Who ever thought the narcissistic ravings of a mortally out-of-touch boss could be so funny?
Director Avi Razman and actor/writer/star Alec Christie, that’s who. The evidence? A Filmaka web series dubbed Christie, starring Christie as Christie, a whirling-dervish of über-David Brent meets Robin Leach meets Blake from Glengarry Glen Ross. Take The Office, filter out all its subtleties and Brent’s vague attempts at etiquette, mash it down to about three minutes and you get a sense of what Christie is all about.
Mr. Christie the actor has clearly assimilated ladder-climbing language to the point that he’s able to dole out a dizzying array of corporate-speak slogans through his volatile muse.
Christie himself is overwhelmingly convincing in the title role as a short, skeevy, hot-tempered, perpetual-order-barking, totally un-self-aware boss of London-based toilet company LavULike. Most of the 12 episodes include a cringe-worthy pitch of their fine plumbing macerators to potential clients – usually conducted gracefully by right-hand man Mo, while Christie crouches like a tiger on the brink of sabotaging the proceedings – along with healthy servings of general employee ridicule and abuse.
When he’s not attempting to enlighten his employees with his crackerjack wisdom, or belittling the much more competent Mo or junior sales manager Duncan (Steel Wallis), he’s usually alienating potential clients and anything with a faux pas. Not to mention the ogling and an overarching demeanor of disrespect.
“Sometimes I look at you, and I see too much of John (from accounting). I want so see more of me in you” he tells Mo, Duncan, Emma and Sally in a series of shared cuts in episode 3. “I want to see so much me in you that I’m coming out your @$$.”
While initially you’ll want to tell Christie to go bugger off (did I mention that they’re English?), give him a little more time and his over-the-top parody will start to click. It’s just the process of breaking down your instincts to run from mean, nasty egomaniacs. But after hanging around Christie for a few installments, you’ll find that he’s a man with a lot of need, who needs a lot of love, and may just need to meet that special someone who he’ll let break down his Napoleonic defense mechanisms.
Well, maybe not. He’s actually a bit of a sociopath, but a sociopath with a lot of imagination. And you have got to love his war cry of defeat: “Funk it!” A witty grand expletive substitute that he uses to great comic effect.
Note that the David Brent comparisons above are not without substance, as Christie appeared in two episodes of The Office and in the special Meet Ricky Gervais. For those on the verge of overdosing on Gervais – and I have a feeling there are a lot out of you out there – Christie serves perfectly as both surrogate and replacement. Watch it at Filmaka.com.