by Sawyer J. Lahr
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If the Lady Parts crew weren’t so serious about their Chicago-produced web comedy, there’s no way it would be this funny. I keep wanting to put a “z” in place of the “s” to match the show’s hard edge. It’s too difficult to pick a favorite episode because every one is a short and sweet morsel of online entertainment.
Lady Parts doesn’t bother with political correctness. Improvisation is at the core of these Annoyance theater graduates and professional performers: Justin Howard, Chelsie Jangord, Aaron Alonso, Donna Morley, Dane Lewandowski, Leslie Baird. The brightest star of the whole series is by far Morley. She has as many faces as Jim Carey and is unafraid to be vulgar.
Lady Parts is one of those episodic shows you go to for a hard laugh, as funny as Strangers with Candy, BBC’s the Office or Little Britain. Sometimes the little vignettes have a resolution and sometimes not. Each skit is designed to build up expectations and then throw you a fast ball. They’re the videos your friends watch over your shoulder on your laptop computer - good for a quick laugh on break from work or at lunch - why not during work? Be careful not to laugh too hard while wearing your headphones in public, and try to remember there are other people who aren’t enjoying themselves as much as you are.
You rarely see HD used as deftly as Corey Powers photographs Lady Parts. Tightly edited to maximize the humor potential, there’s definitely a method to the madness. The skits in each segment are put together with a kind of comedic formula that works because the situations are so out there. Even when the delivery is a tiny bit off-note as improv can be, Jeph Porter’s writing shines through. No one breaks character, which is a sure sign of professionalism.
If you’ve seen Joe Swanberg’s Young American Bodies series, Lady Parts has its own style of absurdist comedy using the same forum that made similar series so successful. These young filmmakers are putting their heads together and getting down to producing truly great viral short filmmaking.
Sawyer J. Lahr is Chief Editor of the forthcoming online publication, Go Over the Rainbow. He also writes a monthly film column for Mindful Metropolis, a conscious living magazine in Chicago, IL.
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