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Review: Con Man, Episode 7 – “Pin Cushion”

Review: Con Man, Episode 7 – “Pin Cushion”

I’M THE HULKING MAN, WHO YOU DON’T WANT TO MAKE ANGRY. HE’S THE SIZE OF A GRIZZLY BEAR.
Where do I begin? This pair of episodes (“Pin Cushion” and “I’m With Stupid”) may be the best episodes that Con Man has ever done. While Con Man can usually be counted on to give a handful of really good jokes to sustain an episode (how much can you generally expect from 12 or so minutes, after all?), I found myself laughing throughout both episodes this time in a way that really surprised me. In a few places, I actually had to stop the video because I was laughing so hard.
And it all starts with Lou Ferrigno.
“Pin Cushion” returns to the web series’ original conceit: Wray Nerely finds himself back at a comic book convention, The Long Con, to promote to announce the upcoming Spectrum movie on Jack’s behalf. Despite the …

Review: Con Man, Episode 6 – Gum Drop

Review: Con Man, Episode 6 – Gum Drop

IT’S AN HONOR JUST TO BE NOMINATED.
Can it be? Are things actually looking up for Wray?
After prepping with Jerry Lansing in the previous episode, Wray is ready to go all in for Dick Trimmings (Thank you, Con Man, for this gift that keeps on giving.)
Wray arrives to his audition in character, squinty-eyed limp and all, even though it’s not the quickest way to travel. As Wray chats with the other waiting actors, the handsome Australians (because all of them are handsome Australians) reveal that they are actually auditioning for Dick Trimmings, too. (“We’re more of the lovable, everyman type.”)
The rather blunt casting director Cindy (Eliza Dushku) calls for the next audition to an admittedly frosty audience, which, of course, is Wray’s.
This is the part where I wonder if writing this following scene was simply therapy for Tudyk and his co-writers, as it appears to encompass every obnoxious Hollywood-ism possible for …

Review: Con Man, Episode 5 – Dick Lansing

Review: Con Man, Episode 5 – Dick Lansing

MO-CAP TAKES BALLS
Let’s take a minute to appreciate Alan Tudyk. Much of this web series rests on his shoulders as not only the headlining actor but also as a producer and a director, and he’s taken to the roles with aplomb that few others could muster. As the episode ended, I could only marvel at just how well the characters play off of one another – a testament to the talent of the actors involved as well as Tudyk’s direction to bring that together. In the opening scene between Bobbie and Wray, it honestly feels like they have the history and friendship (and in Wray’s case, frustration) that only builds up over years. The chemistry between Sterling and Tudyk is comfortable and playful, and frankly I can’t believe I haven’t noted this before now (perhaps because it was so seemingly effortless that I just took it …

Review: Con Man, Episode 4 – A Small Step for Manly

Review: Con Man, Episode 4 – A Small Step for Manly

IT’S AS IF HE HAS SWALLOWED MANY MEN.
It’s the first step toward Wray’s new career trajectory, and it starts with Astro Cereal. Suiting up (or more accurately, stumbling about) in full astronaut gear, Wray is doing everything he can to catch the eye of director Diego Alfonso (Jon Huertas) and convince him that Wray is the right man for the role of Dr. Ofr. Blade Slater, Esq.
Wray still has not convinced anyone that he can be as manly as Blade Slater should be. He hasn’t even convinced the team behind Astro Cereal that he qualifies as a celebrity spokesperson (“The clients were hoping for someone else. They’re over there; wave to them. Stop waving. Their anger grows deeper.”)
Undeterred, Wray sets his sights on doing his own stunts in the commercial, even though the aerial rigging is ever-so-tightly threatening his testicles’ well-being, to show Diego and the entire crew that …

