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 for granted.)
In that opening scene, Bobbie reports that Doctor Cop Lawyer’s director Diego Alfonso wants Wray to audition for Dick Trimmings, much to Wray’s dismay. After a long non-talk with Con Man’s ever-present silent bartender (Casper Van Dien), Wray resolves to be the best gimpy, lisped character actor he can be.
To prep for the role, Wray visits old friend Jerry Lansing (Nolan North) to get more in touch with the physicality of the role. Just as he did in season one, North steals the show as the Andy Serkis-hating motion capture artist Lansing, now a mo-cap teacher at his own Imaginesium (“Don’t pretend to do something tomorrow that you can pretend to do today.”) With the help of his Imaginesium students, Lansing helps Wray find his Dick Trimmings in a long montage of mo-cap suited character work.
This is where I believe the best gag of the episode can be found: Lansing’s students form a human throne (complete with ottoman) for Wray to sit as he discusses the Doctor Cop Lawyer role. Tudyk’s yelp as the “chair” appears is priceless – again, a testament to the small things that just encapsulate how good he is at this.
Rating: A-. Not a whole lot happens in this episode (the “conversation” with Van Dien and the mo-cap montage take up a fair bit of time after all), but there is a lot of entertainment in it. Bobbie and Wray as a pair are always a delight, and Nolan wonderfully chews the scenery with each passing minute. His students even prove to be pretty great as Lansing demands more and more preposterous tasks of them. This is an episode you’ll want to see more than once to appreciate.
- Bobbie’s current office: Mailboxes, etc. Except the “etc.” is turkey sandwich farts.
- They offered the part of Blade Slater to every Hemsworth, starting with Chris and ending with Huck.
- Casper Van Dien is back! It’s not often possible to have no lines and still steal a scene, but he did it.
- Jerry Lansing’s website: TheImaginesiumHomeOfJerryLansingMoCapKing.com.net.org.edu.gov
- Lansing gives out mo-cap balls like gold stickers to his students. I find this information great for some reason.
- “You may remember him from his space TV show: Speculum.”
Con Man is available for your consumption now exclusively at Comic-Con HQ. All of season 1 is currently available, while season 2 will release 2 episodes per week. The Con Man video game is available on iOS and Android, and the Spectrum comic book is available to download here. All photo credits to Comic-Con HQ.