Benidorm meets Spinal Tap!
Written By: Steven Bloomer,
Directed By: Steven Bloomer
As I hovered over the play button, preparing to watch episode 1 of Steven Bloomers: "I Gotta Be Me", I'll freely admit I was a little apprehensive. I thought I had a pretty good idea of what this series would be, using the trailer as my only main source of information. I was basically expecting a live recording from a show of impersonators. My only real thought at the time? Damn. I hope they're good at least. I've written my thoughts on live performance videos before with mixed results. Usually, you at least get some "interview styled" inserts to go along with the show. In cases like this, the best you can hope for is talent from the performers... but it can swing either way.
Why bring this up at all? Simple really. "I Gotta Be Me" wasn't a live show at all! At least not yet. For a series on "Rat Pack" impersonators, thus far not a lot of impersonation is happening, at least on-stage performances. Writers Steven Bloomer and Phaldut Sharma have instead taken us behind closed doors, with more of a "what it's like" approach to the show. To their credit, thus far things are pretty impressive. At the time of this writing I've watched the first three episodes, with plans to hit up the IndyRed slush fund and watch the rest. Yes guys and gals... this is hands down, a very entertaining series.
The idea to bring us an entire show on what we don't usually see publicly was a good choice. Maybe not completely unique now-days, but fresh enough to keep you watching. The hard work behind the curtain always translates well to the screen. Big or small. What's really interesting here is the slow build to the performance itself. I mean... I can only hope we get to see some of the actual stage show gracing our screens sometime soon. Intentional or not, "I Gotta Be Me" feels like it's racing to a final act when we, as far and away viewers, get to see what we've been waiting for. For better or worse. It's a great feeling akin to the old style cliff-hanger set-ups of classic television. From the small amount of clips shown thus far: Television appearances and rehearsals, I have a strange feeling the show itself is going to be awesome and look forward to it completely.
In the end, a lot can be said about a reality styled series that is actually entertaining. The fact that it's an indie makes it that much cooler. The "day in the life" road we are taken down is a smart one, allowing the viewers to get to know the cast... err... "Rat Pack" themselves, before actually seeing any performances. Artistic frustration, creative control and (so far) a seemingly odd choice for security, all add some drama and fun to what easily could have been a dry series. I goes without saying that "I Gotta Be Me" is off to a good start, and I was glad to have been introduced.
So Pally? Why not treat yourself and have a gander? Check out the first few episodes by clicking the link to your left. Want more? It's easy as pie! Why not let these guys entertain you for a while and maybe... just maybe... help out a bit.
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