Look, I don’t like throwing around the word “genius” unless it’s deserved, but that’s what 15 Gigs’ Heart Felt is: genius.
Created by the long-time online comedy pros at Black20, who have an ongoing development deal with Fox’s digital studio, the pilot episode of the comedy web series mixes together Muppet-style puppets, sex and cocaine to create an inspired, dead-on satire of The Hills.
The combination of human and puppet actors does invite comparison to the crude and hilarious Broadway musical Avenue Q, except that while the relationships of Avenue Q never crossed the puppet/human line, Heart Felt goes a lot further. Which is to say, yep, there’s puppet-on-human sex. If your personal morality is offended by that concept, then this series is not for you.
The attention to detail found in Heart Felt extends beyond the flawless production values, documentary-style cinematography and wall-to-wall indie rock score. The ridiculous names — seriously, “Gwennifer”? — complicated love lives and apathetic nature of these flesh and felt youth are what really bring it all together, with the narrative amping up the stakes via helicopter crashes and seagull attacks. (If there were helicopter crashes on The City, I’d probably watch.)
Heart Felt premiered last week at the New York Television Festival as part of 15 Gigs’ presentation of upcoming projects — while a representative for 15 Gigs confirmed via email that further episodes of Heart Felt are in the works, no release date has been set.
This is understandable given the ambition of the project — but does make the pilot into a bit of a tease. Because while the joke of starting and ending the episode with “Previously on…” and “Next week on…” segments is solid, the fact that we have to wait an indeterminate period of time to really know what happens next borders on cruel.