DVD & BLU-RAY
Backwash Review: Online Series Premiere
Author: Steve West
published: 2010-11-13 22:58:18
Joss Whedon’s Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog proved that there can be a market for online produced entertainment with a higher production level. We’re not talking YouTube users doing a few minutes of puns about current affairs. Knowing this I was slightly excited to see what Backwash was all about. The premise is simple, which I like, and the jokes are zany…which I also like.
Told in webisodes of about 7 minutes apiece, Backwash is the story of three seeming losers who inadvertently steal $100k from a bank using meat in a sock. “You know, like in that movie Alive.” I’ll leave you to think about, and then realize, what the phrase “meat in a sock” is referring to. You back with me? Excellent. Did you laugh? You’re twisted, and you’ll love this new series.
The main storyline that we follow is of Val (Joshua Malina), Jonesy (Michael Panes) and Fleming (Michael Ian Black). The comedy tone of the show is a little irreverent and surreal. It’s almost a throwback to the old style slapstick comedies. In the first episode there’s a point where Val slaps Jonesy, does it again for no reason, and when asked why, he explains things are funnier in threes. Val slaps Jonesy again, and then hits him with a hammer because surprises are even funnier. It sounds silly, but the whole thing works fairly well. Although not all the jokes work, the majority hit their intended mark.
The intros and outros to each episode by celebrity guests are often exponentionally funnier than the rest of the series. In fact the funniest thing in the entire first handful of episodes I’ve seen is Jon Hamm’s last act before the premiere ends. Allison Janney insisting on the viewer maybe wanting to rent St. Elmo’s Fire also tickles the ol’ funny bone.
Backwash will premiere Monday, November 15, on Crackle.com with the first three episodes. After that the rest will air Monday’s and Wednesday’s through December 10. Crackle, for those who are unaware such a site exists, is Sony’s version of Hulu. Except they also produce original short form productions along with making Sony’s library of past films and TV series’ available.
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