I got a Facebook friend request last week from one Charlie Bear. At first I wondered if I had a friend with a very adorable nickname. Then, upon visiting Charlie Bear’s page, I realized I’d been Facebooked (yes, I just made a social network into a verb) by a fictitious character who happens to have his own web series Charlie, The Abusive Teddy Bear.
After reading many of Charlie’s gleefully inappropriate status updates: “Charlie is quitting drinking,” promptly followed by: “Charlie is drunk.” Which was subsequently followed by “Where the ladies at?” I was lured into watching Charlie’s fledgling series.
As one might except, Charlie, who is a giant stuffed teddy bear, loves to hurl profanities with no regard for the consequences. His rants on anything from peas to hookers are mainly hurled at a good-looking actress dressed as a child. Charlie’s YouTube description reads: “originally released 1996.” But based on Charlie’s new foray into Facebook, I smell promotion.
I did some investigating of Charlie’s friends and found that he’s close with one Ian Smith, who along with Mo Darwiche founded Bengal Mangle Productions. The guys at Bengal Mangle have been hard at work at a new, yet to launch series, Acting School Academy, where Charlie has a presence among the production stills. It looks as this chain-smoking, hard-drinking teddy bear will soon be connected to a larger show.
Social networking is now a necessary and inescapable element of almost all web television series. So far, Charlie has just under 200 hundred friends and none of his videos, including a Christian Bale-like rant have gone viral. But the Acting School Academy stills, complete with Dennis Haskins (Mr. Belding from Saved by the Bell) look intriguing. Charlie Bear’s connection to the upcoming series remains mysterious. Still, the question remains, upon the launch of Acting School Academy, will Charlie help draw in viewers, and will his mystery connection be solved?