Comisery: The Science Fiction/Dark Comedy Web Series w/ an Asian-American Cast
How can you laugh at the craziness of life under coronavirus lockdown? How about turning such an existence into a dark science fiction comedy? That’s the approach taken by the new Chopso webseries “Comisery.” It’s accessible for free to anyone who has a Facebook account.
“Comisery” is co-directed and co-written by two proverbial mad geniuses. One is out gay Asian director Quentin Lee (“White Frog,” “Shopping For Fangs”). The other is writer Adisakdi Tantimedh, author of the Ravi P.I. series and Bleeding Cool website columnist.
The series’ odd title comes from a joke Lee and Tantimedh had regarding Asian-Americans being miserable together. To bring the series to life, half a dozen Asian-American comedians were brought in. The main cast consists of Amy Hill, Bee Vang, Harrison Xu, Jennifer Field, Sheetal Sheth, and Nat Ho.
The story itself is told in the form of Zoom Webchat conversations conducted among the various characters while they’re coping with life under lockdown. Skylar (Vang) is still emotionally raw after attending the funeral for their lover Danny. Friend Kel (Xu) urgently calls Skylar. Kel’s body is supposedly now inhabited by his soul from twenty years in the future. An alien virus’ presence has totally screwed up life on Earth in older Kel’s time. Future Kel has traveled to our present day to get Skylar’s help. Somehow the grieving trans nonbinary person is key to stopping the alien virus meathook future from happening
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Skylar’s acceptance of Kel’s story is a lot less than an unquestioning 100%. Even before the alleged future self possession, there’s a hint Kel’s grip on reality resembled the semi-defective gecko gloves from “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol.” The appearance of Camila (Field), Kel’s manipulative on-and-off girlfriend, in the Webchat doesn’t help matters. Then again, there’s the possibility Camila might already have been taken over by the invading virus…
BAS readers should check out this Web Series. Supporting the Asian-American actors performing in “Comisery” as they show their acting range with non-stereotypical Asian characters is always a good thing. Instead of cooks and martial artists, “Comisery”’s cast so far includes a trans nonbinary person with a taste for kink, a psychotherapist who sneaks in an alcoholic drink or three during a client session, and a couple whose emotional relationship makes them the “King and Queen of dysfunction.”
Music for “Comisery” is provided by the all-Asian-American dance rock band The Slants. Aside from appearances on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah among others, the band is best known for winning a landmark case against the U.S. government at the U.S. Supreme Court.
Lee and Tantimedh have a shared love of science fiction and J-horror films and bring that love to “Comisery.” Viewers will need to decide for themselves whether the series makes parodic nods to “X-Men: Days Of Future Past” and the 1978 version of “Invasion Of The Body Snatchers.”
The “Comisery” episodes may be available for free viewing. But please be a mensch and donate to the diversity-related non-profit organization highlighted next to a particular week’s episode. This week’s recipient is The Slants Foundation, which supports Asian-American artists engaged in activism.
As of this writing, there are only two episodes out now. In less than 20 minutes, you can quickly get up to speed. So take the plunge and find out if the alien virus will win.
Episodes of “Comisery” on the Chopso Facebook page. New episodes go up every Monday.