Upfront, I admit this silly video, The Privates, which is my current favorite among the Sci Fi shorts I watch by the dozens on Youtube, may not be to your taste in humor. Me, I’ve laughed out loud each of the half dozen times I’ve watched it so far.
Why? If you’ve ever been in a garage band (I’ve been in several over the years), you will recognize the personalities and dialogue. The drummer in particular avoids being a stereotype while ringing completely true.
The over-serious sci fi elements just make it funnier.
“Do you have any idea how many Kelvins we must be generating to do something like this?” long pause. “A lot.”
“Short term, more like for Friday, what are we dealing with, survival wise?”
“Us, or the crowd?”
Watch this, and I’ll put my comments below.
SPOILER-ISH STUFF BELOW
The clueless lead singer is something almost every band deals with. That there’s one person who actually knows how the equipment works is another. The drummer, operating on an alternate plain of existence is yet another, as is the one worry-wart. What makes it great is how they nail each role, but in an unexpected ways. Having an over-serious woman rhythm guitar player be the tech geek, a hard rocker, and be totally detached from the possibility they might accidentally kill people – brilliant. Bass players tend to be the 2nd most out-there people in bands, after drummers – so making Ben the responsible one – smart.
Max, the lead guitar player/singer just wants to rock, has little interest in and no idea what’s going on, but he’s also the guy always calling “band meeting” and poling the others. Max’s role reversal with Ben at the end is a hoot. Ben, worried about safety and ignored by everyone else, is also a familiar riff – there’s always one guy in the band who, in the opinion of the others, overthinks things and worries too much.
There’s always a Pool Party Eddie, a guy who can get you gigs, even if they’re terrible gigs. The ‘nobody came’ refrain – rite of passage for every band. It doesn’t feel good.
The final scene, where Max is finally convinced something is wrong, while Ben is jazzed out of his mind, to hell with safety – awesome. The panic moment when they don’t see Roka, the drummer, is a small but critical touch. You get it that the band members care for each other, which adds a note of feeling that keeps the film from just being slapstick. (A tiny detail I didn’t catch until like the 5th viewing: Roka and Kep are sisters.)
Roka stumbles in carrying her cymbals and a smoldering backpack, explains how she and “sound guy” had to escape the fire by crawling out the bathroom window, but then says
“That was the best show ever. that’s the most fun I’ve had since probably Kep’s birthday party.”
“That was a good party.”
“It was the best party.”
Max sums it up:
“OK, who wants to keep going and see about burning this house down on Friday?”
Maybe you had to have been in bands, I don’t know. Cracks me up.