The tough guy who once guarded my integrity and scruples has broken down under a barrage of consumer slogans crafted for a self-absorbed culture. I’m now willing to sell out. Advertising looks fun.
Created by budding Canadian filmmaker Terry Miles for Filmaka, AdMuse is a wacky, surreal, id-laced comedic web series about two gals and two guys – and their various interns – at work and at play within a boutique ad agency that might be called ‘Jacobson,’ named after the shop’s Billionaire owner. At least we know he “paid for this place.”
The series sets its standard, its high-water mark, and its perennial call-back line in episode 1, with its ad for Stuff-It Brand Caulking: Because “Caulk” is a Verb.
Jeannie (Kristine Cofsky), a tall blond with transparently green eyes, who’s also one of the agency’s copywriters, provides a bikini-clad introduction to the “Caulk” product which forever more – at least through the series’ 6 episodes – becomes AdMuse’s winking grand gesture, as well as a nice scene segue.
It’s a device also found in action parody Val Verde and the late, great, ad agency-oriented web series Can we Do That?, but here it’s more sexually enhanced. “You’re going to sit there and tell me I can’t say ‘Caulk?’” Brickman Mordecai (Casey Manderson), Jeannie’s co-copywriter, asks creative director Sandra. Sure, there is heavy flirtation with this being a one-liner kind of series, but there’s also word play and an incessant riffing on all ways of the subliminal.
Like the aforementioned Can We Do That?, each episode gets its own ad campaign as an intro. which ties into the plot in one subtle way or another.
Episode 2 has “Henderson’s ESL Teacher’s College: How do they Know You’re Not Sexy?” Episode 4: “What Would Jesus Do? It Doesn’t Matter: He’s Immortal, You’re Not Him: Wellhammered Estates Wine.” And every episode gets at least a taste of ‘Caulk.’
The connections between characters are sharp, if not deep, and the wit is tangible, thanks to stellar acting from these (presumably) Vancouverites. Sandra (Michelle Miazga) and Jeannie buddy-up against Brickman; Brickman is buoyed by ‘Billionaire Owner’ Jacobson (Ryan Haneman); Brickman competes against Jeannie; and all of them have encounters with the interns, or the special guests.
My favorite might be the intern from Episode 3, who brings in an account from the National Pillow Fight Association. Brickman tries to write while she cleans the office and takes eye candy distraction to its fertile limits. Turns out the office can be sexy with the appropriate talent.
Well shot by Miles and with running times at about 7 minutes each, these installments of Ad Muse feel more like short films with high-quality content. You don’t need to know any back story to understand the office politics and each episode can easily be enjoyed on its own. Though I’d recommend watching most of the episodes a second time – you’ll be surprised how much you’d missed.
Check it ouat at Filmaka.com.