Web Series Review: In Transit

Maddy Butler co-creator of a comedy web series In Transit contacted me in October because she thought I might enjoy the show and I’ve finally gotten around to viewing and reviewing it. In Transit is a comedy about four friends in their twenties dealing with life. One guy is about to get married and is upset his fiances’ father has asked him to sign a pre-nup, one guy has decided to quit his office job and pursue acting full-time, another is having financial and relationship problems, the fourth seems to get through life on his charm, good looks, and ability to hold down a decent paying job. In the vein of Seinfeld and Friends it’s the Time When Nothing Happens. No exciting crime drama, no crazy cooks raining down in 70′s technicolor, the most that happens is the groom-to-be and his best man must deal with wedding planners, caterers, and choosing flower arrangements.

Behind the scenes photo used with permission.

Behind the scenes photo used with permission.

This is probably one of the best casted web series I’ve been asked to review. The relationships seem genuine and the cast has the ability to act with nuance and subtleties which often get lost in the production of web series. I liked that the music background was subtle and fit the over all atmosphere of In Transit. Just the fact that there were background noises of other basketball players in the ball court scene showed the attention to detail that the producers of In Transit gave to the series. I’ve seen several web series where sound production gets lost in favor of an epic story line and in reality all I can do when I sit there watching the episode is wonder why there wasn’t more attention to detail and I loose interest in the story line. While there was one party scene that I thought should have had better background music (when a cup getting set down on a counter is the loudest thing in the room, it is noticeable), overall I was impressed with the acting and production of In Transit.

 I enjoy shows like In Transit where the major drama is based on relationships and not action sequences. Shows with real human interaction tend to be funnier and I can emotionally invest in the characters because the ins and outs of relationships are something I relate to. In my improv class we recently played a game called, The Day Nothing Happened. Each scene was set in an office, at a row of cubicles, and the three actors improved their lines, memorized them, and they had to be about nothing. For example, in my scene I sat between Pat and Julia. Julia answered the phone, spoke to a client, and asked for a paper clip. I said I was too busy playing a computer game and Pat said, “Here you go,” as he handed the paper clip over to her. The Day Nothing Happened. Then our teacher gave us relationships. Pat and Julia were having an affair, I was in love with Pat and hated Julia with a passion. Immediately the dynamics of the situation changed, the words became charged, The Day Nothing Happened was the day I physically came between Pat and Julia as he tried to hand over a paper clip. It was hilarious.

In Transit has that same vibe, especially once the relationships are established and things got more emotionally charged, it became far more interesting. I would have been happier if this had happened faster in the series, but by the end of the third episode I was hooked. As the actors become uncomfortable, angry, or frustrated I started laughing. It’s funny to watch someone struggle with life, because we’ve all been there and done that and understand what is happening and now we can laugh about it. There are a couple of women in the show, but their characters are fairly one dimensional until the fifth episode. Mainly the focus is on the four guys and especially the groom-to-be, who was my favorite character. I giggled through much of the fifth and sixth episode, I wont spoil it for you,  but there where some really funny scenes. Poor Caesar. ::giggles::

Lasting less than ten minutes each, it takes no time at all to view the entire series. I enjoyed this quirky comedy where nothing really happens as four guys try to figure out life and relationships. Each episode gets progressively better as the relationships change, heat up, expand,  and the story line takes on coherence with subtle shifts. At a time when nothing is happening, everything matters.

Read another review here and a question and answer session with Ms. Butler here.

The first episode is below. Watch the rest of the episodes here. [There is one drug use scene, adult themes, and occasional language.]

Webseries Review: Sweet Fever

Oliver Brackenbury, writer/co-producer, of the webseires Sweet Fever contacted me to watch the show and to see what I thought of it. I’m always happy to check out new webseries. I love the art form of webseries and enjoy seeing that more and more interesting, funny, and quirky things “air” because of its formatting. Sweet Fever is a story about “candy, comedy and professional pillow fighting”, plugging it squarely in the “quirky things” category even if the show isn’t so square itself.

Sam Has Something To Say
In the foreground, left to right, Sam (Tiffany Martin), Chet (George Gray) and Sweet Fever (Imogen Grace)
Photo used with permission

Sweet Fever owns a candy shop that is going under unless she can infuse the business with more money. Normally one heads on over to a loan officer (or shark) and tries to borrow some money, but Sweet Fever has borrowed all the money she can. She needs to find some other way to get her hands on some mulah. Luckily Sam, her best friend, arrives at the sweets shop with a solution, join the Pillow Fighting Federation for a grand prize worth thousands of dollars. Now a new problem presents itself as Sweet Fever hasn’t ever trained for violence with pillows and Crunchy Luke, the Commissioner of the Pillow Fight Federation, already has a full roster. He wont let Fever fight for the money unless she runs some errands for her first. Some truly bizarre requests follow.

