As I publish this column tonight, the cast and crew of LUNCH BREAK have gathered together at an undisclosed location in order to view their disgusting new series together, for the first time. No doubt they're wallowing in the gratuitous raunch they've created, even as you read this. Well! I hope they're proud of themselves.
Because they should be. Billed as "the raunchiest good time in the office," LUNCH BREAK is officially my inaugural Give-A-Shit Pick (GASP). With so much content out there, the one question I'm confronted with most often when championing this or that brilliant, groundbreaking, or just really, really fun Indie is, "why should I give a shit?" Well, that's what this column is all about, truth be told. Yes, the 'Nets are overcrowded. But that doesn't make the small slate of superlative series any less awesome, and remember, there's a bonus: when you watch an Indie, you're looking at the future of entertainment media.
But if I had to choose just one Indie-world event from the upcoming week to give-a-shit about, and tell all of you to give-a-shit about, this week it would be the launch of the raunch in the Swisher Bros. new serial LUNCH BREAK. Aiming to introduce BREAKING BAD to OFFICE SPACE, and starring Frank Mosley (The Other Side of Paradise), Spencer Harlan (THROWING STONES), Arianne Martin (Drive Angry), Lynn Andrews (THROWING STONES), Alisha Revel (The Ghost of Goodnight Lane), and Farah White (THE LYING GAME), the comedy premieres Monday on Koldcast TV. This is exciting to me.
But wait; there's more. There's an interesting little twist that made me stop and think, GASP! The series airs another episode on Tuesday. And another on Wednesday and, just when you thought there was method in it, there will be two new episodes on Thursday.
LUNCH BREAK takes place during the eponymous interlude at a nondescript office, over the course of a week, and the schedule is designed to let the audience live it right alongside the characters. Right now I think that's a kick-ass idea. Meet me back here in a week and we'll see if I've changed my mind!
GOOD HAIR PAY
Good news from the set of MISS BEHAVE - in fact, good news for all of us rooting for corporate sponsors to "discover" the enormous value (and unlimited potential) of partnering with a smartly-selected Indie. We hear that all three final episodes of the beguiling teen drama had their full budget secured by landing a single, clever brand sponsorship.
MISS BEHAVE just shot their ending over Memorial Day weekend, and the premiere is scheduled for early summer; the trailer debuts June 24. The arc will feature the on-screen web television debut of (drumroll please): Behave Hair Styling Spray. A perfect match! After all, as they say, a good girl doesn't have to behave – but her hair should.
“Behave Hair Products is very excited to be able to participate and work alongside avant garde producers Susan Bernhardt and Jillian Clare with MISS BEHAVE” said Shawn Hartshorn, President, in a press release. “This multi-award winning web series has proven to be a hit over the past couple of years, and we are very glad to have been given the opportunity to support entrepreneurs in the industry.”
I wonder who's going to be using the Behave spray on-screen- and how? When it comes to product placement, I say, the more creative, the better. Am I right? Several daytime faces, including ex-DAYS OF OUR LIVES stars (and Indie Soap Award darlings) Jillian Clare and Patrika Darbo will star. Also look for current DAYS cast member Eric Martsolf along with Brett DelBuono (LET ME IN), Michael Bolten (FLIPPED) and Terri Garber (AS THE WORLD TURNS). Find Behave Hair Styling Spray here.
STOP BEATING YOURSELF UP
After fending off worthy challenges from Indie Soap Award winners Michael Myracle and Barry Dodd at this year's awards gala, Anthony Anderson (showrunner, ANACOSTIA) still carries the mantle of best ISA acceptance speech, ever. It was passionate, inspirational and touching. And, he cried. Until this week, I was sure it was his spiritual connection to Indie Soap muses that opened those floodgates...
But what if he was just in pain? Physical pain!
I've learned (from very reliable sources) that Mr. Anderson's commitment to his series is so strong he sometimes injures himself - and just keeps on shooting. Like the maniacal albino priest from The Da Vinci Code, his overwhelming passion sometimes leads to self-inflicted welts and bruises? And is it true that a female ANACOSTIA talent accidentally put herself in the hospital while shooting an as-of-yet unaired episode? Good God, ANACOSTIA, is there anything you all won't do to bring us The Drama?
All kidding aside, as much as I admire the dedication and drive (and can you say, "fierceness"?) of the cast of ANACOSTIA, and (especially) Mr. Anderson, I implore you all to please: be careful! Take care of yourselves. ANACOSTIA belongs on TV, but not necessarily on FOX's FUEL TV. The Indie Soap world cannot afford to lose any of you. Get well soon!
Some bullets on the Indie scene this week. . .
- Emmy-nominee (and ISA winner) THE BAY drew some steamy attention this week with a violently sexual scene between ISA winner Kristos Andrews (The Southside) and Fiona Hutchison (GUIDING LIGHT; ONE LIFE TO LIVE); perhaps the showrunner, ISA winner Gregori J. Martin, is angling for an AVN Award next?
- NIGHTS IN ULTRAVIOLET is almost ready to wrap up its first season (10 episodes, "TWIN PEAKS meets SEINFELD"), marking an intriguing foray into the Indie space by dozens of New Yorkers steeped in the culture of the Upright Citizens Brigade...
- Right after making a splash with their Greg Louganis announcment, OLD DOGS & NEW TRICKS has announced that actor, author and gay activist Michael Kearns will guest, playing a figure from Damian John’s (Ryland Shelton) past - and a catalyst for the season-two cliffhanger!
- The charming Adam Goldman (showrunner of gay geek fave THE OUTS) has taken the welcome (but unusual) step of publicly inviting everyone in the Indie community to crash his set in Brooklyn - to recommend a band, offer feedback, or talk about the future of the project - and I think I may just take him up on that!
- Louisiana's SUBROSAN continues to intrigue me with synopses like, "The Alchemist finds a weak link and moves against the Mayans" and their king size, half-hour episodes...
- Bald, beefcake showrunner (and ISA winner) Steve Silverman is currently in the throes of pre-production on his next opus, THE INN, featuring the statuesque and hilarious ISA winner, Emma Caulfield - catch the spankin' new promo exclusively at GeekNation!
BIGGER, LONGER, UNCUT
Loosen up and admit it, you love a happy ending. And have I got a doozy. HUSTLING is expanding!
With 16 days still left to fund-raise, ISA winner (and showrunner) Sebastian La Cause announced that he had reached his fundraising goal for Season Two. But the fans kept coming! And giving! And as of today, they've topped the original funding target by more than 30% - and we still have a few days left.
HUSTLING is in many ways a typical, successful Indie. It tells a compelling story that has universal appeal (the struggle to be a better version of yourself, especially when others can't see past your past), but it's set within a rarified culture that is NSFW and too raw for TV. It features tremendous talent (Oh how I pray for more of Daphne Rubin-Vegas' Rosa!) and addictive storytelling brought together by an ingeniously hardscrabble production, and it's won some awards. But the hard fact remains that, too often, strong series just like HUSTLING barely manage to limp past the crowdfunding finish line.
The secret to HUSTLING's success? I think it was the exemplary use of incentives and social media throughout their kickstarter campaign. That's how Mr. La Cause actually succeeded in making giving away our money, fun. Now that's a nice trick.
Word is, that the plan, now, is to pump even more content into an even larger fan base than originally planned for Season 2. I, for one, can't wait. Congratulations to everyone at HUSTLING on a job well done!
Do you have an item for Kevin's Indie House? Please email me!