Gamers are used to thinking up challenges and tasks, constructing narratives and tormenting everyone around them for their own ends. Especially if that end is mere enjoyment. So what can they become when they put down the dice and minis. Why creators of a reality T.V series of course.
From Dead Gentlemen productions comes a twenty part series that shows life inside a ‘Real World’/’Big Brother’ esque house and out. We watch and get to know the stars and the crew as they all work toward that final episode and one million dollar prize money. The main thing with this is that the show was apparently an extension of their improv shows with the whole thing being an unscripted “experiment”. This kind of explains a lot.
The start is fairly typical with us being introduced to the house mates through the confessional room camera while the producers talk smack to the screen. Meet Joe the ad executive with a drinking problem. Wendell the systems analyst who wants people to see him as a hard core rapper. We have Salem the crystal waving hippy or Evey the vegan with a superiority complex, bet you’ve never seen one of them before. But we shouldn’t criticise because she at least thought up a character unlike Tom the twenty year old programmer who kind of just sits in the corner of half the shots looking slightly lost.
I think all his character could have been swiped however by Bob the mystery man; to the house who apparently killed someone’s cat. Or maybe Tom was trying to avoid Bobs biggest mistake of apparently using all his material up early on and thus leaving with no rhyme or reason ever offered for his part in the whole affair. See making stuff up is fairly easy at least compared to the end which can be a bugger to master even when you know where you’re going but when you’re making things up as you go it can be real tricky indeed. As seen by Bob and as seen unfortunately by ‘House Rulez’.
For about the first half the series the show is focused on the house mates going about their lives, doing their dumb tasks all trying to find something to do. Occasionally we cut to the producers reacting to people stealing rooms or getting sprayed with a hose while building a sand castle but all of the drama and tension is inside the house. Unfortunately all of the drama and tension, otherwise known as Evey leaves over a pint of gravy and the show seems to flap about a bit before switching over to the execs, the premise the show is sold upon. Now that the house mates are on fairly good terms and pretty united the story switches to the tension in the writers room.
See while I appreciate that the whole thing was made up on the fly I wish they hadn’t edited it as such nor apparently been afraid to go back and re-shoot or cut people even if they are friends ad family. By the end I can’t help but feel like we could have lost a few episodes here and there and perhaps once they had figured out their grand ending we could have gone back and worked in some lead ups to it. But then it wouldn’t have been an improv show then would it?
There is some good stuff here but it’s hard to tell if some of the work got lost in delivery or over ridden as they tried to tie this all up by the end. For instance there is computer whiz Wendell who puts on the persona of 3pac an up and coming rapper but seems to alternatively flip flop on drifting out of character or drifting too far into, either of which could have been good but neither are seen through. The budding relationship between Joe and Erika which like Joes alcohol problem comes out of nowhere and then either people realise isn’t going anywhere or got over ruled by somebody who might not necessarily have a better idea but can sure shout louder.
They say the word of the week is slow burn and that sure is the case. I mean I get that these early few bits might have helped them figure out their characters and who they felt they could bounce well off but it doesn’t mean we had to see it. This is defiantly one of those cases where you have to add “it gets better later” to everyone who you recommend it to and that’s a shame as there is some real talent here and I get the feeling if they’d run this as some ‘one night’ stage event then it would have gone down a lot better. As it is its okay.
Don’t believe me, check it out here.