Review: Content Episode 1

content s1e1 index
Content is a brand new web series from Turtle Canyon Media, a company responsible for recording some truly great stand up shows and short films, and so given the quality of their previous work expectations were high. They deliver on them too, with writers Yiannis Vassilakis, Sadia Azmat, Kenagh Babcock, Stuart Laws, Rhiannon Shaw and Lorna Woolfson on the strength of this first episode clearly being pretty damn funny people.

It’s based around the idea that five people have formed a video agency called “Content Content” (with the first version of the word meaning happy), which is problematic from the get go as everyone mispronounces the company name and doesn’t get the play on words. That’s made even worse by Hetty (Kath Hughes) who’s written some truly terrible PR blurb which couldn’t be less enthusiastic if she tried (which is something she definitely doesn’t do), and who appears to be there only because her mother is financing the whole operation.

To attempt to improve the fortunes of the company, boss Alex appears on a podcast and it’s all kinds of painful to listen to, and so Hetty is persuaded to make an appearance on another podcast, Girly Boss, and make the company seem far more professional than it is. Which she manages to do if only because the host of the podcast, Bridget (Isabella Inchbald), thinks that everything she says is amazing even when it’s deliberately awful, like Hetty’s suggestion that “Child labour laws need to loosen up a bit”, especially in the far east.

This first episode is a slightly static affair and due to the low budget there’s only a couple of locations, but it makes great use of it’s talented cast, with Hughes shining as the sardonic and quite possibly depressed Hetty, though also great is Belle Fage’s Taylor who’s shockingly stupid but in a painfully funny way, while Alex (series creator Yiannis Vassilakis) makes for a great straight man, and Jam (Rajiv Karia) and A-A (Molly McNerney) have some decent lines too, though in this first episode are the least developed characters. Given that it’s only nine minutes long that’s understandable though, and I’m sure they’ll be fleshed out soon enough.

Making cameo appearances are Lou Sanders and Ed Gamble who managed to make me laugh hard despite only have a combined screen time of about thirty seconds, and other high profile names are due to feature in future episodes making this a web series you’ll definitely want to keep an eye on. Which as I’ve been lucky enough to see the fourth episode in advance I can confirm, as it has a strong storyline where the company go viral for all the wrong reasons, and it has one of the best jokes about Christopher Walken yet made.

It is a low-fi, low budget affair and so might not be for everyone, but for a first episode it impressed a lot, and works as a smart, funny introduction to these characters. Hopefully their absurd and ridiculous antics at Content Content will become funnier and funnier as the series continues, and there’s certainly enough quality jokes and strong scenarios in the first and fourth episodes to suggest that this will almost certainly be the case.

★★★ 3/4

Alex Finch.
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Related Links:
You can watch the first episode here.
Turtle Canyon Media’s Official Site.

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