Sunday, January 10, 2010

Vlog Star: Break-In

In season 3, I think we've been successful in making the show funnier, yet somehow in doing so we ended up spending a lot of the season back on the couch, which we'd tried to get away from in season 2. Go figure. Anyway, one of the reasons we allowed ourselves to do a bunch of couch episodes was that we had this story coming up, which we considered to be the big eventful arc, at least for this first half of the season.

This episode was conceived after I visited Romie's sister's house, where Romie was staying last year, and realized that access to such a gorgeous location was something we had to take advantage of. From there we ended up with Nate breaking into Todd's house, but we were still in the midst of season two at that point, so actually doing the episode was a long way off. During the intervening months, Romie moved out of the house and his sister put the home on the market, so getting the shoot done became more urgent.

To make it worth Romie's while, we threw in a cameo where he would get to kiss a dude. You're welcome, Romie.

This episode also makes use of fake blood for the second time this season. Watching it, I wish we had used more. I just finished watching season 5 of Lost, and every time someone gets punched on that show, their face is completely covered in blood a moment later. That's what this should have looked like, especially the way Nate gets beaten into the ground. But when we were in the location, even what we had seemed risky. Shooting in someone else's spotlessly clean and expensive house, full of white carpet and white furniture, made us constantly fearful of staining anything, since anything I touched would have turned red. I think we made it out without ruining anything, though. It's ironic that we planned our messiest scene for our cleanest, most untouchable location.

Editing this episode, I began to wonder whether we were leaning too hard on punching Nate for comedy, but two comments have gushed over the hilarious violence in this episode. That's two more than we usually get, so fortunately, our audience agrees with me that people getting punched is funny.

I've been bleeping the F-bombs in the show since season 2, since I think it is funnier, the way the bleeped expletives were funny on Arrested Development -- you know what they are anyway, yet it's somehow more acceptable. But Bryan Burgess, who plays a violent wild man better than anyone, will take any expletives you have in the script and multiply them exponentially, so I figured it was futile here. He swears funnier than I do anyway. I always feel like my swears sound too self-conscious. This episode also features Ken Peterson as another manager, Kent. As the name suggests, the part was written with him in mind, and his performance proves he was the right choice. He doesn't get much more here than some understated reactions and a handful of straight lines, but he nails every one of them and manages to be hilarious while seemingly doing nothing.

There's so much going on in this one, the joke of Nate tearing Alexa's shirt off to bandage his hand is almost lost in the shuffle. Don't forget to notice it!

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