“There’s a type of guy in the world, the kind of guy who grew up with ideals and plans for his future. And this guy was not me.” That is how “Love and Comics” begins. This buddy comedy Web series follows three young men searching for love and happiness in New York City, begins.
The main character, Drew, drops out of college to pursue his dream of being a comic book writer and to find a girlfriend along the way. But his two best friends, Telly and Josh — who aren’t exactly there for moral support — don’t seem able to provide any good advice. Collectively, they try hard but mostly come up short in their endeavors.
The episodes are a blend of present-day interaction between friends and embellished scenes (sort of like comic books) that dramatize their challenges and troubles. In the first episode, we meet two best friends, Drew and Telly. Drew hangs out at the comic book shop, having a philosophical debate about the merits of DC Comics versus Marvel. It’s stereotypical comic-book-store banter, by decidedly un-stereotypical comic book fans. These guys are more urban hip than nerd chic. After picking up his latest issues, Drew heads over to Telly’s office, where Telly struggles to hold down a generic customer service job before launching into an “Office Space”-style tirade.
In the second episode, we are introduced to Josh, Drew’s other best friend and the womanizer of the group. As Drew and Telly complain, “It’s like there’s some universal rule that only douche bags get girls … like Josh,” “Love and Comics” flashes to a meathead in action, picking up a girl on the street by telling her she should dress less slutty.
The mix of reality and heightened reality is a potentially cool storytelling technique, but the lack of post-production work, however, makes the connection between the main characters of the series and the random people in the flashbacks difficult to establish during a first viewing. It isn’t exactly clear if they are introducing a new character or just part of an allegory. Where’s the “Wayne’s World” dream sequence intro when you need it?
What “Love and Comics” lacks in polish, it makes up for with authenticity. We all know guys like this. Some of them are our friends. Some of them are our friends that we prefer not to admit are our friends. Some of the best scenes in “Love and Comics” are the awkward moments between thick-headed guys that just can’t take a hint. “You’re just too available. You always text right back. You always call me back. It’s just so pathetic.”
The dialog is painfully honest, with a hint of “Curb Your Enthusiasm”-type discomfort for the audience. A few conversations between the men and women in the flashbacks are downright cringe-worthy. The characters aren’t the brightest; they aspire to be cool, but try too hard and ultimately fail. Their posse has similarities to the boys from “Entourage” with a dose of “The Big Bang Theory.”
“Love and Comics” makes it obvious, except to Drew, Telly and Josh, that men are still from Mars and women are from Venus, and no amount of scheming, planning, or manscaping is going to change that. “Bro, ‘Sex in the City’ is not a sitcom,” Josh explains to his dense friends. While the pace of the story is inconsistent, the writing is solid and the characters easy to relate to. Overall, “Love and Comics” is an enjoyable series. With a few tweaks and tightening of the editing, this Web series could find a fan base to love it back.
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