“A pair of strippers by the airport…an elderly woman and her caretaker daughter…two hipsters who hang out in a coffeehouse…and a traditional, conservative Christian couple.”
Put ‘em on an island and you’re looking at more mulch in the reality show wood chipper, but these random Americans are asked to pontificate in their own habitats, so what you’ve actually got is Freakdom of Speech.
Brought to you by the folks at Iron Sink Media, Freakdom takes the long-running paradigm of the ignorant, or misinformed sensibility of your basic Daily Show field interviewee, plugs in actors, and gives them ample time to sound off free of interruption.
Hosted by actor Patrick Bristow (he of an episode on Seinfeld and a recurring character on IFC’s The Minor Accomplishments of Jackie Woodman fame), the show debuts with ‘Americans on Obama,’ and Bristow is mostly left off-screen and on the sidelines.
The wife in the Christian couple, all pink cat sweatshirt and cordially contempt tones, gets to address Obama’s ‘socialism’ with the line, “Middle of the night and who’s at your door? It’s Barack Obama, and he says ‘I see you’ve been working hard for a long time, and I’d like to give it away to some lazy-bones in your neighborhood…’” which works with her delivery.
By the second episode, ‘America on “Sex,’ she does some interesting mumbling and frustrated head-shaking, which may allow an opportunity for some of us to unload a bit of frustration about the ongoing culture wars. But there’s a lingering artificiality here that can’t help but take the piss.
Also in the second episode Bristow brings his reporting onto the bed of the elderly woman on oxygen, who’s got quite an attitude on her and is thoroughly tapped into embarrassing and humiliating her homely daughter. Bristow, trying to break things up physically, calls for a time-out:
To the extent that there’s conflict between the elderly woman and her caretaker daughter, the other zeitgeist (aside from the Daily Show) that Freakdom taps into is that of Curb Your Enthusiasm, which could be a good thing.
While some characters are certainly over the top, others are just ridiculous enough to still fall in the realm of believability. When Bristow and Freakdom border on the absurd line but do not pass, that’s where you’ll find the laughs.
Coming up next is a look at Celebrity, and who can get enough expounding on that?!?