To say that the trailer for upcoming Calico Arts series The Clinic intrigued me is an understatement. From beginning to end, the trailer is tight, entertaining, fresh, and it had me begging for more. Created by Danny Lee, the series provides a mockumentary look at the people behind one of California’s many medical marijuana clinics.
Lee knows the facts when it comes to weed; as he told to us, “It’s estimated, roughly 20 million Americans age 12 or older use marijuana at least once in the month. That’s a big built-in audience that could be interested in our show. Not to mention the numbers of people who might tune in simply out of curiosity of what happens inside of these clinics…These clinics are vast parallel worlds with no shortage of fascinating characters and scenarios.”
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The Clinic is what would happen if Weeds and The Office had a child; it’s awkward, funny, ridiculous, and yet with a little bit of emotion mixed in. As Lee explained, “We’re presenting everyday emotions and scenarios, just with a marijuana clinic as the backdrop.” This isn’t completely fantastical, however; the way Lee describes it, he was inspired by a real club.
“One of my friends happened to own a local medicinal marijuana dispensary in Hollywood, so out of pure curiosity I decided to pay a visit. Within 5 minutes, I knew right away this world would provide great material for a series…however, my objective was to make a show about the people who try to make a living there. The owner Marty (played by Joe Hursley) is morally conflicted about his career choice, but does everything he can to justify why he’s there, while trying to keep a rickety ship together.”
As web productions go, The Clinic appears to have a robust cast — Hursley along with Caroline D’Amore, Luke Massy, and Gabbriella Gatto — which means it will have some long term potential. “We want this show to have a long life, so the storyline will quickly evolve into other areas of Marty’s life outside of the clinic,” Lee added. “Marty wants to pursue his rock dreams; his best friend and security guard Jab wants to be a stunt coordinator in Hollywood; the clinic treasurer Beth wants to act in television; and the specialist aka big breasted counter girl Heidi, well, she just wants to strip. We also imagine endless cameo appearances in the film; there are already some interesting names in the pilot episode.”
It’s also interesting to note the timeliness of the series. With Weeds already a hit on Showtime, and The Clinic hitting the internet, the pot element is slowly moving towards the mainstream. Combined with the increasing number of states that are legalizing marijuana (most recently, Michigan) and word that the Obama administration may stop raiding pot dispensaries in California, the show couldn’t come at a better time in the medical marijuana debate. Whether or not the show will live up to its trailer or be able to build up an audience is still up in the air, but it will certainly be a valuable addition to pot culture, and hopefully reach a far wider audience.
Only the pilot episode has been filmed so far, as Lee and his crew are currently shopping the series. No release date has been set for the 24 minute pilot.