Saturday, July 16, 2011

Anomaly of "Ain't That Life?"

My name is Anne, I love discovering new ways of making art using the internet, and I am an Anomaly.

As an member of the webseries community and the creator of two shows (O-Cast, This Is Art), I'm constantly on the hunt for new media entertainment. In the past few months I've been attending regular meetings of the New York Webseries community and I've stumbled up on some inspiring creators and some great new content.

"Ain't That Life" is a new webseries written, directed, and produced by Joseph Amiel. The show's site not only features the webseries but seeks to "celebrate life and its relationships." It includes dating tips, dating forums, a character blog, and mystery book spotlights. Here's a description of the series:
Harold Bregman, our hero is in therapy, and it’s a good thing to. He loses his job, discovers his girlfriend in bed with the cleaning woman, is implicated by the police in his girlfriend’s disappearance, and becomes smitten with a beautiful shopping-addicted nymphomaniac, while also being eyed by his gorgeous former executive assistant.
I was lucky enough to preview the first three episodes of the show. This series immediately stands out for bravely stepping away from the "g33k" niche that typically takes a webseries to another level when it comes to a rapidly expanding viewer base. The main character, Harold, is delectably pitiable and played with great charm by Trey Gibbons. Another strength of the show are the site gags that run throughout each episode. It makes for a very layered viewing experience, especially for a webseries because every frame counts in this short form.

My only problem with the show is how it portrays of women. The actresses all do lovely jobs in their roles, but I find it interesting that three of the female characters are sex crazed young women. The first is Mandy (played by Ami Ankin), a shopaholic nymphomaniac that is constantly interrupting Harold's therapy sessions. The other is his disinterested girlfriend, Allyson (played by Azzizah Hayes Rowen) who allows her sexual acts to be viewed by onlookers outside her apartment window for cash. To top it off, the third is Allyson's cleaning lady who is engaging in these sexual acts with her employer. I'm intrigued to find out more about Harold's former executive assistant, Carrie (Heather Corrigan). She makes a brief appearance in the episodes I've viewed so far, but I'm assuming she'll have a larger role in episodes to come based on the description of the series. All of this makes a great foil for Harold and is very entertaining, but on the whole I found myself wishing their was one lady in the series that I could latch onto and cheer for.

Then again, Harold's cynical therapist is good for a few laughs, especially when the camera reveals that she's not even taking notes on her hopeless client's sessions. In fact, one could argue that we are seeing all of this from her point of view as we listen to Harold whine about his disintegrating life.

To Amiel's credit, Harold doesn't exactly seem like a moral pillar either as the show goes on. Harold's motives and actions become more questionable and entertaining with each episode as the series progresses. Perhaps this is a world where no one has the moral high ground. In fact, maybe that's the point. Only time will tell!

All in all, I think this show is something special and I'm interested to see how all the characters develop. There's definitely room for growth, but it has my attention. Check out the first episode and let me know what you guys think.

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