Peculiar, Season 1 (Series Review)

Plot Summary

When new Christian Blake Goodman breaks his arm, he loses his (provisional) scholarship to play football at a big university and gets stuck going to the OCCCCC, where they have no sports.  However, they do have a quirky student population, a local campus ministry where most of the series takes place, and of course, a raging atheist professor bent on destroying Blake’s new faith.  What Christian entertainment about higher education would be complete with all of these tropes?  But that’s not all!  No, this series has many more zany elements to offer that put David A. R. White and Tommy Blaze to shame.

 

Production Quality (1 point)

Though the budget is small, the production really isn’t even half of the problems with this series.  Video and audio quality, for the most part, are fine.  There are some odd camera angles, however, as well as a lot of weird special effects, overlays, and annoyingly interruptive flashbacks or character imaginations.  The soundtrack is a ridiculous cheap track, and there are constant annoying sound effects that are enough to make you go crazy.  It goes without mentioning that one episode where half of the dialogue is sung (very badly), along with horrible lip-synching.  Elsewhere, sets, locations, and props are fairly and understandably limited, and there is really no editing to speak of.  However, as previously mentioned, this isn’t even the beginning of the problems with this horrific series.

Plot and Storyline Quality (-3 points)

Peculiar is rightly named as such, even though Insanity or Stupidity or Offensive would also work.  This series is majorly childish in its approach and downright stupid at times.  Many portions feel like Tommy Blaze gone wrong (as if that’s possible) due to off-the-wall and even offensive humor that takes cheap shots at Jews and people who could be special needs.  Other ‘comedy’ is only funny because it is so poorly executed that it seems like a child wrote this.  Space probably won’t permit a full exploration of the problems in this section, but we will try our best.  Besides the absurdly predictable atheist professor character, all of the other characters are just generally off-beat as they espouse an odd brand of Christianity and mishandle otherwise important topics that they try to explore.  The series is also full of obnoxious ‘funny’ asides and head-scratching tongue-in-cheek jokes about itself, as if this whole thing is a satire.  I would believe that it is making fun of Christians on purpose, except for the fact that each episode tries to spoon-feed the audience a cute and trite little Christian platitude.  Also, as if things aren’t bad enough at first, the musical episode really takes the cake.  As whole, Peculiar is very unexplainable and generally strange in basically every way.  To fully experience the zany madness, you have to see it for yourself.

Acting Quality (0 points)

The lead actor bears a very striking resemblance to the maniacal mannerisms of David A. R. White, with awkward delivery, forced humor, and an air of superiority.  The other cast members aren’t much better, just less full of themselves and more awkward.  Most lines are overly enunciated, and emotions are greatly lacking in realism.  Torry Martin isn’t even enough to save this very small cast from itself, even though there are some attempts in the end to improve.  The improvement isn’t significant enough to register any life here, especially when it started out so bad.

Continuity Quality (0 points)

As episodes end in awkward and weird ways, this series churns out one thing after the next in very (mercifully) short episodes.  Though there are slight attempts at plot arcs, they are just cheesy romantic nonsense, and there are no character arcs.  Each episode also begins with an unwanted and long recap of previous episodes, as if you missed anything.  Essentially, not much can pull this series out of the nose dive it started out with.

Conclusion

Peculiar is a very surreal experience, almost like a Christianity twilight zone.  In this possibly worst series ever, all nightmarish clichés and caricatures of Christians come to life in a ten-episode experience from Sheol.  Every bad thing we’ve ever pointed out in Christian entertainment is rolled into one series as a package deal, along with even worse things.  This series should have been canned, banned, and whatever else it took to make it go away forever.

 

Final Rating: -2 out of 14 points

 

 

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Malibu Dan the Family Man, Season 1 (Series Review)

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Plot Summary

Malibu Dan and Holidae Sinclair run the southern California early morning show Good Morning Malibu.  Dan is always getting himself into comedic scrapes, while Holi is always looking for a better media offer.  They work with a goofy but likeable crew, but most of all, Dan considers himself to be a devout family man.  What else could go wrong in Tommy Blaze’s latest zany comedic endeavors?

 

Production Quality (1.5 points)

Much like Hitting the Breaks, Malibu Dan the Family Man is a sitcom with an average production, which means it comes with that annoying laugh track again.  There are also other sound effects used now, however.  Another annoying aspect of the sitcom genre is the use of ridiculously fake backgrounds and cheaply limited sets, as well as a total lack of actual locations.  Props are fine, however, as are other standard production elements, such as camera work and video quality, which keep this production from being totally worthless.  However, the editing also suffers from lack of creativity as it is quite choppy.  In the end, however, these few production positives are the only ones that exist in this unnecessary series.

Plot and Storyline Quality (0 points)

If Tommy Blaze and company were so desperate to make another sitcom, why not just make another season of Hitting the BreaksMalibu Dan is really no different—just some rearranged characters and different cast members.  Who would have noticed if some cast members changed for a new season of Breaks?  As it is, Malibu Dan includes the same old tired and ridiculous messages Blaze and David A. R. White have been hanging out to dry for years, such as an absurdly stark gender divide, their patronizing view of Generation Y, and the endless pursuit of media fame and stardom.  As usual, David A. R. White is the bemused husband\father who gets himself into a comedic venture that solves itself in twenty minutes or less.  Everything is the same, and there is nothing new in PureFlix.

