September 11, 2013
Crash Pad is a web series created by Cathy Tidwell and developed by Antonio Lexerot and Chris Henderson that follows a group of airline personnel and their personal drama into the communal "crash pad."
The series spans 11 episodes with each running approximately 15 minutes. The pilot immediately introduces the audience to select occupants of the crash pad with comedic elements laced throughout with eccentric character quirks but also by playing off the reality of some absurd true-to-life situations. These carry throughout the remainder of the episodes and leaves on a cliffhanger in the filmmakers efforts to possibly explore these characters and situations further.
The series stars quite the line-up of Utah talent including Tatum Langton, Chris Henderson, Jesse Peery, Chantel Flanders, Joshua Cameron, Ashley Campbell, Antonio Lexerot, Jaclyn Easton, Lee Fobert, Aline Andrade, Brenden Whitney, Adrienne Hartvigsen, Nick Diaz, and Larry Filion as well as including minor and often times a recurring cast of characters.
The series itself does get to a rocky rough start which could bore general audiences, and there were moments within the first three episodes that managed to linger on far longer than warranted. Worse yet is that many of these elements were also carried out by actors that left on their own without an ensemble to carry the rest of the weight would sink. It was hard to stay interested with these particular moments leaving one to wonder if the actors themselves were dull or if it was the material they were given.
There were good moments at the start of the series with good, solid actors but was still somewhat difficult to get fully committed to the story overall. Within these first episodes as well was the odd inclusion of the graphic novel editing, which gets a payoff by watching the series in its entirety. This became an element that I quite enjoyed but wish that it was explained a little earlier in some fashion as it's placement, while understood, comes off a little annoying without a hint of exposition to support it.
As the series progressed, it became more and more enjoyable as it went on. More characters were explored and all the little pieces managed to fall together near the conclusion. With a small budget to work with, it is obvious that the filmmakers are doing the best they can to produce something of worth, and I have to say they pull it off. Mostly. Obviously things can improve and get better, and with some decent script editing before production begins and a few actor replacements, a second season would certainly be worth a watch. Based on other Utah produced web series, Crash Pad is quite unique in that it tried telling a story in a different fashion. It wasn't the traditional point A to point B story progression and it's non-linear style didn't seem forced or feel like a quick fix in post to salvage their production.
Once you get passed the first few episodes and get a handle on the atmosphere and style, the rest of the series is fun, enjoyable, and yes, a little sweet.