Film Fiend: Nirvanna the Band the Show

Film Fiend: Nirvanna the Band the Show

I know. This blog is called film fiend and the last two posts have been about television, crazy. Let’s all be adults and realize that it’s hard to find time to sit down and watch a movie with all the projects and tests associated with the end of the school year. However, I always find time for television; this is especially true of good television, like “Nirvanna the Band the Show.”

Originally a web-series, “Nirvanna the Band the Show” is a collaborative effort between indie film maker Matt Johnson (“Dirties,” “Operation Avalanche.”) and Jay McCaroll airing on Viceland. The show itself has, despite its title, nothing to do with the band, “Nirvana.” Instead, it follows the characters of Matt and Jay as they try their hardest to pull off publicity stunts for their band, “Nirvanna the Band.” While this may not sound incredibly enticing, the show’s masterful blend of written, improvisational, and hidden camera comedy carves out a unique and wholly original space in the television comedy world.

My personal favorite bits are the hidden camera moments. I don’t want to spoil too much as I hope anyone reading this will immediately check out the show, but one of the best moments of the season was when Johnson and McCarroll are caught in the middle of a bank heist and decide to take the place of the absent robbers. When the two finally announce they’ll release the hostages the crowd gathered around the bank, who are all unaware that the heist is for a television program, erupt into applause. They literally cheer on bank robbers. Then Johnson starts plugging their band to the crowd, and they still cheer. It is one of the funniest things I have ever watched on television.

As for the written comedy, I’ll simply say that they end an episode by emulating an strange editing mistake at the very end of “Star Wars IV: a New Hope.” I doubt many people noticed it on their first watch, but that’s the kind of joke that I really enjoy. Secret, difficult comedy.

Anywho, I won’t write your ear off (is that a thing?), so just go watch “Nirvanna the Band the Show.”