Film Salon: $5 Cover Seattle
The Seattle edition of MTV’s $5 Cover, directed by Lynn Shelton and filmed around town this summer, is about ready to hit the web. Audrey and Josh chat about it for your enjoyment.
Audrey: Do you have anything to say about the $5 Cover trailer?
Josh: Not yet. I’ve had that Vimeo tab sitting open, sadly neglected, forever. It seems that just like my intentions to crash one of the filmings this summer, my interest did not overcome my laziness and attention deficit. For instance, I am not entirely clear on whether this is an on-television series or an internet-only series (like Josh Schwartz’s mildly watchable buzz band showcase Rockville, CA).
Audrey: It’s a web series, I believe. I don’t even know that much about it!
Josh: Unlike my time machine, which is out for repairs and prevents me from seeing one of these episodes being filmed at a character-filled local rock venue, my internet machine still works, so I can remedy my ignorance. Hang on and I’ll take a look at the trailer.
Josh: While I’m dialing that up, a procedural question: This trailer has been up for months, why is everyone suddenly talking about it?
Audrey: The vid has been on Vimeo for a bit, but the Mayor’s Office of Film and Music recently wrote about it, which is why it’s been everywhere lately.
Josh: Now that I’ve watched it, a few observations:
- Dita Vox (from Thee Emergency) will steal the show.
- Even during the course of the two minutes and twenty-one seconds of the trailer, I was much more interested in her than the Moondoggies. They are also a band that I “like” (in the same abstract, but noncommittal way that I like Thee Emergency), but they seem to be in the unfortunate position of being the “actors” in this series.
- I make this assumption only because the preview leads me to believe that the primary plot element of this show is their van having broken down. In fairness, this really might actually constitute high drama in a series about a “weekend” in Seattle.
- Another strike against our possible protagonists is that this mechanical mishap opens the possibility for them to talk to a sage elder who tells them that it’s all about money (which certainly won’t sit well).
- Then again, it cuts back to Dita and her girlfriend on a rooftop. Good news.
- Oh, look! Is Sean Nelson really part of this “scene” or is he just in it because he and Lynn are pals? Either way, that is an interesting thing. Maybe.
- None of this is to say that this show doesn’t look good. At this point, we pretty much trust Lynn Shelton implicitly, even when MTV is involved, right? There are gentle mumbly scenes and good local music and young people enjoying themselves in clubs.
- To defensively pre-console ourselves, we will assert without evidence that Seattle’s version has to be ever so much more interesting and subtle than Memphis.
- At the very least, I will watch this just to see that very nice organizational chart brought to life.
- I am still kind of confused about the show, but am glad to see those bands getting some airplay, digital or otherwise.
Audrey: Lynn is going to be at Sundance talking about the series (as was Craig Brewer last year), which MAKES NO SENSE.
Josh: This piece of information only increases my jealousy of your trip to Sundance.
Audrey: Yeah, she’s giving a talk on the $5 Cover experience before I’m there, so I’ll miss that, but I should be getting an invite to the $5 Cover party. Moondoggies will be there too, I believe.
Josh: So, in a quest for informed balance, I went and watched the Memphis trailer and it looks like Craig (Hustle & Flow) Brewer’s take on this has it had a lot more in the way of “imposed narrative.” I can’t tell whether this is just a function of the person who cut the trailer or the different underlying directorial styles.
Audrey: I believe the imposed narrative will be present this season too (so I think it’s still a “semi-scripted reality”). Like they need to add fake people and scripts to make this interesting.
Josh: I can’t, however, bring myself to watch any of the Memphis episodes right now to judge whether the scripting is gentle or intrusive, but I am not entirely *uninterested* in learning about the musical scene of Memphis. It is something completely unfamiliar to me. MTV caveats aside, this has to be a more flattering way of showcasing cities and their youngish artistic people than sending seven strangers into cities to avoid sexually transmitted infections or following the alumni of Laguna Beach into their retirement years.
Josh: If it’s a web series maybe it is worthy of weekly recapping?
Audrey: Oh Jesus. Dare we?
Josh: Aren’t recaps of 5-10 minute webisodes basically inviting the internet to consume itself and take the rest of the world into that black hole of metacommentary?
Audrey: Way to meta-enable.