The Tangled Web We Watch: Friends in Therapy Is Bare-Bones Online Comedy at Its Best | Film | Los Angeles | Los Angeles News and Events | LA Weekly
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The Tangled Web We Watch: Friends in Therapy Is Bare-Bones Online Comedy at Its Best 

Thursday, Apr 25 2013
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Friends in Therapy is a teeny tiny comedy web series. Practically no budget, no crew, no marketing and NO script. Who knew two guys sitting on a couch discussing their feelings could be so funny? Creators/stars Joe Towne (who starred in the L.A. play Star Wars Trilogy in 30 Minutes) and Daryl Johnson (Punk'd) play friends ... in therapy. In each two-minute, completely improvised episode, the two discuss a different bromantic issue.

Though each vignette is an argument, the relaxed nature with which the men talk out their issues, like a resigned married couple in it for life, keeps the show humorous and endearing. This tone also allows them to stay comedic while exploring sensitive territory, such as Towne admitting he feels alienated when Johnson claims something is "a black thing."

Towne and Johnson, both seasoned improvisers, agree upon each premise only days to moments before filming. Capturing a dynamic, fully improvised scene for a comedy series is tricky. It usually means sacrificing camera movement for continuity. Friends in Therapy is intimate and short enough that two cameras filming each take, one to capture the wide and one for close-ups, did the trick.

click to enlarge Joe Towne, left, and Daryl Johnson
  • Joe Towne, left, and Daryl Johnson

This situation was actually a happy accident. There was supposed to be a therapist character, too, but the friend playing the role couldn't make it on time. The guys shot most of the episodes without her, using the camera they'd planned for her to capture their close-ups.

Towne was grateful for the mishap, explaining in an interview, "Similar to the shark in Jaws" — which spent much of filming broken down — "having that part just didn't work out, and the end product was better without it." —Stephanie Carrie

The Tangled Web We Watch is our new column on what's worth watching online. Watch Friends in Therapy at bit.ly/friendsintherapy. Stephanie Carrie blogs at tangledwebwewatch.com.

Reach the writer at stephanie.carrie@gmail.com

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