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Summary:

Where to begin with The C-Spot, a new “multiplatform comedy channel” distributed by Sony Pictures? Let’s set aside the fact that the online comedy space is already overcrowded. The biggest problem for this new comedy “platform” is that the “C” seems to stand for “cliché.” The […]

Where to begin with The C-Spot, a new “multiplatform comedy channel” distributed by Sony Pictures? Let’s set aside the fact that the online comedy space is already overcrowded. The biggest problem for this new comedy “platform” is that the “C” seems to stand for “cliché.”

The C-Spot is a collection of short-form comedy series created by Sony and distributed through Crackle (which Sony owns), YouTube, AOL, Hulu, Verizon Wireless and Internet-connected Sony Bravia TVs. There are five shows in the package, four of which are new.

But let’s start with the name, “The C-Spot.” Oh, I get it. It’s a play on G-spot. You know, because it’s edgy. Yawn. Trust me: It doesn’t get any better from there.

Hot Hot Los Angeles is a spoof on Hollywood culture featuring good-looking guys and hot women doing deals and stabbing each other in the back. It’s trying to be a clever take on the steamy nighttime soaps, but it just falls flat and seems like it was created principally as a vehicle for the main character to take his shirt off.

I had high hopes for The Writers Room, as it stars TV’s Frank from Mystery Science Theater 3000, but those hopes crashed like the satellite of love. The Writers Room “stars” comedian Kevin Pollak as the rude host of a late-night talk show who berates his writing staff, but so far Pollak only appears via speakerphone (it probably cost too much to have him in person). It feels like it’s trying to be a mix between The Larry Sanders Show via The Office, and failing miserably to be even a bit of either.

Then there’s Gaytown, featuring comedian Owen Benjamin as the only straight man in a town that’s, well, gay. The show just moves from one stereotype to the next, never delivering anything insightful (or funny).

Of all the shows in The C-Spot, The Roadents was the best. It’s an animated bit about two guinea pigs driving a Winnebago. The animation is top-notch and the voice acting is excellent. The jokes are a little stale, but the delivery more than makes up for it.

And finally there is the Gorgeous Tiny Chicken Machine Show, which The C-Spot press release claims pulled in a total of two million views in 2007 for its first two episodes alone. It’s a play on wacky Japanese TV, complete with perky host Kiko (played by Kim Evey, who produces The Guild) who “bewilders and abuses her guests.” The show is well-produced, but between reruns of Ninja Warrior on G4 and Lost in Translation — the latter being referenced in the press release — I just feel like I’ve seen it before.

While the C-Spot doesn’t fall prey to all top web series cliches, there’s enough of them in here to make you look elsewhere, and to realize just how hard it is to create a truly funny web show.

  1. Chris – so what are your favorite comedy / sitcoms on the Web? You seem to be really down on this genre lately! We’ve been curating a group-based list – feel free to add your favs or chime in:

    http://www.mefeedia.com/channels/comedy/

    http://www.mefeedia.com/channels/sitcoms/

    -Frank

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  2. Chris Albrecht Monday, March 31, 2008

    Hey Frank,

    I just have high expectations. Is that so wrong?

    In the online comedy space right now I’m a big fan of “You Suck at Photoshop.” It’s clever, well-done and something I hadn’t seen before.

    I’m also impressed with the Meth Minute 39 — that show is consistently funny.

    “The Guild” is good. “2/8 Life” had its moments.

    Some of “Dorm Life” made me laugh out loud.

    “Cockpit” and “Gilf” over at 60Frames had some funny bits as well.

    And you’ll note that I did like “The Roadents” in this rundown.

    Which comedies are you watching?

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  3. Ah, more wisdom from another hipster blogger. How do I know he’s hip? Just check the glasses in the image above. Obviously HE must know what’s good. Right?

    Cockipt? Gilf? You trash the above shows and embrace the generic crap being offered by the pathetic 60 Frames. You also seemed to say kinder things about Squeegees, which is essentially equal to a mid-season replacement on Fox when it comes to wit and originality.

    To your credit, it sounds like you had a nice time trying to come up with some clever things to say about these shows. A self-applied back pat is certainly in order. But the shows themselves are actually much more interesting and funny than anything that another generic blogger dribbles out during a moment of self-importance. Bravo, my friend. Bravo.

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  4. I subscribe to most of those in that channel. CollegeHumor Originals still produces the most laughs for me.

    Comedy is hard – just like anything else on the Web, there are a ton of options and something for everyone!

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  5. thats right murphy…just too many hacks out there..it sucks that people cant come up with good comedy even with the such major resources..and then you have stuff like the guild which is just down right original and funny..hilarious stuff..by the way check out episode 8 that just came out..
    http://effinfunny.com/the-guild
    2 more episodes to go

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  6. [...] horrible auto-play) brought to you by Sony Pictures.  Before I had a chance to look for myself, NewTeeVee posted a really excellent review.  Here are just a few choice [...]

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  7. [...] The C-Spot Jump to Comments (via newteevee) [...]

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  8. [...] launching The C-Spot on through Verizon yesterday, Sony Pictures says it will also offer full-length movies on AT&T [...]

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  9. [...] of its C-Spot comedy web series this morning. The good news? It’s dropped most of the dead weight from season one and kept The Roadents. The bad news? Most of the replacement shows still [...]

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