Pick of the Week – November 9-15, 2015

In yesterday’s post about the television series Firefly, I noted that even now, thirteen years after the show’s cancellation, it is still a big part of many fan’s lives.  The same holds true for the actors as well.  They formed friendships on that show that last to this day, and it has also led them to attend science-fiction conventions, where they have seen just how devoted their fan base is.

This past Spring, Alan Tudyk, who played Wash on Firefly, started an Indiegogo campaign to fund a comedic web series about an actor who used to be in a short-lived but much-loved science fiction series who is now on the science fiction convention circuit.  The campaign earned over $3 million.

The resulting series, Con Man, recently premiered on Vimeo and is my Pick of the Week.  Admittedly, a lot of the comedy in the series is based on what I call discomfort humor.  Tudyk’s character, Wray Nerely, finds himself (and gets himself into) a lot of situations that are embarrassing and, well, uncomfortable.  Normally that is not my favorite type of humor.  I often call it “let’s torture the normal guy” comedy, but in the case of Con Man it is off-set by the ridiculousness of some of the scenarios and the fun parade of guest stars Tudyk, who also wrote and directed the series, managed to wrangle.

First and foremost is Nathan Fillion, who also served as co-producer on Con Man.  He plays Jack Moore, the lead on Wray’s former series, Spectrum, who has gone on to be a big movie star.  Fillion is in several episodes, and there are other appearances by a good portion of the Firefly cast along with many other actors from across the science-fiction, fantasy, and even video game genres.

Each of the thirteen episodes is between 10-15 minutes long, so getting through the whole season is not a huge time commitment.  It also keeps the show moving along at a brisk pace as it builds toward the end.  The last couple of episodes were my favorites of the run, and they feature some fairly impressive effects for a web series as we finally get a look at Spectrum.  

-Alan Decker

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