Down the Ballot

Sunday, March 25, 2012

GSY Review: Fresh Hell

Fresh Hell is fresh fun. It is a internet based show that doesn't have commercials or sponsors. Creators: Brent Spiner, Chris Ellis, and Harry Hannigan have put together a nice little story centered around a fictional faux pas committed by lead star Brent Spiner. Little is known to the audience about what exactly Brent said or did, but it was bad enough that he became a social pariah and toxic associate that he can't find work and make a living. Now he must start from the bottom and work his way back to the middle or wherever Brent started at.

There is a lot of good humor in the first season. Karen Austin shows up to be his psychic agent. Season 2 just started and Brent is trying to find 300 dollars to pay for a space rental to teach acting lessons to a group of adult film stars. To do this, he must borrow money from his old friend Levar Burton, who in the fictional world of the show is getting tired of Brent borrowing money. Brent having been kicked out of the Star Trek convention circuit after his 'incident'.

Here is episode 2 of Season 2 from Fresh Hell:
The series has a Curb Your Enthusiasm vibe to it in format of storytelling. Brent and some of the people he interacts with are playing fictional versions of themselves. Other characters, like Dakota, are completely fictional. The humor is just as edgy as something you'd see on cable television. Another cool aspect of the show is that it is run on donations of the cast and crew. Time is a valuable commodity in Hollywood, as it is in most places, and these folks clearly love the project they are working on to put this much time into the episode production.

Trekkers are always very supportive of Trek alumni so I'm positive there will be a audience base for Brent and company. The Hollywood industry professionals should also be tuning in to see the struggles of a talent fallen from grace attempt to redeem himself. As long as it is funny and insightful, viewers of all backgrounds and persuasions ought to have something to watch. Will Brent get his act together? We'll just have to keep tuning in to find out.

Season 1 is five episodes long and Season 2 is just starting. There is an online store where you can buy a poster and a shirt. A forum exists where you can interact with other fans of the show. Online shows like this are becoming more and more popular with the public. As everything becomes digital traditional formats are going to need to start figuring out how to change with the cultural viewing habits of viewers. These folks are probably on the right track.
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