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Watch Episode 1 Of New Web Series From Matthew Cherry - 'Almost 30'

Television
by Tambay A. Obenson
February 7, 2013 5:18 PM
38 Comments
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His first post-The Last Fall project, Matthew Cherry has been at work on a new web series titled Almost 30

Reminiscent of some pre-1990 Woody Allen (when you watch it, you'll see what I mean), the series follows 27 year old Justin Simmons, whose life is put in disarray when his marriage proposal goes terrible wrong.

It stars Michael Moss, Ricky Smith and guest-stars Brittany C. Richards, Harvey Alperin and EJ Curse.

Episode 1, titled Almost Engaged, debuted yesterday and is embedded below:

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38 Comments

  • STAY TUNED!!!!!! | February 13, 2013 5:50 PMReply

    EPISODE TWO IN ONE WEEK! WE ALL GON BE ON HORSES SOON. RIDE OUT, ROLL UP, COME ON IN! YOU HERE FOR THIS CUZ THIS IS EVERYTHING AND IT GIVES YOU LIFE!

  • WTF | February 12, 2013 12:06 PMReply

    This is terrible. Better luck next time :(

  • ThingsThatMakeUGoHmmm | February 12, 2013 10:41 AMReply

    unfunny. UNFUNNY. BAD!!

  • monkeysuit | February 9, 2013 6:31 PMReply

    Why is this getting hated on more than the other 3000 web series? I'm honestly curious.

    And LOL@ the Woody Allen reference. Trying to legitimize this mess? It's more "reminiscent" of Parks & Rec and The Office if anything.

  • CareyCarey | February 10, 2013 6:10 AM

    *LOL*... Ms. Monkey Suit, your comment has me thinking. I don't believe many people understand that blogs & their comment sections are reminiscent of interstate highway's rest stops, in that they each serve a similar purpose.

    The hosts and patrons of each establishment has different goals. The host displays information and offers refreshments and a place for their visitors to take a dump. Some internet travelers drive-by the blinking lights, yet others can't wait to drop their load. Some believe they're dropping big perfumed shit, while others know full well their shit stinks as much as the person sitting next to them. While sitting in their stinking solitude, some folks write on the walls. Some folks just read the shit that's on the walls.

    The proprietor could really care less at what goes on in the stalls. They don't - "really"- care about the length of someones shit or whether or not it stinks like shit. Their main concerns are focused on attractions and numbers. If you keep coming back (for whatever) they can keep doing what they do.

    BIGGIE: A step-by-step booklet for you to get your game on track, not your wig pushed back.

  • HI TO ALMOST 30 TEAM MEMBER | February 10, 2013 1:33 AM

    Two reasons. 1. Anything from someone known or famous automatically gets more attention. 2. Because it sukks. Prople comment on stuff they feel strongly about. Look at the post for "Because I Love You" (which also had people from the movie defending it in the comments) for another perfect example.

  • CareyCarey | February 8, 2013 8:11 PMReply

    Okay y'all, lets settle down up in here while I sing an old school mellow song, and then, we'll go somewhere. Here it goes: "Summer breeze makes me feel fine, blowing through the jasmine in my mind. See the paper lying on the sidewalk, a little music from the house next door, so I walk on up to the door step, through the screen and across the floor. Summer breeze makes me feel fine, blowing through the Jasmin of my mind. See the curtains hanging in the window, in the evening on a Friday night. A little light a-shining through the window, lets me know everythings alright."

    I sung that song by the Isley Brothers because this post took me there. Boy do I remember my summers. Those summers as a young kid, those summers I was in love and... and summers as a parent trying to raise children, I have fond memories of those days gone by. In particular, this post takes me back to the summers that I was a little league coach, spending days in the hot summer sun in an attempt to keep my son active and give something back to the community that laid my foundation for this road called life. Now, I'll get back to this and how it relates to Mathew Cherry's web-series, but I have to skip ahead to last night.

    As I've said before, my lady adores everything Tyler Perry. So, yesterday, in the mail, she received her brand new copy of Tyler's new play Madea Gets A Job. Well, of course I had to watch it with her because, you know, that's what we do... watch movies together.

