The Vampire Anti-Defamation League has asked me to clear some things up about “Vampire Mob,” the webseries™ that I’m reviewing today. But, to be honest, I can’t remember why. I’m sure that the following episode of Balthazane’s Study will jog my memory.
Though, I’m not sure how watching my be-caped self deliver the best webseries™ reviews the internet’s ever seen in video form will remind me of Vampire stereotypes.
But I’ll watch nonetheless.
Ah. I remember now.
“Vampire Mob” is a webseries™ from creator Joe Wilson about an Italian-American hit-man who has an Italian American wife who has just bitten her Italian American mother and invited her to move into their Italian American home for the rest of Italian American eternity (or eternity’s close approximation), all the while being videotaped by their (I presume) Italian American nephew. But there’s one extremely brilliant twist; they’re all Italian American Vampires.
A show with great promise, but one rife with stereotypical traps; They live in Los Angeles, however, these Italian American Vampires speak with accents that are so East Coast, it’s as if they were born on a secret island version of New Jersey that floats in the Atlantic Ocean, 200 miles further east of the actual New Jersey. They enjoy making traditional Italian American food, even thought they can’t eat it. They say traditional Italian American Grace, even though it could fatally bore them.
I see no need for concern. “Vampire Mob” has been able to navigate all defamatory pitfalls without incident. They even managed to circumvented the ever-prevalent Catholic Vampire stereotypes which are most pervasive and revolting.
But the Vampire Anti-Defamation League has asked that I state that they take issue with “Vampire Mob’s” insinuation that any Vampires care about whether or not blood is organic.
I suspect that they’re only sensitive because it’s true. All Vampires feign interest in organic blood. It’s just the way Vampires are made.
I do, however, take issue with “Vampire Mob” for other, more sinister reasons.
Categorically, there’s one genre that confounds accurate and insightful critique: The Mockumentary. Dreaded foe of the webseries™ judiciary everywhere. Mockumentaries are the hell-spawn of Satan’s less amiable brother Jim.
The Mockumentary is like its own built-in, all-encompassing excuse. Bad camera work? Mockumentary! Bad sound? Mockusoundery! Bad acting? Mockuactory! How does one go about judging this type of work? Every insult is a compliment. Every compliment is also a compliment.
“Jim’s Beard! That was the most amateur webseries™ I’ve ever laid eyes on.”
“Why, thank you, we’ve worked very hard to make it look that way.”
Asinine. I’ve met Italian American who were less wily than the Mockumentary style. Perhaps the only way to fight the Mockumentary Filmmaking style is to do so in the Mockumentary Criticism style:
Now, you must imagine that this page is shaking violently, moving in and out of focus, and sounds as if the audio were recorded under the bleachers at a NASCAR event. For some of you, this won’t be difficult. Are you imaging it? Good.
There. You can stop shaking. Unless you’re the nervy Italian American type like Joe Pesci, then I can’t help you. That is my critique of the Mockumentary style. Gritty and raw n’est-ce pas? The lower case “p” at the beginning was a nice touch, I think. It implies that rules are not enforced here. This is life.
However, my critique of “Vampire Mob” is only slightly better. I found it to be enjoyable. Even with its relentless Mockumentary taunting. If there’s only one camera man, how are we seeing so many angles?! A maddening, labyrinthine mental exercise. One of many that Mockumentaries employ to slowly drive us all mad. But, I’ve survived with my sanity in tact. And “Vampire Mob’s” Cinéma Vérité style gave me a fresh outlook on humanity coupled with an excuse to use lines over my “e”s. ..Damn. I’m afraid I may be going Mockumental. A medically recognized illness (ask Christopher Guest). The only treatment of which is to watch the first 2 films in the Godfather series. There’s nothing real about those. Except for their depictions of Italian Americans.
I give “Vampire Mob” my second highest rating:
Score = Blah.
What this show has:
Talking to the Camera
What it doesn’t have:
A cure for Mockumental Illness