Imagine a sitcom where you had four characters who had the persona and intelligence of Cosmo Kramer from Seinfeld?
That’s pretty much what you get with All Things Random’s 2009 comedy pilot Overcrowded, about four such people.
Unfortunately, the laughs in Overcrowded don’t even come close to the laughs earned in the now classic Jerry Seinfeld comedy. Also, Kramer may have been an off the wall idiot, but at least he was a likable idiot.
The same cannot be said for the 4 leads in this pilot, created by stars Greg Vorob and Dan Conrad, which is merely a series of unfunny skits thrown together in an attempt at a cohesive story, but the thread linking all of the stories together is short on cohesion and on laughs.
The basic story is that Vorob and Conrad live in a small, cramped apartment with friends Marc Seidenstein and Paul White. They don’t seem to have jobs or any realistic prospects. Of course they don’t; these guys are complete idiots. I’m not going to mince words. Each character is so blissfully clueless as to the ways of the world and each are so unlikable that I was literally turned off in the first scene and only grudgingly watched the remaining 35 minutes.
In that remaining 35 minutes, I was subjected to Vorob making his new neighbor Steven Hansen’s (poor Ian Campbell Dunn) life a living hell when he is somehow hired as a colleague in Steven’s insurance company where he manages to win over the boss (a wasted Timothy J. Cox) and is then basically given Steven’s job, driving Steven to the brink of insanity. While this is going on, Conrad falls under the delusion that Steven’s wife Claire (Jennifer Zigler) is trying to seduce him. Marc decides to seek enlightenment, but in reality, he just wants to get laid, while Paul is being hunted by the Yakuza (you read that right) after stabbing their boss. Hilarious, right? No.
I’m guessing that Conrad and Vorob were going for the broad, the farcial and the theatrical with Overcrowded, but they missed the mark completely. Farce ceases to exist when all you have are a bunch of idiots terrorizing anyone who comes into their path. It’s simply not funny.
Of the four, Vorob was the only one who showed the slightest potential in the acting department, while Conrad and White sputtered their lines throughout and Seidenstein barely seemed interested in the whole affair, delivering his lines with a certain air of indifference.
Director Dan Kowalski’s sloppy and uninspired direction and camera work also didn’t help matters. Kowalski’s scenes lacked energy and imagination, while his editing gave the feeling that it all looked very thrown together.
by Robert Carey Wilson