Year Released: 2014
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 28 minutes
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Chris Esper’s A Guy Going Crazy is a web series about hapless filmmaker Felix (Rich Camp). Fresh off of two years of production on his first feature film, Felix is ready to move away from his friends and family to sunny Los Angeles, where fame and fortune awaits him. He’s thrown a curve, however, when his agent friend in LA informs him that he can’t help him out with his film anymore, and he’d be better off creating a web series instead. Oh, and he should get it done in the next four weeks.
That’s the setup from the pilot for the first season of A Guy Going Crazy, which is seven episodes of Felix getting distracted and discouraged by family and friends as he tries to meet his deadline. Throughout, Felix routinely breaks the fourth wall to talk directly to the camera, letting us know exactly how he feels about the insanity surrounding his life.
As like any series (television, web, or otherwise), some episodes are better than others; the quirkiness of the episode involving Quigley (Harold Ashton), for example, made me laugh more than the rest of the episodes combined. The beauty of a web series is that even if you dislike an episode, they tend to be over rather fast; the entire first season here comes in under thirty minutes.
Viewed as an entire season, I think there’s room for improvement. While individual moments are funny, the main joke that Felix is surrounded by people who seem to exist solely to derail his dreams wears thin fast. Lenny (Matt Zuena), for example, is the irresponsible, unreliable friend who only wants to party and… that’s as deep as he goes. Everyone else is likewise cardboard, and thus the series begins to feel like it’s spinning its wheels.
Moving forward, I think the series should consider developing characters beyond the obvious, and might want to up the ante as far as the absurdity goes (consider the comedic balance found in something like The IT Crowd). For me, that’s when it was at its best anyway (again, the Quigley episode is just odd, but it’s great). I like the overall tone, and I even like the exasperated Felix, but I need some narrative movement forward. Again, though, the entire season is really short, so even when it felt repetitious, it wasn’t there long enough to be awful.
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Posted on August 17, 2014 in Reviews by Mark Bell
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