If I were going to start my own awards show, I’d call it the Well-Played Awards, and it’d celebrate all the random and creative web series that, regardless of financial or viral success, have delighted me over the previous twelve months. And this year an early contender for a 2010 Player trophy has already emerged, so I must say: Well-played, Very Mary-Kate. Well-played.
Created by Elaine Carroll, a New York-based actor/writer (who in a blonde wig is a dead ringer for Amy Poehler), Very Mary-Kate frames itself as the unauthorized biography of Mary-Kate Olsen, the former child star and famous twin who attended NYU, picks up the odd acting role and is occasionally photographed on the streets of New York dressed like a bag lady. Carroll’s portrayal of Olsen takes these factors and expands on them, creating a character who’s a weak-yet-demanding kitten obsessed with calories, abusing her bodyguard and getting her hands on the good drugs.
Suffice it to say that the Valley-girl-transplanted-to-SoHo portrayal is thus incredibly harsh, but unless you’re actually Mary-Kate Olsen, I defy you not to laugh. Production values are low and the sound quality is less than impressive, but the informal nature of the videos work, and the tightly-paced episodes fit a whole lot of painfully funny jokes into just one minute. The exchanges between her and her bodyguard are especially funny thanks to his defeated nature — the pair make for a truly engaging odd couple.
Accompanying the show is a @VeryMaryKate Twitter account (which has been running since April 2009), which provides no shortage of great one-liners and increases the show’s social networking component; Carroll’s command of the character even in text form is complete. The only major fault I find with Very Mary-Kate, in fact, is the lack of any release strategy — the first three episodes premiered on Vimeo nine days ago, and there are no details available about when more might be coming. The Well-Played Awards demand a little more effort, Ms. Carroll. Or at the very least a fourth episode.