The phrase “lets get weird” has become quite popular lately. And even though it’s been popular, I haven’t really been the one to use it…until now. After watching the first episode of the sci-fi web show “Zhon”, I will now be saying, “lets get weird!” before every viewing. Not only is this some stoner, Tim and Eric meets The Office, kind of show, but it’s completely off the wall bonkers. Let me delve deeper into what Zhon really is.
First off, let me explain Zhon. Zhon is a science fiction web show that is directed by independent filmmakers. It’s all shot in Arizona and was funded personally. The central idea of the show is to focus on “a man who claims to be an alien and turns himself in to the US secret service for interrogation. Insisting that he will only be interviewed by Amanda Bella, a beautiful tv talk show host, he tells his version of Earth’s history.” While the plot and idea isn’t overly innovative, the directors sure do have a mind of their own.
The show has a lot of similarities to the hit show The Office. There’s a strong sense of awkwardness after each one-liner, and it acts as a great curve ball to the show.
One thing that I liked particularly about Zhon is the angles, shots and lighting. A show can get totally screwed over if it’s not produced and shot properly. Zhon seemed to have a strong sense in what they were doing and I really appreciated the way they set everything up. Nothing was shaky, nothing was over exposed, and there was a lot of professionalism in the creation of an amateur produced web show.
Now lets move on to the acting. While many of these actors aren’t professional, many of them do have positive, professional attributes. Robert Linden (Zhon) and Alida Holguín Gunn play some solid roles and it’s great seeing them go full force at a small production. It shows dedication and character. Robert has a hilarious role as an alien, and his bald head adds a funny piece to his character. We all have some sort of image in our head of what an alien might look like, but after watching Zhon, I now think of Robert Linden. He just plays the role very well. Alinda does a great job acting as the talk show host and she has a very sweet style of acting.
But let’s not forget that this show is also a considered a dramedy. There are some serious moments in this show that come off quite striking. Whether it’s in season two episode six when Zhon recounts the death of a close friend in Rome, or in the final episodes when Zhon has a flashback to the gruesome Vietnam War; the web show Zhon has their fair share of serious moments in the mix of comedy. So while there’s plenty of hilarious moments in the show, you be sure to keep a box of tissues at your side for those emotional moments. The producers did a great job of mixing several different genres in this show.
What I think I like the most about Zhon and it’s creators is their motivational statement. They say “it is our desire to provide this series to you, the viewer. We are fans ourselves and have created a series that we wanted to see. We have worked very hard to create strong characters, interesting storylines, and high quality material that at the end of the day we just plain enjoy. After all that’s what we do, we are entertainers. We hope you love the show much as we do and we are honored to present it to you, our dear viewers. We look forward to sharing many more projects with you in the future through our various producing partners.” Personally, to know that someone created a show out of pure excitement (and not caring if it was going to get popular), is something to appreciate.
Overall, I think the show is great.
Eric Witmer is a college student who is currently majoring in professional writing. He currently writes for several different online publications. He has never written for a school newspaper before, and he refuses to ever touch foot in their office.
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