Year Released: 2013
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 37 minutes
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Crowned is a webseries that follows the adventures of a select group of party entertainers. When Macie (Brianne Sanborn) finds herself miserable and unemployed, her friend Vianka (Veronica Mannion), who works as a children’s party princess, helps her land a job with the same company. After some comical training, Macie gets to experience the odd world of party princesses first-hand.
How odd? As the series shows, it depends on the household. Macie’s first party experience involves a kid who wants Macie to bring a loved one back from the dead with her princess powers, and another is a Ren Faire from Hell adventure that is more dangerous than it is entertaining.
Early on, the series utilizes a mockumentary concept; Vianka and Macie often address the camera to set the stage for what is to come. As the series rolls along, however, while the filming still has that documentary look to it, the other mockumentary aspects (like direct to camera interaction) seem to fall to the side, if not completely abandoned. So, if you’re thinking this is The Office or Modern Family with party princesses, it’s not.
It’s also not all cutesy and fun. Whoever decided to put Josh Bednarsky in old person makeup to play Crowned Entertainment owner, and party princess employer, Monty, as opposed to just casting an older gentleman, has created fuel for my nightmares. Considering the rest of the series works on the sometimes dark humor of the absurd scenarios our princesses find themselves in, this choice seems like a misstep. It makes things feel really creepy when usually they’re just really awkward.
Overall, though, it’s an entertaining series, and it ends on a bit of a cliffhanger setting up some potentially fun dynamics for next season. While I can’t say it’s a series I would seek out to watch otherwise, I do think it’s a fun one, and wonder what’s coming next. Despite its episodic format, there is actually a solid overall narrative developing, so it’ll be interesting to see, say over a three season arc, if this could stand as a feature film. As it stands now, the first season flows so well from episode to episode, it very well could be the first act of a feature.
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Posted on December 4, 2013 in Reviews by Mark Bell
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