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Review: Con Man, Episode 12 – “Shock to the System”

Review: Con Man, Episode 12 – “Shock to the System”

OH MY GOD, YOU’RE CASPER VAN DIEN FROM STARSHIP TROOPERS.
Oh, Wray. Wray, Wray, Wray. How could you do this to yourself?
The problem with Wray Nerely from the very beginning was his inability to see just how good he had it. He already has fans and friends, but his ego never let him see them as they are. Never has that been more accurate than in “Shock to the System.”
Wray’s Casper Van Dien/Dina Meyer hallucination at the start of “Shock” is about the closest that his subconscious ever gets to that realization, as Van Dien tells him in an intentionally clumsy Starship Troopers metaphor that it’s okay to keep doing what you’re doing; that it’s better to do another Spectrum movie than not do anything at all.
As he wakes from his drunken fever dream, he rushes to Hall H for the Spectrum panel, ready to take …

Review: Con Man, Episode 11 – “A Shot with Finley”

Review: Con Man, Episode 11 – “A Shot with Finley”

TIFFANY, NO!
Now that all of the pieces are in place, Con Man finally has the ability to bring this season to a conclusion. Will he get the sought after part of Blade Slater?
That all depends on Finley Farrow (Laura Vandervoort). She has the power to determine who her Doctor Cop Lawyer co-star will be, and that means that both Wray and Girth (Liam McIntyre), the recently discovered lost Hemsworth, will both be vying for her attention.

At the Comic-Con Shock-A-Con afterparty promoting the Ambivalence movie, Wray heads to the bar and meets Bobbie and Tiffany (Spectrum’s resident hot mess(TM)), who point out that Finley is on the other side of the room getting comfortable with Wray’s Australian rival. Wray, now the de facto Tiffany sober guardian, prevents Tiffany from drinking any further by taking all of her orders for himself — he doesn’t seem to …

Review: Con Man, Episodes 9 and 10 – “Back to the Past” and “Dawn of Girth”

Review: Con Man, Episodes 9 and 10 – “Back to the Past” and “Dawn of Girth”

DID YOU JUST CASUALLY OFFER TO MURDER SOMEONE?
After the series’ highs of “I’m With Stupid,” Con Man finds itself settling back into familiar ground at the biggest con of the year: Shock-A-Con. While it is natural that the show would need to re-focus a bit after the events of the Long Con (as excellent as the episodes were, there was little in the way of development on the main Doctor Cop Lawyer plot), it is a little disappointing that these episodes seem to have slowed the momentum coming out of the previous episode to such a degree.
That’s actually why this is a combined, two-episode review: functionally, not much happened in “Back to the Past” and “Dawn of Girth.” That isn’t to say that these episodes aren’t enjoyable – on the contrary, they’re solidly funny – but they seem mostly concerned with setting up the season finale amidst some …

Review: Con Man, Episode 8 – “I’m With Stupid”

Review: Con Man, Episode 8 – “I’m With Stupid”

TURN AROUND AND BANG
First, I’d like to sincerely apologize for the delay between my postings. A rather bitter cold took me for a ride this past week, preventing me from keeping up with my Con Man reviews, but I’m back and ready to give you the full run until the season finale coming up this Thursday!
And what an episode to drop the ball on – again, I’m so sorry – but “I’m With Stupid” is easily the best episode that Con Man has done to date.
Still trapped in the boiler room of the Long Con with an ever-increasing cast of characters, Wray finds himself putting on a full production of Lou Ferrigno’s Of Mice and Men musical adaptation – the brilliantly named “I’m With Stupid” – complete with costumes, sets, and fully choreographed musical numbers. Ferrigno has finally acquiesced to playing the part of Lenny, our …

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 …