First off candy shop and pillow fighting caught my eye. I’m not going to lie. What a great premise for a webseries! I was a tad worried the Pillow Fighting would be the main action of the series, but that wasn’t so and I thought the practice pillow fighting was cute and funny. Each episode, while building towards the grand PFF fight, had its own little quirky story revolving around Fever and Friends as she avoids committing to Chet, her “not-boyfriend boyfriend”, works in her shop, and spends the night in a haunted house. I thought the acting was decent and the different locations were a lot of fun to view. I had a hard time with the sound as the entire series is overlaid with some really awesome music but it tends to fluctuate in volume even to the point that the music garbled the words that were being said by the cast. Which was a shame as I may have missed some of the witty banter from the crew, and the witty banter was something that really caught my attention. A lot of webseries struggle with good banter, not Sweet Fever. Fever is a quite the quirky character with a huge practical streak and the conversations she had with friends were fun to watch.

The show goes a little on the crazy side which was a lot of fun. In fact, I wish that they had gone the next step of crazy and hit the punch line a little more consistently. Perhaps I’m influenced by my improv class where I had some of the craziest conversations, but I really enjoy when people take things to the next level of madness. My favorite episode was definitely the haunted house with the crazy landlord and the Scooby Doo outfits. I also liked that nobody said, “Ooh lets put on Scooby Doo outfits.” The writers expected the audience to be smart enough to catch that little homage and didn’t feel the need to exposition or point it out. There are a lot of homages throughout this series which I thought was fun, clever, and done really well. As Fever goes around asking for favors and impacting people’s daily lives with little thought for anyone other than herself,  I have a feeling all of her self centered actions are going to come home to roost. I imagine people will start calling in their favors and the girl she keeps accidentally slighting will step from her wallflower position to a more visible one.

With a good looking cast, decent acting, excellent writing, and well done filmography this quirky and funny webseries is worth checking out.

Doctor Who is Back to the Future

Doctor Who premieres this weekend on BBC America (and in the U.K.). Airing on Saturday, September 1, 2012, at 9/8c this season looks to be a last for the Ponds, but not the Doctor. I also have a sneaking suspicion River Song will be in future seasons, but that is just because Moffat loves to play with time lines. I’m super excited and in anticipation of my favorite show airing in a few short hours, I’m dedicated today’s post to all things Whovian.

Speaking of Moffat, check him out in a TARDIS hat. Now I really want to get my TARDIS scarf done, that thing has been sitting in a knitting bag by my couch for a year. Wowza.

A Doctor Who emergency kit. This is amazing and I want one mounted on my wall next to my TARDIS cork board. If only I wasn’t working for the man and living in a hamster cage on a daily basis. Also I would totally have this as my desktop at work, only we aren’t allowed to have personalized desktops. But if I could. I totally would. From deviant artist David Hoffrichter.

created by David Hoffrichter

Doctor Who webisodes have been posted each day this week leading up to tomorrow’s episode. Called The Pond Life these short clips are really just teasers for the new season. Usually webisodes are some where around six to eight minutes but these “webisodes” are more around the one minute mark. Still, they are fun and help with the pee dance. You know the one, the dancing around waiting for something to happen because you are so excited dance. But it looks like you have to pee? That dance.

Remember some time back when I posted about an awesome Doctor Who infograph that even included River’s time line (quite a feat as  you well know)? Well, the same guy has come up with a new infograph after last season, and it is a doozy! From Nathan the Nerd. Check it out.

Wibbly-Wobbly, Timey-Liney by nathanthenerd.deviantart.com

Webseries Update

So, I’ve run across a couple of new, and seemingly exciting Webseries, and I’ve been waiting for more episodes to hit the web before reviewing them in their entirety. But, then I thought, what they Heck, why deprive you from the beginning of seeing whether you enjoy these or not. I know, I know, like you need more help spending countless hours on the internets. You can thank me later. :D

I know I’ve mentioned them before, but you really should check out the Warehouse webisodes. They are quite fun and I like the animation of them, different than the actual television series (though similar to the gaming one). The second episode was really just filler, but I think they are cute. Plus WAREHOUE 13, FTW! Woot.

