MacAwesome: Making Teen Angst Funny… Very Funny7
By Andrea Ball
MacAwesome: Making Teen Angst Funny… Very Funny
Remember your first crush? Think way back to all your awkward advances, the butterflies, and desperate attempts you took to gain the attention of that certain someone. You almost certainly took bad advice from friends and gave gifts without reason. This is exactly where we meet Josh (Josh Dove) on his quest to win the girl of his dreams. MacAwesome is an off-kilter romantic web series comedy that encourages you to never underestimate the little guy.
Each episode starts with a vlog from Josh to his mother who was recently involved in a moped accident, resulting with Josh’s enrollment in public school. On his first day he meets Vivian, and proclaims his undying love for her. Setting his romantic ambition high, Josh not only wants to date her, he wants to marry her! Henri (Tim Hall) is the foreign exchange student aiding him in his quest and who tends to transcend the rules of time and space. Of course with every great hero comes a great nemesis and James St. James (Drew Wolber) fits the mold. James portrays a loathsome high school character, yet there is anticipation in what we will discover are his true motivations. Lastly, the series would be incomplete without the comic relief from Vivian’s brother, Shannon, and his only friend, Jamie. This ambiguously gay duo hangs around ripping sleeves off their shirts and tormenting Josh.
At first, what seemed to be a desperate crush reveals itself to be much more as the series moves on. This is no “high school crush” for Josh. We begin to realize that he believes that Vivian is his destiny and he devotes all his effort in realizing this destiny going forward, even if that means landing the lead in their high school’s version of MacBeth. Vivian, on the other hand, is ambivalent and sometimes unaware… or is she? There are clues revealed that Josh may be catching her eye. Regardless of the truth, Josh continues to face obstacles like the physical challenges posed by Shannon and Jamie and the evil, yet preppy, James St. James.
The series taps into the nostalgia of 1980s underdog films the likes of Ferris Bueller and Sixteen Candles, but there is an additional force at work that’s resonating with web series fans. Co-Creator, Graham Bowlin (Shannon Abercrombie) and Writer/Director, Andy Mitchell, who both graduated from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in 2009, first conspired on the zombie comedy web series American Heart, a five episode series that generated a good amount of buzz. Then, in their senior year they met KoldCast TV’s CEO, David Samuels, who suggested they try their hand at broad comedy. They budded the first season of MacAwesome from a short film they produced while still in school and co-creators Graham Bowlin and Cameron Strittmatte helped mold it into a web series.
When I asked Mitchell what is it that makes MacAwesome so awesome he explained, “Josh is a home schooled naive kid, really stepping outside his boundaries in really extreme and awesome ways, and usually failing.” The series, also edited by Mitchell, has random cutaways, which he suggests help bridge audiences from mainstream TV that have already embraced that style.
Several promos for the show were released that received my attention early this past summer. Bowlin acknowledges that they failed to take advantage of early promotional efforts with American Heart and made it a point to make up for it on MacAwesome. (If you are a fan of web series, then you will undoubtedly enjoy the catchy “Throw Hammers At TVs” promotional video.)
You can watch the full season of MacAwesome and American Heart right here on KoldCast TV. MacAwesome season two is on the horizon with more awesome-ness guaranteed.
Andrea Ball worked this past year as staff editor at VidOpp and as a guest writer for Tubefilter News. She is currently the in-house community manager for MWG Entertainment. Andrea periodically co-hosts for This Week in YouTube and Life From the Future with Stuart Paap. If she’s not watching a web series, she’s probably sleeping.