555 Review: Greed, Jealousy, and Doomed Ambition in Nightmare Hollywood

Anyone who puts their work in the public eye — whether it’s writers, actors, musicians or directors — is torn between one main motivation and one main fear:

On one side, there’s the overwhelming desire to take the risk to show your work to other people. Go to an audition, pitch an article, send out demo tapes.

At the same time, there’s the crippling fear that you’re not worth anyone’s time. The fear you’re doomed to fail, living in perpetual obscurity, always looking for the one big break.

There’s no better setting to encapsulate this duality than Hollywood — the grim stage for nightmarish, disastrous satire like Mulholland Drive, Sunset Boulevard, Maps to the Stars, and now 555.…   [continue reading]

Tim and Eric

tim-and-eric-awesome-show-great-job

In many ways American comedy has always lagged behind the British when it comes to pushing the medium forward.  I needn’t even give examples to prove my point, considering the ubiquity of influential British comedy.  Indeed, even the subversive duo of Tim and Eric (who I choose to spotlight today) have much in common with Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer – not even mentioning the clear parallels between their work on Check it Out with Dr. Steve Brule and the output of Chris Morris (particularly The Day Today and Brass Eye).  The Americans however, despite the obvious lines of influence that can be drawn, tend to take different spins on our attempts.  …   [continue reading]