10 January 2009 | liquidcelluloid-1
It boggles the mind to know that someone told ZO2 that they could carry their own comedy series
Network: IFC; Genre: Comedy; Content Rating: TV-MA (for profanity, simulated sex); Perspective: Contemporary (star range: 1 4);
Seasons Reviewed: 1 season
"Z Rock" is the latest original offering from the Independent Film Channel that attempts to circle around something close to a comedy. It's my fault for getting a few smirks out of "The Business" for thinking that maybe IFC had a show in it with some ability to get a laugh. Stop me if you've heard this one. "Rock" is a single camera bit of double promotion in which the real life 3-man band of ZO2 stares as themselves, a fledging rock band trying to get a record deal suffering one indignity after another on their rise to fame and fortune, specifically being pigeon-holed for playing kids birthday parties.
With a premise stolen somewhere between "This is Spinal Tap" and HBO's "Flight of the Conchords", "Rock" is a lazy, lame, embarrassingly amateur and disgustingly self-indulgent enterprise for ZO2, which consists of brothers Paulie Z, David Z and drummer Joey C. These characters have no motivation beyond getting rich, famous, living in a mansion and getting lots of girls. The three guys were never meant for the front of the camera. They aren't actors, they talk in line readings, can't deliver a joke and the mind boggles to wonder who gave them the idea they were funny enough to star in their own comedy series.
Apparently somewhere, someone figured that these guys can't carry a series, which results in "Z Rock" being equally obnoxious in how celebrity guest star heavy it is. It's befuddling to wonder how in the world people like Dave Attell came to be in this thing. Dave Navarro guests as an increasingly psychotic version of himself (a celebrity playing on his own personal, different huh?) who can have any women he wants and goes after Joey's. Joan Rivers appears frequently as the cousin of their agent (terribly played by recognizable comic Lynne Koplitz) making "Rock" only the latest series trying to get us to believe that Joan Rivers is funny. Makes "Nip/Tuck" look good.
Of course, need I mention that "Flight of the Conchords" is not just funny, but one of the best comedies on TV. Great characters played by natural comedians, it's also a musical show with catchy musical numbers. The music in Z-Rock in agonizing and much of it, like the show's sense of humor, leans toward cheap lame scatological humor. They want to look like hard core rockers and have to sing kid songs get it, get it? Ug.
Nothing here works. Nothing. Anything that even remotely appears to be a potentially humorous idea is botched by a cast that can't make anything they do not look rushed and staged and a director who appears to be fumbling around in the dark with no clue how to frame or pace a scene as to make sure there isn't a single laugh to be found. "Z Rock" isn't just unfunny, it is barely a show at all.
½ / 4