Almost two months later, Zerks Log is fifteen episodes into its eighteen-episode run, and with new episodes due out every Monday and Thursday it looks like the show is going to wrap up in the next two weeks. If you haven’t been watching already, read on and figure out if Zerks Log is for you.
The show takes the classic Star Trek opening, “Captain’s Log, Stardate _______” and runs with it; Zerks Log is a series of vlog-style clips, each about 3-4 minutes long, starring Captain Zerks Ganymedewski (Ben Alpi), the adorably incompetent captain of the Venturi 553. The logs are the only thing remaining of the Venturi 553, which disappeared on a mission, and the details of the disappearance, as well as the mission itself, are unknown. Once you start watching Zerks Log, however, it’s not hard to imagine disaster befalling the ship and crew; Zerks is just as passionate about his job as he is clueless. The whole show feels sort of like The Office in space.
As you can imagine, the format of the show means that it lives or dies based on Alpi’s performance, since Zerks gets 95% of the screen time. This is where it comes down to personal taste; Alpi is a splendid buffoon, but people who find him anything else than absolutely hilarious may get tired of what amounts to the Ben Alpi show. Video-blogging, as a narrative device, is usually used to provide the introduction and the context to the rest of the episode – see HillRats or The Guild, for example – but when the show is all one face, it can feel a little overdone at times. Hopefully, it’s not too much to ask the last four episodes to give us an inkling of why the Venturi 553 disappeared and round out the characters a bit.
If there is a saving grace to Zerks Log’s video-blog format, it’s that it gave StoryForge a chance to really show off their production skills. The “Making of Zerks” heads behind-the-scenes clip (below) revealed that the visuals are a perfect mix of green-screened CGI and classic prop design, complete with animatronic eyes. It’s a labor of love on a shoestring budget, and the people behind the show ought to feel proud that Zerks Log communicates that.