a few more…in one episode.