Introducing you to Larry and Burt, two characters poised for failure by the vicious wheel of fortune, the new web series Gut Rot, by Substance Production, offers a noir-style take on stoner humor. Larry, a charmless pizza delivery man caught in a relationship with a woman he dreads impregnating, makes it through the daily grind with beer and a callous attitude about everything. Burt carries with him the same weight of negativity and general indifference, as he searches for employment and steals alley trash just to get by.
The main difference between these two men can found in their aspirations. Larry will masturbate into the toilet to avoid having sex and making babies with his lady, while Burt sits alone in an empty apartment, role playing a day in the life of a happily married man—one man’s Francis Bacon is the other man’s Norman Rockwell.
The series shows potential in the male bonding realm, however, the pace is a touch too slow and the tone seems rather drab for the outrageous content. At one point, Larry’s animated sperm stares up at him from inside the toilet bowl, and the scene that should be strange and funny just falls flat in a quite room. My hope is that with additional episodes the characters will become more comfortable in their roles, offering a more natural pacing in the dialogue and action.
The series also adds satirical commercials for the pizza company Larry works for. These show promise, but again fall short of anything overwhelmingly clever. When HBO’s Six Feet Under attempted this same chapter technique, cutting in funeral product ads between scenes, it was clear that the tool wasn’t one that could last very long and they killed it. Let’s hope that Gut Rot either figures out the solution or slices it from the show.
Fact: pizza is good served either hot or cold, but not at room temperature. Right now, Gut Rot is offering up some lukewarm laughs. The web series has a long way to go, but it will be interesting to watch it evolve and see where the characters are lead by fate and their bad attitudes.
You can check out the show at http://www.youtube.com/user/TheGutRot.