TV: It Could Be Worse (2013)

icbw-season-finalecreators: Mitchell Jarvis & Wesley Taylor
language: English
length: 15 episodes about 6-10 minutes each (total 110 minutes)
mostly watched on: 22 June 2013

This was another gay-themed webseries set in New York that I discovered recently. They seem to be getting more and more popular recently. I think I either watched all the episodes on the same day or the first two or three one day and then the rest the next day, because they were all very short.

The plots of each episode tended to be quite simple, without much resolution in each one. The first episode exemplifies the title, “It Could Be Worse”, as the character’s situation steadily gets worse throughout the episode – I think he has to put up with his whiny, clingy boyfriend, and then finds out he has syphilis (a diagnosis which, as far as I can tell, was forgotten about for the rest of the series and was just played for laughs). Throughout the series, he’s established as a pushover and unable to express what he actually wants for himself. He’s very much one of those characters who I just wanted to shake sense into.

He is also an actor, and much of the series surrounds his life in the acting business – one which I’m not personally aware of much about, and one that I always feel is a little bit self-congratulatory when it is dealt with in media. So a lot of the series turned out to be uninteresting in that respect.

Many of the situations were somehow hyperreal, and this contrasted rather badly with the main character and his gay friends, who seemed like they could easily be real. For instance, there’s a drug-addicted agent who feels like a copy of the boss characters in “The IT Crowd”, and in one episode he gets fired for being drug-addicted – the main character, by this point well-established as a pushover, lets him stay at his apartment, at which point he sets up an office and starts giving yoga classes.

There’s an older diva actress who is the main part in the play that some of the story concerns. She’s likewise hyperreal and full of herself. Her husband looks exactly like Kevin Spacey, to the point where I was very surprised that it wasn’t actually him. His role in the story seems to just be “creepy”.

I didn’t know sometimes how much of the story was supposed to be comedy, to be honest, especially with regards to the actress and her husband. As I said, many of the episodes didn’t really have a proper ending, except just to lead into the next episode, and they sometimes felt non-sequitur. I’m quite glad that more of these series are popping up with gay main characters, so let’s have more of these, please, but perhaps let’s have characters who aren’t actors (or hipsters), because that’s unimaginative and uninteresting unless you’re also an actor.


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