“How am I a werewolf?! Two weeks ago I got bit by a Labradoodle! A Labradoodle! Have you ever… have you ever SEEN a Labradoodle!?!” ~WALTER KAPINSKI (Craig Simmons), explaining to Officers Baker and Malloy that he’s a werewolf, and the reason for his neighbor’s noise complaints regarding “a howling dog”.
Today’s New Release: MIDTOWN: THE WEBSERIES (SEASON 1)
Starring a former NYPD cop and a graduate from L.A.’s famed I.O. West! improv training program (as are Tina Fey, Andy Dick, Chris Farley, Tim Meadows and Amy Poehler), here we have a webseries that’s a little RENO-911 and CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM, mixed with SUPER TROOPERS. A huge hit at the 16th Annual L.A. Comedy Festival in 2014, this 6-episode first season of MIDTOWN is now available on BIGSTAR, and features the comic stylings of Scott Baker and Tom Malloy. These two go about their day one coffee at a time, as each episode starts with their morning patrol car banter. Whether discussing what one’s favorite soft drink tells about a person’s personality, why playing-partners in the state lotto is so crucial, or even why superheroes have dealt with such anti-Semitism since the Holocaust (ww..wait, what??), Baker and Malloy have a natural chemistry that’s quite hard to ignore. Baker even shares some facial features with CURB’s Larry David, which makes viewing almost whimsical, in a way. Myself being a graduate of I.O. West! back in 2005, I can tell what works in this concept, and what doesn’t (at certain times). What doesn’t is in certain scenes, where characters seem to come out of the woodwork to add to an established conflict, i.e., episode 4′s apartment scenario with Walter the “werewolf,” where one-by-one, neighbors and such barge into the shot to add some exposition. This scene, which has its roots in long-form improv, a.k.a. “The Harold,” unfortunately comes across jumbled and dissonant, and is a good example of why a lot of the times improv isn’t as funny as it should/could be. This isn’t a stab at anyone’s talent, per se, just their timing, since it’s understood this whole series is mostly improv. Man, but what works, is our two leads! In the following scene after the fiasco at Walter’s apartment, Baker and Malloy get gabby over Broadway musicals, which segues into a discussion of Sondheim’s WEST SIDE STORY, with Malloy quipping, “What’s amazing to me is that they yell OUT; the guy sings ‘MARIA’, and only ONE girl turns around. That’s amazing to me. Spanish Harlem.”
We haven’t reviewed a series in awhile here, but I’m happy to tell you that this one is worth viewing! This goes along with I ROCK, DOUBLE FIST and THE LIBRARIANS in regards to a BIGSTAR episodic comedy series that’ll have you rolling. Yes, it’s true that police/civilian relations in post 9-11 America are at a record low due to recent current events. Though watching a mere show won’t change everything, it’ll put a pep-in-your-step, with hopes that all cops could be as cool and hilarious as these two!
Directed by Dan Schiffmacher & Jason Torres
Starring: Scott Baker, Tom Malloy, Derrick Belkin, Lexi Delarosa, Craig Simmons, Steve Spindler
Tagline: Two Cops… Who NEVER Shut Up