The Other Kennedys
Done properly, a good satire works in any medium. “The Other Kennedys” takes the premise of two, way-far-removed relatives of the noble Kennedy clan and imagines what their lives would be like spending their summer at “The Cape.” On the outskirts — and we’re talking way beyond the city limits — the duo’s life as hilarious posers provides some subtle, tongue-in-cheek barbs at the vacuous life of the almost rich and famous.
Marshall and James — a couple of Yalies — try their hand at tennis, kayaking, lighting a fire, skipping stones, and other leisure activities that go with how the upper crust live. Their continued ineptitude is handled with charm by the two-man sketch team Coker & Stratton (James Coker and Marshall Stratton). Clearly, these gents have worked together and refined their ability to read each other’s cues without cracking up.
The production team of Shane Tilston, Arlen Konopaki and Gary Levitt pull off the feat of cramming a lot of humor into a shade over one minute of screen time. What holds “The Other Kennedys” back from being truly superb is the fact that, in an effort to knock out 10 shows to approximate a full season, a few wind up being somewhat flat. Nonetheless, this is a clever and eminently shareable web series.
Handled poorly, satire sits like a proud birthday cake that falls flat with leaking candles dripping over a rich, creamy frosting. “LI Divas” is a painful, poorly drawn spoof on those “Real Housewives” shows that appear like a bad Long Island car wreck you want to look away from, but can’t. Trust me, after making it through all eight episodes of season one, you will want to look away.
Let’s look past the fact that Hulu already offers a sharp send-up of those “Real Housewives” shows with its “Hotwives of Orlando.” “LI Divas” is crude, filled with nasty and somewhat racist stereotypes and attempts to break the video record for how many times the word “bitch” can be said in one web show.
We have an odd lot of characters in “LI Divas” — the self-impressed flamboyant (Katie McGuire, also the series creator); a Bronx-born foul-mouthed narcissist who carries around a dangerous box cutter (Catherine Callahan, also a series creator); Leslie Meisel, the wimpy sister-in-law of McGuire; and Pablo Blanchardo as Paulette. To remain politically correct, Blanchardo’s sad Paulette is either a transgender, transvestite or something in-between.
Despite my negative feelings toward “LI Divas,” the show has nabbed some critical acclaim. It was named Best TV & Web Series at the London Digital Film Festival, and is nominated in seven categories including Outstanding Achievement in Writing and Best Comedy at the NYC Web Fest.