    After I laughed a few times I thought of Miles Ellison, an S&A visitor who said, "Tyler Perry's films are a turnoff because they're comedies that aren't funny."

    Hmmmm, not funny? Then why did I laugh several times? I mean, I didn't go to film school so maybe I am less-than? I mean, I'm black, and I can relate to black folks, but maybe I haven't been around the "right" black folks so I'll laugh at any damn thang? Maybe I'm not rich enough? I mean, I've made 6 figure incomes, but maybe, just maybe, that doesn't put me in the right crowd that could teach me what to laugh at?

    I don't know but at the end of the play, Tyler came out and spoke a few words that made me think of Matthew Cherry and this post. He said, "when I think back to where this all started, I remember my first play 20 years ago. I had made arrangements for 1200 people to show up on my opening night. Only about 40 came through the door. I lost everything I had, but I had a dream, I had hope and I kept pushing, kept fighting. I had a million people tell me no "

    Of course, through all the sticks and stones, we know the rest of the story.

    So now, my summers as a little league coach and my days coaching my son, and how it relates to Matthew Perry and this post.

    Later in life, my son told me those summer days were hard on him. Although I was raised in that neighbor, my old neighborhood, back in the "hood", we no longer lived there. So my son was essentially an outsider. Not only was my son - for lack of a better word - slumming, he was the "coaches son". Those who have been around sports knows that's an unenviable position. So, to show that I wasn't showing any favoritism toward him, I, unwisely was harder on him than all the other players. And, the optimum words is HARD. I thought I was doing the right thing, but looking back, I didn't know how to give the proper constructive feedback, not only to him but to the rest of the team. Every kid is different. They all came from different backgrounds. Some needed gentle encouragement, other needed a loud commanding voice. Yet, others only needed a male's voice, someone they respected to tell them that they were alright and stay in the game. I didn't learn that lesson until late in my game.

    So now, as I am reading this post, it's apparent that many mean well by their "criticism" of Matthew. Granted, there are haters among us (and we all know their "voice") but I am more concerned with the needs of Matthew Perry, his crew, and if we are really giving them the "right" feedback?

    Cont...

  • CareyCarey | February 9, 2013 5:57 PM

    Hey Joe & Joe II, it's easy, take your thumb out of your ass and DON'T read it.

    Do y'all "don't got time" for that? :-)

    As I said, it's easy. Mr. Moe Joe, you take your tongue out of Big Joe's ass as he's removing his thumb. And then, pull up you panties, shit back and take a deep breath. When you both stop giggling, write something. I'll expect your return.

  • ISECONDTHATJOE | February 9, 2013 3:09 PM

    I second that Joe. Don't nobody got time or a care to read all his mess. Once tolerable. Now nails on chalkboard. Go AWAY.

  • JOE | February 9, 2013 12:21 PM

    no one cares to read your asinine commentary, get a job

  • CareyCarey | February 8, 2013 8:09 PMReply

    Cont...
    Let me switch gears.

    This week the PAFF is talking place in LA. On the schedule there's panel discussions being moderated by some mighty big names. The headlines read... The POWER Behind The Faith-Based Movement... A Conversation With POWERFUL Black Men In Entertainment.... A Conversation With POWERFUL Black Women In Entertainment... A Conversation With HOLLYWOOD POWER COUPLE! Yes sir, POWER-POWER-POWER... Black Power. There's even going to be a discussion on SLAVERY, with DOCTORS and PROFESSORS at the head of the table!

    But off in a lonely room, at 2 PM on the afternoon of the last day, sits a lonely man. He's only there to talk about what the black cinema needs more than Dr. Vinny Boombatz or clinched black fists. What this black world needs now is love sweet love and lessons on WRITING! But again, while the speech makers sit at the big table toasting each other with powerful smiles on their faces, the lonely legend writer might not have anyone to pass the baton.

