Side Effects -101- You Think You’re So Smart – Postmortem

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Perhaps the hardest part of making funny that sustains for any stretch of time is the process of building a fence around the idea.

I knew I wanted a sketch comedy series to compliment the other shows under our banner. I knew I wanted to keep The NoHo Rag a character exploration and Call Me Lucifer, for lack of a better word, auteur. But Side Effects, I wanted to be silly.

But silly makes for a shitty fence. Silly is subjective. It’s a way of looking at everything, and everything is just a little too large a concept for a six-episode web series.

Slowly but surely the show began to take shape. It was in development for over a year. It had three different names as the idea gestated. Conversation after conversation exploring and tuning the feeling of the show. Two completely shot and edited sketches were cut from the premiere.

In the end, You Think You’re So Smart is one of my favorite creations to date. And I think it sets the tone quite nicely for the next five episodes to follow.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

I’ve found myself discussing Side Effects to folks with the caveat of “I know there’s only one episode out right now.” So I wanted to explain the structure of the series a little. Without any spoilers about future episodes, here’s how I view Side Effects:

We use common social opinion against itself.

So, let’s look at the first episode You Think You’re So Smart to unpack this concept a little.

People love Ted Talks and hold the information within each video as fact, based seemingly only on the visible lettering on the stage behind the speaker. So, we presented an entirely factual monologue on farting.

Complete with cited, factual quotes from some of history’s most important people. Nothing within that speech is incorrect, nothing is false, yet here we are making one big fart joke with the help of James Joyce, Mozart and Benjamin Franklin.

As a palate cleanser, we present the most stupid display of ability in a tuxedo in front of a captive audience. Does this make one-hand clapping art? Can the cloak of perceived cultural intelligence make this idiotic display intelligent?

Then, we revel in the fact that people en masse are awaking to the wonders of the cosmos. Interest in space exploration is becoming chic. Carl Sagan’s popularity is now arguably at its highest ever.

But, what might Carl Sagan have done for fun? What would he consider silly? Well, maybe using his intelligence to prank people. We get around the perception of him being an asshole for pantsing people in the park, or destroying their perceived self-value by placing him in his own universe. Stupid. Yet charmingly effective.

So I guess, that’s Side Effects: Stupid. Yet charmingly effective.

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