September 9, 2008

YouTube Review: The [title of show] Show – Episode 6

Filed under: Reviews — Tags: , , , , , , , , — rebeccaprowler @ 9:44 pm

The first thing that comes to mind when I watch this video is how much prior knowledge is necessary to understand the humor and what is going on. Since this video is about a Broadway show, the viewer must understand a bit about that industry with regards to the “tossability board,” “Antoinette Perry Awards” as opposed to just the “Tony Awards, etc. Most of the actors and actresses who make cameos can only be seen on Broadway, so few of them would be recognizable to people who only watch movies or TV. However, there is some broader knowledge, such as the “writer’s strike” (or streak, in Hunter’s case.) Even a knowledge of viral videos and internet fads is necessary to see the humor in the “leave Larry Pressgrove alone” section, a play off of the “leave Britney alone” video.

This video is edited like a normal TV show would be set up. There is a “last time on,” a teaser, opening credits, several scenes, closing credits, and a final teaser. However, it doesn’t look like a show that you would watch on television, it’s a bit more rough around the edges. The video is shot in someone’s apartment and the actors are wearing normal clothes, not costumes. The color schemes are not particularly interesting except for the tshirts that Hunter and Jeff are wearing; they’re very bright and a sharp contrast to the neutral background. There isn’t very much obvious symmetry; the whole video looks unplanned. The dialogue comes off as very unscripted, but there is a clear plot. It looks homemade, but it’s still well thought out and put together. At the end when a camera shoots the entire scene, the viewer can see that there are lights and a camera crew set up. The video may not be as low-budget as we’ve been thinking, but then you can also see that the actors simply jump out of the frame instead of using some high tech special effects.

Some of the gimmicks come off as obvious. When the camera zooms in on one of the actors, you can guess what is coming next… a new actor is going to appear on screen! This gets old quickly, but it is still exciting to the viewer to see which actor it will be.

The video manages to do a good job making fun of itself and other cultural cliches. The show is interrupted several times for “news bulletins,” and no viral video is ever complete without a “zombie scene.” My favorite part is the roughly filmed “Hunter’s Chart of Jeff’s Charts.” The “important message” is written on a sheet of paper and torn up post it notes are used for the chart, as opposed to the uber-organized tossability board.

The ending is just perfect. The final scene gives the main actors a chance to explain themselves and also concludes the story. I’m not sure what the jingle at the end is, but I’m assuming that it’s from the show that David Hyde Pierce starred in, Fraiser.



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