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AICN’s Wild World of Webseries debuts with looks at Brett Spiner’s FRESH HELL, Jeff Lewis’ 5 MINUTE COMEDY HOUR, and THE LEGEND OF NEIL!!!

Published at: June 29, 2011, 9:19 p.m. CST

@@@ AICN’s Wild World of Webseries! @@@

What the &^% is AICN’s Wild World of Webseries?
Ambush Bug here. My pal SJimbrowski loves webseries and when he approached to do a piece featuring some of them, I said “Aww, hellz yes!” Though not really comics book related, live action webseries is a huge niche in geek culture. Here are a few of Sjimbrowski’s favorites in a piece we’re calling the AICN’s Wild World of Webseries!


Brent Spiner’s FRESH HELL

Reviewer: SJimbrowski

Well who knew Data was so funny?

As a fan of STAR TREK TNG I was certainly intrigued to hear that Brent Spiner had a web series, what surprised me what just how funny it was. The series revolves around “The Incident” that leads to his fall from grace and becoming a social pariah. What I really appreciated was his willingness to make fun of himself, and more over the iconic characters he has played. The first five episodes create an arc as he searches for some sort of redemption (and possibly acting work). The story is a bit of the “actor out of work” trope that has been done before, but Spiner is just so damn good. Even if a series is a bit of retelling of past events, I thought it created unexpected comedic surprises that make it well worth my time.

The episodes are a good webseries format; short, well-edited and to the point. I felt like all the elements were there that I expected and wanted to see as Spiner slumps into the inevitable depression that comes with having no life after “The Incident”, but he always seems willing to try hard, despite in the first episode watching people on TV discuss “Pulling a Spiner.” Besides Spiner, FRESH HELL has a good cast, including Kat Steel, who plays the charming and not so bright actress/neighbor who doesn’t know who he is, but kindly asks him to read lines with her for her upcoming “scene”. If you are a fan of all things STAR TREK or just want to see something funny, Brent Spiner does a great job in FRESH HELL.

Check out the first episode below:






Jeff Lewis’ 5 MINUTE COMEDY HOUR

Reviewer: SJimbrowski

This was a 10 episode series released on youtube by Jeff Lewis who plays Vork in the popular web series THE GUILD. The humor in the series is definitely different than THE GUILD but is very funny in its own very unique way. First of all most of the episodes are NSFW, so make sure to watch at home. Some of them are work friendly, but Jeff seems to knack for talking a turn toward wrong and stepping on the gas.

A number of the episodes are made up of a simple setup where Jeff is having a conversation with someone else. These conversations tend to be a bit brilliant as you watch the scene deteriorate from uncomfortable to watch to a big fat WTF! This transformation is underlying through the entire series and shows the real strength of Jeff Lewis’s comedic talent. THE 5 MINUTE COMEDY HOUR has the feel of a marvelous car wreck that I can’t take my eyes off as I slowly pass. I always feel like he was trying to offend the viewer but in such a smart way, rather than simply relying on toilet humor (nothing wrong with toilet humor, however). Not all of the episodes are NSFW and I felt like he was doing more than just having inappropriate conversations for humor’s sake.

A few personal favorites include the “Date” co-staring the wonderful Felicia Day, where Jeff is able to encapsulate the powerful male anxiety of asking a woman out on a date. The non-sequiters he emotes while his nerves fray to point of breaking really make the scene. “I’m going to throw up everywhere” was a personal favorite.





Another good episode was “Drive-thru” where Jeff shows us what happens when you are stuck in the drive thru and the person behind the microphone decides to get really personal. It is kind of uncomfortable.





As with any webseries some are better than others, but I feel that Jeff is at his best when just in conversation with someone else. Not all the episodes are simply two people conversing and the series does try to create an arc of more ensemble pieces.


THE LEGEND OF NEIL: Seasons 1-3

Reviewer: SJimbrowski

This webseries is nothing if not irreverent and definitely, not safe for work. The series chronicles the adventures of Neil who finds himself inside a LEGEND OF ZELDA game. Neil/Link stumbles his way along swearing the whole way through Hyrule, and is met by characters from within the game. My personal favorite is Old Man, a mentor who is frankly just phoning it in (wonderfully played by Mike Rose). Old Man and Neil don’t really get along, but their jabs at one other makes the series really fun. Video game puns are a plenty and well done. It’s not unitl later on that Neil/Link figures out the concept of inventory.

If you are at all easily offended, don’t watch. There are entire streams of dialog where you say to yourself “did they just go there?” But you get used to it. The writer/director Sandeep Parikh seems to really want to offend and push the envelope with the series, which I think he accomplishes. The series is full of low brow toilet humor (which I love, so I found it very entertaining), but I did find the becoming a bit annoying after the first few times since it interrupted the flow of the series without letting the viewer digest the series on it’s own merits.

The second and third seasons of THE LEGEND OF NEIL become more ambitious with longer episodes and more story arcs. A few treats are a musical episode and even an OFFICE spoof where the villain Ganon as the idiot boss. We get to see more of the frustrated Neil/Link played by the co-writer Tony Janning as he just tries to escape the world of Zelda. We even get the origin story of the misery of his life prior involving a nasty bit of autoerotic asphyxiation that placed him in the game in the first place. Poor Neil, if you think his life sucks in the game, man, his real life is so much worse. Tony Janning really captures the exasperation of how much it would really suck to be in an 8 bit video game. He’s relatable and you really feel the suckage that is the life of Neil.

Neil/Link early on also meets the fairy played by the always lovely Felicia Day who plays a Zelda fairy you’re sure not to be used to at all. She’s a dirty, fouled mouthed fairy with issues who falls for Neil/Link and dogs him through out the series. You can almost see the joy in Day getting to play something so against type from her webseries THE GUILD. The Old Man is pretty tactless, but I gotta say, I think Day’s Fairy takes the cake for the most tasteless and inappropriate dialog for the whole series, and that is actually a really high bar to hurdle.

If you like the old 8 bit video games and inappropriate humor, this is really a good way to spend a couple of hours.





Look for more AICN COMICS BEYOND! Wild World of Webseries soon!

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