Jun. 9th, 2010

starlady: (dodge this)
Like a lot of awesome things, I heard about this TV series (12 episodes long) via [personal profile] coffeeandink's recommendation.

I don't even have a television tag, that is how little I actually watch television. This entry will be tagged comics, which, given that it was based on a comic book series (that was itself based on an unfilmed TV pilot) written by creator Javier Grillo-Marxuach, seems fitting.

Temporary worker and unreasonably attractive art school graduate Wendy Watson (Natalie Morales) lives in a shared illegal sublet with her best friend, fellow conceptual artist Lacey Thornfield III (Brit Morgan). After Wendy loses her latest temp job due to surviving an attack by an alien tentacled monster, she is recruited by the Jolly Fats Weehawkin Temporary Agency, the cover organization for The Middleman (Matt Keeslar) and his android assistant Ida, who fight evil so you don't have to. Wendy, not without justifiable concern, takes a job as The Middle-sidekick, aka The Middlegirl, aka The Middleman-in-training. Eventually she gets kung fu training, a SMRT car, and a hot boyfriend out of the deal, to say nothing of more ripped-from-the-comic-books adventures than you can shake a Comics Code Authority sticker at.

What a great show, seriously. It is laugh-outloud hilarious, and has multiple PoC cast members as well as a PoC lead (Matt Keeslar gets first billing, but it's clearly Morales' show). It's also ridiculously immersed in pop culture references, and very close to breaking the fourth wall in its cheeky awareness of its own comic-book-yness; in some ways it explodes comic books by taking them absolutely seriously. Wendy and the Middleman make an awesome team, and their friends are just awesome (though Brit Morgan looks disconcertingly like Kirsten Dunst and the guy who plays Pip looks scarily like RPatz). The series also knows how to make emotional development out of a running joke, which is pretty great. I can't decide which episodes were my favorite; probably the one that was an explicit hat-tip both to Titanic and to that X-Files episode in which Mulder got stuck on a luxury liner in a time warp in the Bermuda Triangle. Or maybe the series finale, which is an explicit shout-out to the TOS episode "Mirror, Mirror" as well as an ironic take on that genre of movies that includes Children of Men (which, if you watch the table read of the episode in the DVD bonus material, was explicitly cited in the script, natch).

I haven't yet heard//seen the table read of the unfilmed 13th episode at Comic-Con; though I will shortly. I do want to track down the graphic novel of that at some point. Really, the show is perfect as it is; and in some ways it was too good to last (and certainly not on ABC Family).

P.S. Terrifying factoid: Varsity Fan Club are, or were, an actual boy band.

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