Review: Con Man, Episode 3 – Them’s the Breaks

Review: Con Man, Episode 3 – Them’s the Breaks

THROUGH THIS BLOOD, WE ARE BOUND
The incomparable Mindy Sterling is back, and her vast wardrobe changes seem to be coming with her. After firing his agents in the previous episode (they did say it was a volatile time, after all), Wray finds his convention booker Bobbie (Sterling) selling massages and sausages at Half Foods Market and hires her to be his new TV/Movie rep.
Wray is finally moving forward to get something he wants in his life, so he wants her to book the Astro Cereal commercial in order to meet the director Diego Alfonso, also the director of Doctor Cop Lawyer. Naturally, Bobbie already has the script for the show and recommends him for the role of the gimpy, squinty eyed, lisping sidekick, Dr. Dick Trimmings. Wray, of course, wants to play the lead, but the role requires a manliness that only Wray believes he has.
Upon returning home, both …

Review: “Con Man,” Season 2, Episodes 1 and 2

Review: “Con Man,” Season 2, Episodes 1 and 2

Con Man – the wonderful webseries from Alan Tudyk, Nathan Fillion, and PJ Haarsma – is back for season 2, chronicling the continuing misadventures of sci-fi actor Wray Nerely (Tudyk) and his quest for respect in Hollywood for anything other than “sci-fi.”
As season one showed us, Nerely’s big break was on a short lived sci-fi show, Spectrum, as the pilot co-star to ship captain Jack Moore (Fillion.) While Moore went on to be a wildly successful movie star, Nerely was relegated to making money on the convention circuit for Spectrum and hating every minute of it. Finally, Moore told Nerely that he wanted to do a movie together – to Nerely’s delight – but that movie was, of course, going to be Spectrum: The Movie.
Wray’s disappointment is palpable, but it only drives home what we’ve known since day one: Wray has no idea how good he has it. He has …

NYCC 2016: “We Got This!” with Mark Gagliardi and Hal Lublin

NYCC 2016: “We Got This!” with Mark Gagliardi and Hal Lublin

If the conclusion of The Thrilling Adventure Hour podcast left a hole in your soul like it did mine, have no fear. Two of your favorite Workjuice Players, Mark Gagliardi and Hal Lublin, are doing the Lord’s work and tackling the important debates that you and your friends have stressed over for years in their weekly podcast, We Got This. At New York Comic Con 2016, I got to sit down with Mark and Hal to explore the origins of their endeavor, discuss their involvement with The Venture Brothers, and get a glimpse of what to expect from future We Got This episodes. Click the player below to hear what they had to say!
http://www.openthefridge.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/NYCC2016-GagliardiLublin.mp3

NYCC 2016: Interview with Nerd Rock Stars, Jonathan Coulton and Greg “Storm” DiCostanzo

NYCC 2016: Interview with Nerd Rock Stars, Jonathan Coulton and Greg “Storm” DiCostanzo

New York Comic Con continues to be one of our favorite events to attend and there is never a shortage of people with whom we can have a great conversation about nerd culture. At NYCC 2016, I had the chance to talk with internet rock star and former code monkey Jonathan Coulton, as well as musical comedy genius Greg “Storm” DiCostanzo of the duo “Paul & Storm.” We talked about music, Creative Commons, and the JoCo Cruise. Click the player below to hear what they had to say!
http://www.openthefridge.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/NYCC2016-CoultonStorm.mp3

Alan Tudyk’s “Con Man” Returns for Season 2 on “Comic-Con HQ”

Alan Tudyk’s “Con Man” Returns for Season 2 on “Comic-Con HQ”

Con Man, the web series that pokes fun at life at convention as a sci-fi star, is coming back for season two! Lionsgate announced today that the record-breaking web series will return late 2016 on the new subscription VOD service, Comic-Con HQ.
Comic-Con HQ is the new subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) destination that seeks to extend the experience of San Diego Comic-Con into a year-round event. The official launch of CCHQ will happen in July to coincide with San Diego Comic Con, but beta access is available starting tomorrow.

Executive produced by Alan Tudyk, Nathan Fillion, and author PJ Haarsma, Con Man is loosely based on Tudyk’s and Fillion’s experiences in life post-Firefly. In the show, Tudyk is Wray Nerely, the co-star of “Spectrum,” a sci-fi TV series canceled before its time that later became a cult classic beloved by fans. Wray’s best friend, …