Comic Book Men is a new reality show produced for AMC. I watched the first episode. Sadly, I don’t imagine I’ll need to watch another.
The main problem is that for a show with COMICS in the title it just isn’t focused enough on comics themselves. There are too many toys, there’s too much character flavouring, and there’s just way too little substance to care about. It takes the recipe of fake drama that other “reality” shows use and sets it in a comicbook store. There’s the strange customer coming in to pawn something for the guys to talk about. There’s the fake competition over nothing. It’s like the producers told the directors to stay as far away from comics as possible. And the camerapeople were told that if they stopped moving the camera they’d be fired. There’s cute banter, a bit of comics nostalgia, but not enough about comics. The guys themselves, they seem like perfectly fine dudes. that’s cool, but the reason I go to a comic book store is to get comics – to hear about new comics. I don’t got to comic book stores for drama or for the jokes. The focus is just wrong.
I wouldn’t mention the show at all except there is one fairly interesting aspect to Comic Book Men that’s worth sharing. That is that the core of Comic Book Men is based around a podcast (or rather a fake podcast based on real podcasts).
Now I’ve seen podcasts mentioned in dramas (Numb3rs had an episode in which a criminal had a podcast), and The Ricky Gervais Show podcast was turned into an animated HBO show, but this is the first show intended for television, at least that I’ve seen, that incorporated a podcast as part of the actual show itself.
The moving cameras, the reaction shots, the bed music under ever line spoken, all that stuff doesn’t make the show better, it just makes it slicker. Below you’ll find that most interesting part of the show – the podcast. I just wish they were talking about some comics I could buy in a comic book store.
Posted by Jesse Willis