Who cares that a WRNG couldn’t actually be in Studio City? I mean this is a station that makes up the news anyway, so let’s not split hairs on their name. In fact everything they put up ends up being online anyway, so now I’m not even so sure what the point of the call letters are, except, perhaps as a subtle hint as to the nature of the news being reported.

‘WRNG’ tells the tale of a down on its luck news room searching for something, anything that will keep it afloat. Unable to keep up with NPR the obvious solution is to make up news – and that’s kind of where the show starts to get a little weird.

The concept of ‘WRNG’ came about when creators Greg Machlin and David P. Butler were bored in 7th grade and started writing all their school reports as if they were delivered by a fake news station. Obviously ‘WRNG’ became a labor of love since then, but from what I’ve seen I would describe it more as a lot of trial and error – but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. From the start of #WebSeriesWednesday, Greg informed me that he wanted to get my perspective on a new viewing order for the episodes. I ended up watching them in 3,2,4,5 etc order, with episode 1 being thrown out. The experiment proved successful as I had a hard time figuring out how they managed to not go with that order from the beginning – the first episode comes across more like potential bonus content. The show itself has an unevenness to it that I associate with a lot of experimentation, some of it works and some doesn’t, but it does seem to yield a better product by the end. In other words the show at the beginning little resembles the show at the end.

The first notable experiment was the live episode, shot in front of an audience at a local theater – much in the way last week’s ‘On The Rock’s’ did (well duh, they are related to each other) There is hardly any light, everything is dark and noisy and there is little thought given to the set dressings. In all honesty it was one of the worst looking episodes I’ve seen on here, but it was still my favorite episode. There is some strange charm about it. The veil of realism is just completely thrown out and everyone seems to just be playing with it. It looked like a fun night to be in the theater.

Second I’ve never, ever seen a show look so much radically better in a jump from one episode to the next. Going from one experiment to another can make for drastic changes. Episode seven was shot on a stage in front of a live audience and it looked terrible. After it ended, I moved on to episode eight and was blown away. Graphics in HD, well lit interiors, stylish angles, color correction, clean audio. Heck, even the tone of the show felt different. Apparently the group had added Kristopher Wile into the mix (big time shout out to him for being a long time follower of the site, and for being so talented) and the results speak for themselves.

Third, a lot of the jokes and plot lines are rather strange, and quite random. One main character has an addiction to laundry, and he’s just gotta get clean! Another reminds me of Peter Finch’s character near the end of Network, but beyond mad as hell, he’s absolutely out of his mind – there is also some scifi / magical / drug related element going on that I couldn’t quite follow. There is a ‘web series day dreaming sequence’ that goes on too long and while it’s sort of parodying bad web series it kind of defines the episode it’s in. All in all I struggled to find a consistent element to the style or the comedy itself beyond the absurdist and randomness itself. Perhaps I’m out of touch, or maybe the influence of Family Guy has taken over but this has become my single biggest critique of web comedies. While going for the absurd has its fans and I myself enjoy a well timed random joke I have started to hold in high regard shows that can find a successful formula and run with it. There has to be some value in knowing what you’re getting into when you put on a show. Perhaps absurdist and random humor can be your show’s thing but that seems to be what everybody is doing these days. Feel free to let me know if you disagree because this could be an area where I’m letting my own personal taste get in the way.

‘WRNG In Studio City’ has grown a lot from beginning to end of its first season from a low budget web series with its fair share of technical issues, to something that could rival some of the best series featured on this site. In the process the story has grown from a simple concept with some zany characters to a convoluted mystery with zany characters. While the creators hope to find an audience to help fund a second season viewers starting from the beginning might find the learning-on-the-job aspect of the early episodes to be off putting, while those jumping right in to the professional and polished episodes of the end might have a hard time figuring out what the heck is going on.

You can find ‘WRNG In Studio City’ on their official site http://www.wrnginstudiocity.com/ and you can check out the entire first season with this playlist. http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL0rNGKnVELWt1muE5pQNt-Zsv1XITgDjN