Holliston

1 out of 5

Created by: Adam Green

Covers seasons 1 and 2

I asked this with all sincerity while watching Adam Green’s Holliston: is it supposed to be this bad? Is it supposed to be completely bereft of humor, and are its characters supposed to be almost completely unlikeable?

There’s a laugh track, which kind of supports the “we know it’s not funny” bit, but it seems to be used legitimately – i.e. non-ironically – and if the characters (and story) are intended to be uninteresting and unsympathetic, then Green and co-writer Joe Lynch must be playing a long game beyond two seasons’ worth of episodes, because they carry the same tone (of: bros like horror movies and girls!) straight-faced throughout.

Indeed, after reading some interviews regarding the series, it is exactly what it seems to be: a sitcom. It’s made by horror director Adam Green (who also co-stars, along with Lynch), and it appeared on FEARnet, so it’s informed by that genre, but beyond some gore gags here and there – which are also unfunny, given how predictable and overtly wink-wink they are – that hardly matters. It is, for all other intents and purposes, a show that could be on a primary network: two roommates (Green and Lynch) who’re perpetually broke, and perpetually trying to get their movie made, have hijinx-of-the-week antics with their friends / girlfriends (Laura Ortiz, Corri English) and occasional guest stars. All of the mugging for the camera and templated joke beats from any given sitcom are present.

And so I have to calm myself: people obviously watch sitcoms of this nature, and they would seem to enjoy them. And I guess there’s a cross-section with horror fans, who get off on references to horror movies we’ve all seen, as well as – sure – some cool cameos from Kane Hodder and whatnot. If it’s not obvious, I do not watch sitcoms – I cannot stand them – and so it’s really hard for me to square my appreciation of some of Adam’s films with this entirely unoriginal, uninteresting show. Pedaling back on that a bit, while I don’t watch sitcoms, I think I can be accepting of those that have some merit of some form or another (beyond simple longevity), but I’m admittedly still harsh on stuff that I’d consider bottom tier, made-for-the-lowest-common-laugh-point-denominator series, and… Yeah. Holliston is akin to Big Bang Theory for horror “geeks.”

There are apostrophes there, but, fair enough, 1 out of ever 20 or so nods is a deep cut. That’s hardly enough to raise the rating, though.

The cast is all game for the series, and the concept of a sitcom with doses of blood and guts is valid, but if you’re like me, with a particular antipathy toward prime time laugh-tracked nonsense, there is nothing here for you, and, in the process of watching Holliston, you might end up questioning your enjoyment of any Adam Green movie.