Marty (Greg Vorob) and Doug (Dan Conrad) are two loser roommates who get the bright idea to start their own religion after stalking an attractive woman outside the church she attends every Sunday. Assembling a congregation of oddballs, the church of Badassianity (or Awesomism; they fight over the name all the time) extolls the virtues of Kicking Back, Kicking It and Kicking A*s, and if you’ve got $20, you too can join! Of course, their religion runs afoul of the Catholic Church, even garnering an in-person request to cease and desist from Jesus Christ (Ian Campbell Dunn).
And thus you have the premise behind Marty and Doug’s New Religion, a six-part absurdist comedy webseries by director Dan Kowalski, written by the two stars of the show, Dan Conrad and Greg Vorob. An effort that is low on production values but big on gibberish, each webisode of Marty and Doug’s New Religion is just long enough, between 6-10 minutes, to not overstay its welcome; taken over the whole series, I found enough laughs to carry over interest to each following webisode.
Again, though, this is some low-to-no budget filmmaking going on, so don’t expect a polished experience. There is specifically a segment in episode 6 where the audio just goes off-the-rails awful for some reason. Maybe it was the video encode, or a bad bit of ADR (or lack thereof), but it’s extremely jarring. Luckily, it comes at the end of the series so, if you’ve made it that far, chances are you’re fine with how rough the aesthetic normally gets (and it is pretty rough most of the time).
Overall, the performances in the series are its strongest suit, and the humor is fun, though more on the side of silly than clever. The premise of a new religion taking the piss out of the status quo isn’t the newest of comedic ideas (I recently saw a feature film covering similar ground, though it was far more serious in tone than this series gets in its most dry of moments), but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t work.
In the end, this is the kind of series that lives or dies on whether it makes you laugh. If you’re hooked on the comedy in the first, or even second, episode, the tech issues, style and pacing are obviously fine. If you’re not into what Marty and Doug’s New Religion is selling… well, it’s split up into enough parts that you can always just stop watching without losing too much of your day.
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