Today on LonsTV’s I’m looking at the Crackle.com original comedy series Backwash from writer/creator/star Joshua Malina and Danny Leiner (director of the modern comedy classic Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle).
The 3 lead characters in Backwash are on the run from the law in a stolen ice cream truck, with only their meager wits and $100,000 in stolen money to sustain them. But the show isn’t so much about the driving forward momentum of plot than the bizarre, sophomoric, frequently non sequitur hijinks of man-child Jonesy (Michael Panes), fast-talking schemer Val (Malina) and their accomplice, ice cream truck driver Nick (Michael Ian Black of The State and Stella).
Less sitcom than extended comedy sketch, each episode of Backwash opens with a well-known TV star narrating the boys’ strange cross-country journey, in the style of Masterpiece Theater. (The ongoing joke is that it’s based on a novel by William Makepeace Thackeray, author of Barry Lyndon.) Guests include Jon Hamm, Sarah Silverman, Hank Azaria, John Stamos, Fred Willard, Allison Janney and a bunch of former The State castmates.
So far, there has been one 13-episode season of Backwash that wrapped up in December. As you’d expect from a comedy so reliant on sight gags, wordplay and schtick, it’s a bit inconsistent. But the series hits more often that it misses, is entertaining, and even a bit daring throughout. Hopefully, we’ll get a second season.