[show=mocapllc size=large]Moving from the web to TV can be a daunting task — just ask the guys at CollegeHumor. After all, mo’ money can truly mean mo’ problems, especially when you have to kowtow to censors and studio heads, increase the run time of episodes by 300 percent, and produce each episode knowing that the fickle viewing public could get you canceled faster than Michael Phelp’s butterfly stroke.
But fortunately, Worldwide Biggie’s MoCap LLC seems to be doing well creatively at its new home on Spike TV. A behind-the-scenes look at a fictitious motion-capture company, the show is really a showcase for extreme personalities engaging in strange behavior — the kind of comedy that works best if it’s written well. Thankfully, due to creator Chris DeLuca, it does.
In its TV incarnation, MoCap still leans heavily on the fauxumentary format that Chris Albrecht called cliché back in January 2008. And the rest of the show’s staples report in for duty: video game jokes, hot chicks, and a twisted bent to its humor that just barely avoids being offensive. It’s the skewed humor that won me over in the first episode of the web series. I knew it was wrong to laugh when Jeff was forced to act out scenes from the game Secret Cutting, but I just couldn’t stop.
And because it airs after midnight on basic cable, MoCap in its television incarnation operates under incredibly lax, though occasionally arbitrary, standards and practices. “Sh–” is heard frequently, but a pun riffing off the word “becoming” gets bleeped out. The bleeping’s not such a big deal, though; lines like “I’m pretty sure he considers Chris Hanson a c—blocker” still manage to play.
The reason MoCap works no matter what format it’s in is that the show has such a clear voice — and a clear understanding of its audience — that there was little need to adjust it. And because each episode can be easily structured around the creation of a new game, the creators have literally the entire world of video games to draw upon for inspiration. Just based on the aisles at Best Buy alone, that leaves them with a lot of material.
I won’t deny that in the TV episode I watched, Total Mo’clipse of the Heart, things started to get a little repetitive — Claire snarks about Frank miserable home life, Frank calls Claire a crazy cat lady while making Kendall act out the role of his disgruntled wife, Kendall abuses Jeff for daring to find her attractive. But I only started noticing that around 20 minutes in, and given that the show originally ran in five minute installments, that’s not bad.
MoCap could stand a little more plot escalation over the course of an episode, but otherwise the show manages to remain true to itself in a brand-new medium. Which is good, because what it is is funny.