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Summary:

It takes talent to complain in an entertaining fashion — the difference is what got Jerry Seinfeld a network sitcom and his imitators booted from open-mic nights. Fortunately, creators Luis Esteban Caffesse and Cliff Wildman have found the right balance of clever observation, self-awareness and rage […]

It takes talent to complain in an entertaining fashion — the difference is what got Jerry Seinfeld a network sitcom and his imitators booted from open-mic nights. Fortunately, creators Luis Esteban Caffesse and Cliff Wildman have
found the right balance of clever observation, self-awareness and rage for ongoing web series Project Rant.

Slightly reminiscent of In the Motherhood (minus the hardcore mom-oriented product placement), Project Rant draws its source material from audience-submitted rants on the most arcane of subjects. These submissions are then performed by a talented cast of actors, who manage to craft characters from these stories with no background information. (Project Rant submissions are anonymous.)

Because these rants are by frustrated human beings, the language is often coarse and inconsistently bleeped, but the cinematography is great, and the editing is tight and sharp. Dear Honda Owners probably wasn’t written originally by the Little Old Lady from Pasadena, but when it’s a grandma-type complaining about lame Honda owners challenging people in minivans to drag races, the results are charming. Meanwhile, Crappy Bacon‘s discussion of badly cooked pork products is hilariously delivered by a man whose passion is taken to an almost sexual level. (To paraphrase The Truth About Cats and Dogs, you should love your bacon, but you shouldn’t LOVE your bacon.)

The best rants are the focused ones, targeting specific entities — a crappy date, the dollar store. But one rant by a paper delivery man, directed at his customers, hits a sour note; the delivery man hasn’t been wronged, but is instead ranting about how good it feels to be cruel to others. It’s that episode that reveals what makes this idea work. For when the audience identifies with the speaker, there’s a sort of second-hand catharsis that occurs. Just because it’s not our frustration or embarrassment, it doesn’t dull the vicarious thrill of finally getting to let it out.

  1. Hannah CAMPBELL-BRIMELOW Thursday, August 13, 2009

    at melba high there are a lot of backstabbing bitches. aymi wilson and bobbie brown are. they find out your secrets and then fight with you and tell everyone your secrets so dont trust them.

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  2. [...] Kirby Ferguson Everyone loves a good rant — series like Project Rant are based entirely on that concept. But Kirby Ferguson, a New York-based video producer who’s [...]

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  3. [...] independently produced Missed Connections Live, in many ways a mashup of Texts from Last Night and Project Rant. While many actors looking for material to perform might turn to the classics or write their own, [...]

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  4. [...] independently produced Missed Connections Live, in many ways a mashup of Texts from Last Night and Project Rant. While many actors looking for material to perform might turn to the classics or write their own, [...]

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  5. [...] this week, Wow draws its inspiration from a similar place as shows like Project Rant — user-generated tales of aggravation, which the official site collects in text form. But in [...]

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  6. [...] this week, Wow draws its inspiration from a similar place as shows like Project Rant — user-generated tales of aggravation, which the official site collects in text form. But in [...]

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  7. [...] web series Project Rant today released their newest video rant recreation, with a twist. Instead of its traditional format, which uses a user-submitted complaint as source material, YouTube Comments pays tribute to the [...]

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