Armed with a coffee cup painted with cherries, fresh-faced Josh Dove sends out a heart-felt vlog to his mom who is in the hospital due to a freak moped accident that left her with a broken hip. He describes his excitement at having met a new friend, a foreign exchange student who mysteriously appears in his room (“it’s how foreign people say hello”). Oh, and he wishes his dad wasn’t dead…but at least he’s found his old video camera.
And within that first thirty-second vlog, you are off and running on the quirky comedy series that is MacAwesome. Created by Graham Bowlin (American Heart) and Waffle Feast Media’s Cameron Strittmatter, the series comes out of North Carolina where the two, along with partners Daniel John Lerch and director Andy Mitchell met while at UNCSA film school. The series thrives on its randomness…a visit to the shows Facebook page greets you with “A comedy web series about the dangers of subsidized healthcare. Just kidding.”
But this description is just as close as any one could give for the series. On the one hand, it’s a coming-of-age tale of a 17 year-old boy attending public school for the first time. On the other, it’s a classic romantic comedy where the underdog is trying to win the girl from the popular guy at school. And then of course, there are the guys running around in speedos and tearing the sleeves off their shirts for fun.
I suppose the best way to sum up the series would be: it’s a classic tale told with unclassic characters. And the results are delightful. The writing is clever and sharp and each character has a unique voice, from the popular-yet-internally-tortured James St. James (“I know I’m good-looking and come from a rich nautical family, so what?”) to the innocent and incredibly sheltered Josh (“I ate a quaint little lunch with cheese and cracker slices”). You know these people and yet they are also like no one you’ve ever seen.
Director Andy Mitchell also edited the series, and his flair for comedic timing and pacing shows. The blending of first person addressing of the camera with third person narrative becomes an additional source of laughs all on it’s own. And I certainly can’t finish this piece without mentioning the fact that the series contains one of the most brilliant introductions of a love interest I have ever seen…all while managing to reinvent the poop joke.
You can catch episodes of MacAwesome on KoldCastTV, YouTube, Blip.tv, and Funny or Die with new episodes coming out weekly. And in case you missed it, below is the catchy music video promo for the series. Beware: it is as addictive as “Do You Want to Date My Avatar?”.