    "What the [black cinema] world needs now is love sweet love [and writing], it's the only thing that there's just too little of. Lord we don't need another mountain, there are mountains and hillsides enough to climb. There are oceans and rivers enough to cross, enough to last until the end of time"

    What the black world needs now is love sweet love and writing lessons.

  • CareyCarey | February 8, 2013 8:08 PMReply

    Charles Judson:

    ..... "One of the great weaknesses in our infrastructure is that we don't have a lot of spaces for writers to just talk about the craft of writing. A lot of the discussions are structured around how to get in, what will and won't be produced, and less on the nuts and bolts of writing.'

    OH SHIT, DR. Feelgood has arrived. Come on Charles, give us some more of that good thang.

    ...... [Think about it] "Think about actors. The point of constant training for actors is not to get a specific role, it's to have the tools to play a range of roles. There are those who take that training and spin it into amazing work. Others go through the motions." ~ Charles from the ATL

    Well folks, there it is, are we giving Matthew and his crew what they need, or are we just saying a whole lot of nothing that they really can't use? ?

  • CareyCarey | February 8, 2013 7:59 PMReply

    TEST

  • Urban Actors | February 8, 2013 2:50 PMReply

    Improvements can always be made, Mr. Cherry has proven his ability to shoot great material, ie. The Last Fall, so I only see this series getting better by the episode. Jeremy Brilliant isn't the greatest DP, he clearly phoned it in, and there were far too many writers involved in this first episode, but Matthew will figure it out, I'll definitely keep watching and I look forward to the end results.

    We must support our Black filmmakers with congratulations and constructive feedback! That's the only way we're going to create an environment where all of us can learn, grow and build within the larger, much more bias, mainstream film, television and new media industry.

  • Actory | February 10, 2013 3:39 AM

    uh, i'm not posting under different names. i dont even know the filmmaker like that to have any personal bias. i just won't praise mediocrity just because a filmmaker is Black. I'm not gonna grasp at straws to find something enjoyable that...isn't. to me, this wasn't funny. nothing about it makes me want to see more. why is this web series immune to criticism? As for the "go create something"... i will and i have but that has nothing to do with whether or not *this* episode of *this* webseries is good. don't get mad at people who call it like *they* see it. you love it? great! i don't. great, too!

  • HI TO ALMOST 30 TEAM MEMBER | February 10, 2013 1:38 AM

    Hmm, I wonder why "ACTORness" would agree with "Urban ACTORS," and also tell Actory to stop posting under different names...

  • ACTORNESS | February 9, 2013 3:07 PM

    I agree with Urban actors about supporting through the bias we all face. Actory, go create something and stop trying to rile up with nine different names on this thread. Lol.

  • Actory | February 8, 2013 3:19 PM

    "We must support our Black filmmakers with congratulations and constructive feedback"

    No "we" don't. You don't get a 'congratulations' just because one is a black filmmaker. That's ridiculous and the thing that keeps mediocre material like this as the rule and not the exception. This isn't good from the writing, direction, cinematography and the acting. Folks have blasted subpar webseries that were also mediocre. It shouldn't be a problem to do the same here just because people "know" the filmmaker. The work speaks for itself. No need to sugar coat or hand hold. In a sea of mediocre webseries, this one does not stand out.

  • JessO | February 8, 2013 2:19 PMReply

    Seems this director can do no right on this site. Favoritism runs rampant here. If this was Barry Jenkins or Dee Rees with the same material, it'd be hailed as a masterpiece. Stay up, Mr. Cherry. We're not all snotty and snooty. I likededed it.

  • Akimbo | February 8, 2013 2:41 PM

    I don't get why people keep trying to turn valid criticism into an attack on Cherry. I don't know the man and have no pretenses about him, but from this episode and his film, his work is not up to snuff. Has nothing to do with who he is or any attention/accolades he receives and has everything to do with what he's putting out. I had nothing to say about the man until the Last Fall aired on BET. While it wasn't terrible, it was your typical mediocre passion project, on par with your average black or white indie film. Though beautifully shot, the dialogue and plotting were poor, but you could tell the intentions were sincere. Now THIS? Is just bad- not mediocre- and not on par with its peers. Is it a comedy? Because there were no laughs. Is it a drama? Because there were no stakes. As of episode one, it's just another in a line of hyped up web series from name creators/producers that flounder (Milk & Honey and Lenox Avenue for example). Maybe it can improve like Roomieloverfriends did, but right now, the writing, timing, and acting need work; no shade, no hate, no jealousy, just the truth. If any of the "hate accusers" have anything to do with this series, please do pass the notes along...or just keep hurling accusations, whichever helps you improve your craft. People are going to watch regardless because of your brand, but it would be nice to provide them better content.

