[Ed: This marks the debut of our new weekly web series reviews column Pass The Mustard. No sugar coating, no doublespeak, no hand holding. Just brutally honest reactions from one guy: Ned Hepburn. We’ll throw a handful of web series at him each week. Agree, disagree, love him, hate him, but please don’t punch him. Got something clever to say in retort? Leave a comment below. He’ll probably read it and embarrass you later.]
Hey good lookin’. Thanks for showing up. I’m glad someone answered the craigslist ad. Do you want a glass of water? No? Ok, a little about myself. My name’s Ned. I write here and there and there. And you, quiet guy? Nothing? Alright, then let’s begin.
Oh, boy. Maybe I just don’t like teen dramas. Maybe I just don’t like the WB. Maybe this whole thing feels like a WB teen drama that I can’t turn off. Man, when is there going to be a decent drama on the internet? This was a one way ticket to Yawnsville despite the actors best efforts. Ever run into an ex girlfriend at a coffee shop? That’s how they talk in this thing. There’s this one girl that talks only in mumbles. All these corporate web shows seem to think you can get by looking hyper glossy without any plot. It’s a shame, because the actors seem to be acting their actory hearts out yet I’m not invested in any of the characters. Not to get all “One Time I Read Robert Evans’ Biography” on you, but one time I read Robert Evans’ biography and he says “if its not on the page it’s not on the screen”. And this is just another prime example of that.
I like it! This wants to be a hybrid between The O.C. and Porky’s 1,2, and 3. This sort of thing would tooootally fly on FOX or Showtime, not that there’s anything wrong with that, but yet there’s something so ridiculously “Los Angeles” about it that I can’t quite put my finger on. It’s cheesy as all hell, but at least it seems to know that. Much more than I can say for the vast majority of web shows that seem to think they’re doing some Michael Mann ‘visual jazz’ kind of thing. These guys at least know their demographic. If they relied a little less on the cheese and a little more of the snark I could actually see this being pretty mainstream successful…
I watched the first three episides of Riese, this steam-punk sort of thing that has a smoking hot lead actress in Christine Chatelain and not much else going for it, sadly. Rumor has it that this thing has a $200,000 budget, and you can see why with the lavish production design. However, despite the huge budget, it has a $6 plot and is in dire need of being less self-serious and less confusing. It’s well shot, but without any real hook (at all! none!) it ends up looking like a Meat Loaf video. Which would be cool, if it had Meat Loaf in it. Sadly, Meat Loaf was nowhere to be found so I had to turn the sound off and play ‘Bat Out Of The Hell’ behind it to make it bearable. Sorry, guys.
It’s a show about an Italian guy hitting on girls and seeing if he can get their number. The guy is superfuckingcreepy but highly charismatic – kind of like Borat meets Hunter S. Thompson – but honestly, I love this kind of stuff. It’s the kind of thing you binge on, watching like 15 episodes at once and then not touch for a month or so. And while it’s surprisingly informative, you’ll want to take a shower after watching for feeling creepy and dirty, but nonetheless it’s extremely watchable.