The talents behind Mystery Science Theater 3000, RiffTrax, Freaks & Geeks, and, er, House of Sand and Fog, have gotten together to produce what may be the freshest office comedy in a long while. The show's called RenFest, it's set amid the vibrant and often fraught office politics of a Renaissance festival, and, in a still-novel but increasingly-common move, it's crowdfunding on Kickstarter.
Everyone who's worked in an office setting is familiar with the new boss that comes in with an agenda that may not exactly fit in with the existing office culture. RenFest follows the unfortunate office collision between festival denizens and their new assistant manager, one Elisabeth Crönk--a clueless yet tirelessly optimistic and politically correct historian--and AK, her Somali-American assistant. Nothing could be more wrong.
Politics and battles of profound import and little consequence ensue. RenFest is a thoroughly entertaining workplace satire that will have you snorting your turkey leg as it skewers today's complex social issues ripped from the headlines and writ ridiculously small. The Kickstarter site lays out plots for 12 episodes.
The trailer is hilarious:
Project backers get access to an incredibly funny 10-minute mini-pilot.
The series features the comic antics of Elisabeth (Mary Jo Pehl: MST3K, Cinematic Titanic) and her Somali-American assistant, A.K. (introducing Jamal Farah), as they tangle with festival general manager and despot Lloyd Gunderson (Dave "Gruber" Allen: Freaks & Geeks, Ned's Declassified, Bad Teacher), the woefully inaccurate Viking (Trace Beaulieu: MST3K, Freaks & Geeks, Other Space) and other festival denizens. Think "The Office" or "Parks and Recreation" set amid the complex world of Renaissance festivals.
The creators (full disclosure: including this writer) hope the Kickstarter approach will demonstrate the audience support for a show in this space, and provide them with more freedom to explore: "You love us, you support us, and this way you don't have to buy Viagra or adult diapers to fund us. Woohoo!"
RenFest is designed, they say, to appeal to everyone who:
A) Is a nerd
B) Likes to laugh
C) Is a fan of Renaissance festivals, LARPing, gaming, Comic-Con and/or Trekkie conventions
D) Has survived office politics
E) Has an axe to grind
6) Is a nerd.
If you want to see more you've got 30 days to show your affection.