Acting Quality (0 points)

With the same old egotistical PureFlix cast members—the Whites, Brad Heller, Kevin Downes, Gregg Binkley—Malibu Dan throws in a few more, such as comedy staple Victoria Jackson and Erik Estrada with a few more plastic surgeries since the last time we saw him.  Regardless of the changes, the zaniness and the over-the-top non-subtlety is still present and still makes for an eye-rolling experience as the leadership of Blaze continues to push ‘Christian’ comedy to the limits of absurdity.  The other cast members are swept along in the wave of nonsense and must wonder how they got stuck with this crew.

Continuity Quality (0 points)

Sitcoms are not made for continuity.  There are no story arcs or character arcs as each episode exists within its own twenty-minute bubble in which all conflicts introduced are promptly and easily solved in time to tack a trite Christian antidote onto the end.  Thus, no points can be awarded here.

Conclusion

As long as the PureFlix faithful continue to garner funding for these frivolous projects, they will keep making them to satisfy their longings to parade themselves around like idiots in the name of Christian entertainment, ever in the pursuit of fame and stardom, just like the characters they portray.  They are as shallow as the comedy they create, but as un-ignorable as David A. R. White’s bombastic displays of idiocy.  They project themselves as the leaders in Christian film and the saviors in a dark world of Christian persecution, but if this is all we have to lead us, it’s no wonder so many people scoff at Christian media.

 

Final Rating: 1.5 out of 14 points

 

Hitting the Breaks, Season 1 (Series Review)

Plot Summary

After racecar driver Randy Wilcox crashes his car in a race, his family convinces him to retire.  Thus, he decides to move the bed and breakfast in rural Colorado that his father willed to him.  What the Wilcox family finds there is a lack of modern conveniences and a collection of quirky characters who live eccentric lives.  Yet through the comedic mishaps they endure, they begin to like their new home, despite the inconveniences.

 

Production Quality (1.5 points)

Though the production of this series looks good on the surface, it really just boils down to a silly sitcom.  Video quality is fine, but camera work has a lot of shortcuts taken in it due to the genre.  The genre also brings with it an obnoxious laugh track, as if we are to believe that this was recorded in front of a live studio audience.  However, other audio quality is fine, even if the soundtrack is extremely generic.  Furthermore, sets and locations are severely limited, once again due to the sitcom genre.  Finally, editing is very standard and uninspiring.  Basically, PureFlix still knows how to make things look good on the outside without any real substance.

Plot and Storyline Quality (0 points)

Much like past comedy projects from the bizarre minds of David A. R. White and Tommy Blaze, Hitting the Breaks is one half lazy and one half downright zany and nonsensical.  Full of cheesy small town characters that are obviously copycatting other films and series, one has to endure constant reality television confessionals that litter the series.  In these ten episodes, each one follows a predictable formula: David A. R. White gets himself into some comedic escapade and then has to get out of it in twenty minutes or less to leave himself time to read a ‘life lesson’ from his father’s journal at the end that attempts to force a purpose into this madness.  These ‘life lessons’ are laughably cheap Christian messages, thus leaving the series pointless and purposeless.  Most of the comedy isn’t even funny, whether it’s for the right reason or the wrong reason.  The dialogue is chock-full of stupid catchphrases and caricatures as everything generally gets zanier and less explainable as the series progresses.  In the end, it’s like they just run out of ideas and find a random way to end it.  Basically, there is little to no point in this mess.

Acting Quality (.5 point)

For this barn-burning cast, PureFlix trotted out ever crazy person they have ever had in their films and put them all together in one place.  Everyone is as absurd as can be expected, especially the Whites, Kevin Downes, Moran Fairchild, and everyone’s favorite Jennifer Lyons.  Gregg Binkley makes a special spectacle of himself throughout the series as he tries desperately to be the new Barney Fife.  It’s surprising that Tommy Blaze didn’t make an appearance in this cast, yet the cast of Ray Wise is actually appropriate for once and saves this section from the abyss.  But it’s still not good enough to count for much.

Continuity Quality (0 points)

With extremely short episodes that repeat the same formula over and over again, it’s safe to say there is no continuity here.  There are no story arcs or characters arcs to speak of.  Thus, there is nothing good to say here either.

Conclusion

Once again, PureFlix is one step ahead of other film makers by breaking new ground for Christian entertainment.  Though this is the first legitimate Christian sitcom, that doesn’t mean it’s any good.  The PureFlix crew basically just packaged up all the craziness they’ve had pent up since Me Again and put it all into one wild series just for the sake of making it.  There is zero purpose and no clear direction here and it only further serves as an embarrassment to Christian entertainment.  Needless to say, the world is still waiting for a truly legitimate and interesting Christian series, which is something that is obviously very difficult to come by.

 

Final Rating: 2 out of 14 points