The Best Canadian Drama Ain’t on TV

May 27, 2008

While Alex and Andrew were off busting their butts on the road promoting the book, Paul was at home in Toronto working on his short film and getting addicted to Take Me Back. TMB is a web series created by Joe Baron and Seth Mendelson- two pretty talented dudes from Montreal. It’s the awkward but very engaging love child of Saw, The Twilight Zone and a still unmade Wes Anderson film.

The story? Al (played by Seth, the Plateau’s answer to Jason Schwartzman) is a pretty boring guy with a penchant for taking old electronics apart and fixing them. One day, he gets zapped with electricity by a man in a silver mask and thrown in the trunk of a car. The next thing he knows he’s stuck in a dingy basement full of junk while a mysterious doppleganger is living his life for him – and doing considerably better, I think he’d agree.

Why is Take Me Back so good? Let me count the ways?

1) It raises the bar for online series by not being yet another predictable and unimaginative spoof/satire/parody
2) It has actually taken the time to create a unique aesthetic for itself, which would be engaging enough if the writing or acting weren’t up to par
3) The writing and acting are up to par: no leaden dialogue or gimmicks here
4) It combines genuine artistic ambition with an attention to popular taste (by that I mean: to story)
5) Because these guys actually went out and did it

It’s amazing how good something can be when you’ve got the will to create something fresh and un-sucky. If these guys can make an engaging and unique piece of dramatic programming on a shoestring, what the hell is the CBC’s excuse?

The show is comprised of ten episodes, only eight of which have aired (does that term apply?) yet. New ones are posted every Monday. Get on board.

Here’s number 1

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