Web series about geek content are very much the rage, and few get a chance to stick around. You have web shows about people who play games (The Guild) people who ARE like a game (Doraleous and Associates) and even people who want to write comic books themselves (First Edition).
But The Variants (unlike my show) comes in with built-in credibility, a pedigree, and honestly, REAL people playing the parts. Created by the owners and workers of Zeus comics in Dallas, TX the series currently chronicles the misadventures of Keli, Barry, and Richard as they adapt to a recent corporate takeover of the comic store they work for.
There are jokes about print dying, board meetings being a haven for the Sith, and this awesome, completely unexpected moment where Keli confuses fame and ability for having "all the peeps".
The third season also features the creators of Let's Be Friends Again Curt Franklin and Chris Haley. That strip is hilarious, and so their involvement speaks for a lot of why I'm going back to watch how these characters got to this point.
A standout in the cast is Barry, the tall, lanky hateful man who refuses to go along with the commercial takeover. His sass is a highlight of this episode, and Keli's refusal to go along with her blatant sexualization (at least at first) is refreshing for a female lead. And Richard is… well, you have to watch.
This show's primary strength at first blush is it's frankness. These people are not actors first (I'm assuming) but geeks first. And I want to see these characters succeed… even if their timing and presence isn't always as strong as it could be. The other thing they have going in their favor is the production value is top notch, super clean audio, and very simple expressive setups.
Comic book fan or not, you'll find yourself scrubbing through the back-issues of this web series, interested in watching more. I know I am.
THE VARIANTS SEASON 3 EPISODE 1 GETS FOUR FOIL EMBOSSED COVERS OUT OF FIVE
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