Here’s part one of the 7-episode web series Hard Times created by filmmakers Tahir Jetter and Donald Conley that we mentioned many moons ago about a financially strapped personal trainer who is forced to become a male stripper to make ends meet.
At least I think that’s what this web series is about. There’s no official synopsis anywhere to be found on their website, Facebook page or email submissions that they sent to us. It’s bold when filmmakers essentially say, “Don’t ask what’s its about, just shut up and watch the shit!”
Hopefully the show is more than just the fish out of water escapades of a novice male stripper. While the premiere episode is beautifully photographed, acted and directed, the story set up in this pilot seems very limited so far.
Don’t get me wrong, so far, this is the best web series we’ve mentioned on the site all year. The screenplay wastes no time in not only setting up the main character Derek’s dilemma, but also establishing the male escort direction that the story will eventually follow.
However, the first episode of the show (as artsy as it feels) gives me more of a short film vibe than the feeling that I’m diving into an ongoing series. That first episode should grab me and make me so interested in the characters and situation that I feel an urge to watch another episode, even if it hasn’t been released yet.
This isn’t to say that Hard Times should eventually feature robberies, kidnappings, rape and murders like some other web series…but a little soap opera is essentially what has made Black & Sexy TV’s lineup of online web series so successful (and addictive).
While the acting is in no way flawed, I also didn’t get any kind of unique personality from not only the main character, but any of the supporting characters as well. One could argue that this is only the first 8-minutes of a web series, it’s not going for an Emmy Award or anything. Fair point. But the web series landscape has become the Wild Wild West, a competitive landscape where everyone’s fighting for eyeballs and views. Online content nowadays has to maintain the attention span of the audience.
Having said all that, the well composed visuals and production quality definitely builds up enough good will to look forward to episode #2 where we hope the characters and the story will pick up and make the show addictive binge worthy material.
As always, don’t take my opinion as your own, let us know your thoughts in the comments below! The filmmakers do check the site so they will likely love to get your honest feedback!