The Booth at the End started as a webseries, and then got made into a real Hulu series and the second season is now up on Hulu. It is a really interesting concept where this guy sits at a booth in a diner and these people come up to him and ask him to fix a problem and in return they have to do something for him. Usually it is something horrible or just odd and seems unrelated to their problem. But as the end of the first season showed, everything is connected. I’m interested to see who the waitress really is to the story.

Don’t forget about Geek DIY. I watched the first episode and it was quite entertaining, plus it looks like an awesome line up of guest stars. Wil Weaton makes dice, FTW. (OK, I’m over using that).

Vendors is an animated series about some retail workers set in the Star Wars universe. So far, quite funny. [via Topless Robot]


Nodds & Nends

Some more nerdy odds and ends for you, my peeps.

Check out RIASS’ Red Riding Hood retellings book suggestions. Some of these look a little too fabulous to words. If I wasn’t at my max with the library holds I would be picking up a few of these myself. But I’m making a conscientious effort to get through a significant portion of my tbr pile before adding to it.

I received an email from the creator of the webseries Shadazzle.  He writes, “Just wanted to suggest my webseries for review on your website! Not sure if it counts as particularly nerdy, it’s a comedy-drama… But I’m a total nerd and I made it, so, y’know :) ” Of course I had to check it out, and it is a quirky little (otherwise known as a quirkly- yes, I just accidentally wrote that instead) comedy drama about a couple who hires a maid to help with all the house cleaning as they make wedding preparations and sit on the couch reading magazines. While slightly amaturish and college production value, the characters are funny and it is always great to help out the nerds by checking out their productions. :D

But the best find on the internets this week? ZOMBIE PORTRAITS!!! You can send this artist your picture and he will create a zombie portrait from it, and they are awesome.  (via Book Chick City)

Felicia Day and Tom Lenk Make Music Together

Felicia Day (Eureka, Whedon Alum) and Tom Link (Andrew on Buffy the Vampire Slayer) perform a song together in tribute to Carrie Fisher. I’m not sure how more absurdly nerdly you can get than that. Their bit starts at 2:42. Felicia Day maybe plays the violin in a Jetsons’ spaceship. Maybe.

Also, when did Tom have time to steal Robert Pattinson’s hair?

The Broken Continent Webseries Kickstarter

In a bit of nepotism, but also because this looks really cool, a friend of mine is set to be a part of this hopeful new webseries called The Broken Continent. An epic fantasy adventure story, King Eadwyn Redway hopes to reunite the five pieces of Elyrion while squashing a civil war on his own land. His wife and son are kidnapped by The Daughters, unable to cope with the influx of refugees, who hope to quell the Kings quest.

Also my friend is in it. She will be working under the Fight Choreographer and if  you watch the Kickstarter video she shows up at 2:57 kicking butt and kneeing nuts. (Sorry, I had to.) Check it out and help the series get off the ground by pledging your support.

Arabel of the Ebon Spider; King Eadwyn Redway & Brenn, Daughter of Tairol. Photo by Roy Cox Photography (www.4-optic.com)

Unofficial Inspector Space Time Trailer

So the guy who plays Inspector Spacetime has put together an untitled webseries about a space traveler who also travels through time. What a lot of legal hoops. This play off of the former Community’s show Inspector Spacetime which was a take off of Doctor Who, will hopefully be as awesome as all of us nerds hope it is. ::Crossesfingers:: In the mean time enjoy the trailer. Remember it is not “who” but “when.” [via Topless Robot, Thanks to Sara for the tip!]

Nerdy Apparel for Women and Men

I wish these Avenger ballgowns were real. I’d totally wear Thor. [via]

One thing that I enjoy about TBBT (The Big Bang Theory) is that the characters wear the same clothes more than once. Nothing makes me roll my eyes more than dirt poor person on television constantly wearing new clothes. Right. So, realistic. Never is TBBT’s reuses of t-shirts more apparent, than with Sheldon. And you can check out all of his t-shirts here, and when he wore them. Unfortunately, these are all the t-shirts that have been discontinued. Boo.

Etsy seller Ally has a couple of awesome nerdy skirts, even a TARDIS one! Check out her etsy site. Or just sit back and admire my nerdy pick. [via]

For the mens, you too can wear a man with muscles and a hammer. I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist. Also, just think Captain Hammer from Joss Whedon’s Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-long Blog webseries and that joke becomes even funnier. (I know, having to explain jokes makes them less funny.)

The video below is PG-13. You have been warned.