Where to start with "PN & Friends" from writer, director Todd Montesi? To be fully open, I'm not a fan of shaky camera, reality style programming. Especially scripted, not really reality programming. If you're going to put something together that is not actual reality TV, as in cameras recording what is actually going on, and not a scripted series - at least invest in a tripod. Take pride in what you're recording. Hand-held is just lazy artistry in my humble opinion. I blame "Blair Witch" for this kind of video - but it's no longer 1999.
With that said, one thing is true. Lazy artistry is still artistry and sometimes, as stubborn as I am, I can look past the vomit inducing lens work. Especially if what I'm seeing is actually entertaining - or funny. I still, at times, get that slithering sad feeling - because I know that if a more traditional approach was taken, when speaking production, a good hand-held project would have been amazing. This is the case here. Had "PN & Friends" been a little easier to watch without getting dizzy - this would have really been something. As it sits right now? The characters and comedic style make this series a fun watch - no question. Clearly above and beyond the average. I did laugh and was entertained. Montesi's series is definitely funny. I even have it bookmarked to watch everything I've yet to see. When time permits. It's definitely worth checking out.
What's it all about? Basically, this is a series about man who is... an idiot. He is however, a lovable idiot - and he's not alone. Most of the main cast is just as... funny. As any sit-com styles production, there are mini-plots within each episode. Wrapped up with a cell phone diary of sorts, where PN always has something to say. I guess diary isn't quite the word, more like a few words to his viewers. The set-up, execution and finale are just as you'd expect - but it's the hilarious characters that make the show fun. Including PN himself - but I personally love "the voice" character. Reminds me of Gilbert Gottfried.
I'm not all that sure what else to write. It's hard to get into specifics when each episode is about something else. As I've written above, it's a funny show. The situations are comedic - no question. Yet it really is the characters that push "PN & Friends" past the average mark. Let me be clear. Most web series I've watched recently really are not average. Very few, in my eyes, even hit a point where I find them watchable. I've always said that most web series are made by friends and family - for friends and family. It's the same group that goes around patting themselves on the backs, saying how good their production is. Here however, this show actually is funny. It actually is above average. That's saying a lot considering how I feel about the cinematography.
At the end of the day? Yes. I would recommend this series. Even to old folks like me, who like traditional productions. If I laughed... you probably will as well. I also want to point something out. If you're a person who is used to this style of lensing - this style of production, you'll probably like this a lot more than I did. Anyone who watches random YouTube videos all the time, will be more familiar with the style - and more forgiving. As I wrote above, I'll write again. Had this show even used a ten dollar tripod for most of it's shots, my rating would have been much higher. The content is here, the jokes are here and yes - I was entertained. My favorite episode of the five I've watched so far? Snowed in. Hahaha. Three out of five stars.