Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Pilot Season...And Other Faux Doc Stories
There's a new-ish series on the interwebs entitled Pilot Season, which references, of course, the January - April time period where actors (and TV writers) make the pilgrimage to LA to try to get hired on new shows being produced with hope of pickup for the fall TV season. The web series appears to be the brainchild of Sam Seder, and utilizes his performing talent as well as Sarah Silverman, with David Cross, Andy Dick and Isla Fisher. H. Jon Benjamin and David Waterman.
The first six ten minute segments have been posted at My Damn Channel, watch them HERE.
It's yet another entry into the whole faux documentary comedy/drama genre. I mean, I loved Waiting For Guffman and Best In Show...and the original UK The Office (along with its US remake), Extras, and Arrested Development were all brilliant, while the shooting style still felt original. In Canada, The Newsroom and Fubar utilized that story-telling device to successful and entertaining results...but nowadays, I'm really getting tired of the formula (Party Down being the only current exception). Parks And Recreation sucks ass, in my opinion...and the fact that it feels completely unoriginal style-wise doesn't help.
A lot of web-based series go this way it seems because the loose handheld 'follow the puck' style seems to make them more internet-friendly...as opposed to just what most of them are...cheap.
I also can't tell you how many 'faux documentary' drama/comedy feature pitches I've seen cross my desk while wearing my development hat over the past year. Which is fine I guess, but what I've noticed that in lieu of being able to actually write a funny or dramatic script or direct actors and scenes in an effective and entertaining manner, the prevailing notion seems to be if the filmmakers just roll and 'capture what happens', it'll be funny. Or dramatic. Or good.
Not necessarily the case. Rarely, in fact.
Pilot Season. Is it worth picking up? Or should it (and the genre) get cancelled.