Geek Lounge

Geek Lounge is a web series by Chicago comedian/filmmaker Larry Ziegelman about a group of geeky friends, who meet after hours at a local Chicago bar. Each comedic 5-minute segment features a little nerdy wackiness and hits upon the relational foibles geeks face in both the real world and amongst themselves.

Its first episode Gauntlet introduces the beloved gang, Josh (Liam Gallogly), Augustus (Lee Russell), Abby (Erin Gordon), Colin (Will J. Green) and Hal (David Weiner), as they decide whether to allow Leo (Daniel Ennion) into the group. Leo’s problem is he’s attractive, charismatic, and can’t possibly be a nerd.

In Skywalkers, the group struggles to order the right drink, so new member Leo encourages them to let loose by buying them a round of the hard stuff…the Skywalker. Can our misfits hold their booze?

Adding a little sweetness to the menu in Solo, Abby helps introvert John (Conor Burke) muster the courage to talk to girls during the bar’s Cosplay event.

In the series truly wacky moment, episode Hal has Hal conducting human experiments in the men’s bathroom to obtain valuable research and a cash.

“…nerdy wackiness and hits upon the relational foibles geeks face…”

Geek Lounge is fine. That’s the best I can say. It covers the familiar tropes of geek films, drops the requisite nerd references, and creates a world where Han Solo and Spock can have a drink as friends. The acting is fine and production values are professional. On that alone, it manages to cross the recommendation line.

The real problem is the internet is overwhelmed with never-ending supply geek and nerd comedy sketches addressing the same issue. The characters, story, and comedy in Geek Lounge just don’t go far enough to stand out from a very crowded field.

The series boasts a large staff of writers and a large cast, all of whom I assume have improv backgrounds. The sheer number and backgrounds of the creative should be enough to challenge one another to greatness. They have a great location for their stories. They possess the equipment necessary to produce a quality series. Assuming this series continues indefinitely, it’s time to take those scripts and stories to the next level. Don’t hold back. Don’t tell the stories everyone else is telling. Push characters to their limits and most of all, don’t just use Star Trek references as throwaway lines, be clever and value them as if you were holding an actual dilithium crystal.

Geek Lounge (2018) Directed by Larry Ziegelman. Written by Larry Ziegelman, Madelyn Murphy, Liam Gallogly, Daniel Ennion, Lee Russell, Erin Gordon, Conor Burke, Will J Green, David Weiner, Zoquera Milburn. Starring Madelyn Murphy, Liam Gallogly, Daniel Ennion, Lee Russell, Erin Gordon, Conor Burke, Will J Green, David Weiner, Zoquera Milburn. Geek Lounge screened in the web series competition at the 2018 Dances With Films.

6 out of 10 stars

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