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Played Out - Tommy Wi-Show

I have another confession to make: One reason I haven't been so prevalent around here of late is because I'm torn over the role of pop culture in my life. Now don't get me wrong: The Blogulator still provides a valuable -- nay, essential -- service within a social spectrum in which media has become so reflexive that even the most amazing bloggers are stuck using Foo Fighters lyrics to introduce their feelings. I'm no neo-Luddite. I'm simply concerned that life is passing me by while I watch old Star Trek episodes.

That said, I've really enjoyed what I've seen so far of a web-series in which The Room guru Tommy Wiseau plays video games.

On the surface it seems like the exact brand of self-consumptive garbage I wouldn't want to introduce to my palette right now. A guy who's famous for making an atrocious movie playing popular video games? It sounds like too much. However, I'm here to attest that it kind of works, in fact, because it's not really much at all.

The concept is basically Mystery Science Theater, with short vignettes that bookend the episodes explaining that an alien has capture "T W" for the purpose of making him play these games. So far, this frame story is refreshingly cheesy, thanks to the star's iconic "acting" style and a distinct absence of memes. Audiences don't need a history lesson in cheese to enjoy the ham, making it that special kind of humor that only goes stale when the fridge is broken.

High marks go to the creative team behind this show, who I feel have a good grasp on minimalist production. The series is by no means under-produced; it's very easy to see and hear and follow the action, even in a small youtube window. What I mean is it avoids the pitfalls of trying too hard to be something that it isn't, aka a "real show." Real shows struggle with formulas and time-fillers, whereas The Tommy Wi-Show can simply be what it is - 6 minutes of watching an idiot act stupid and play games.

Regarding the idiot, it's another testament to the producers that they can extract entertainment from a man whose fame is almost definitely beyond his ability. The Room is amazing for what it is, sure, but Tommy Wiseau is so incapable and, as evidenced in these videos, so unaware of basic sentence structure, that the editors really have to monitor how much they reveal of their mentally-deficient star. I can't help but laugh when Wiseau runs his game character into the same wall over and over again because I think the man is sane enough and, you know, modern controllers do have a lot of buttons; but I'm not gonna keep smiling if I ever start to worry that the freak is in a cage.

For what it is right now, though, I can't help but recommend the simple, stupid, and sufficiently self-contained Tommy Wi-Show.

And now I'm off to live free of these media boundaries! To the city! For the Yellowcard concert!

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