  • pk | February 8, 2013 12:31 PMReply

    I like the premise of it and appreciated the relatable dialogue. Being "Almost 30" , I got the television series reference, the cereal meme, and will probably get future episodes of being "Almost ___".
    Scenes could be clipped shorter for a better comedic effect but I laughed.

  • Just My Two Cents | February 8, 2013 9:55 AMReply

    The background setting, acting, crosses and continuity - particularly in the opening scene - is poor. An experienced script supervisor or AD can solve that problem for you, Matthew. In addition, the snap zoom, in my humble opinion, has been beat to death. That's not to say to it can't work, but in this instance, it feels forced. The Old-Spice gag was funny - 3 years ago. Today, not so much. That notwithstanding, the payoff at the end was flat. Comedy is the most difficult genre of storytelling, I applaud your courage for throwing your hat in the ring. I have no doubt your work will improve with each new effort. Have tough skin, keep creating and stay open to constructive criticism. But most importantly, keep creating.

  • miktal | February 8, 2013 5:17 AMReply

    If there is one thing I HATE with a passion, it is characters who talk to the camera, or even off camera as this guy was doing (who the hell is he supposed to be talking to anyway?). Yes, it is a tool for telling a story, but is without doubt the laziest, most unoriginal and uncreative way of doing it, and I`m sorry, but that just wont get my attention.. If I need my characters to say something or exhibit a side to their character, then I choose the scene and words to do it. This, in my mind, cuts the good writer from the bad.

  • uh | February 8, 2013 1:34 AMReply

    no stakes and no comedic timing. tried but no.

  • RayRay | February 8, 2013 12:17 AMReply

    Well. I hate to step on any toes, but I didn't like it either. That's just MY opinion. Hater, critic, negro that cant do any better, I guess I'm all of that, but at the end of the day, that's just what it is. As a filmmaker you have to take the good with the bad, if you put your creations out for the world to see, people are going to judge. Some people are truly facetious and will not like anything that's created, but some people just like to give honest feedback. @WowFromFellowFilmMaker you just sound butt hurt about all of this, why do you feel everyone must love this? If people did love it, are they too not allowed to comment, or should they bite their tongue as well?

  • Rasheed | February 8, 2013 12:13 AMReply

    The writing's actually pretty good. The problem here are the actors. They don't seem to be able to handle the quirky humor the show seems to be going for. The cinematography and editing aren't helping either. That loose camera/jump cut stuff is played. I think he's going for that early Soderbergh style but it ain't working. It just looks amateurish. I'll give it a few more episodes though.

  • ALM | February 8, 2013 12:11 AMReply

    I am not a big follower of Woody Allen, so that may affect my view on this. I did notice that the scenes in which he is speaking about his girlfriend to the camera are awkward. When you break the fourth wall, the person you are referring to should either be completely outside of the camera shot or should be very, very far in the background. He was talking about her and she wasn’t too far behind him.

    Why does the girl have to be so mean? I have noticed a common theme in a lot of these web series….Black women portrayed as either mean and/or materialistic alphas, while the men are betas who are constantly dominated by the women and nagged by the women. Is this what these male creators really think of Black women?

    Other than that, I think the show was alright. Work on the fourth wall issue and the portrayal of Black women. I’ll be looking for episode 2.

  • Bama | February 8, 2013 2:25 PM

    Nope, try to follow. The argument was with the viability of the shot. Its been done with success. Period. So tutorials about it not being done that way was what i responded to. This point was not about content. Calm down.

  • Um no | February 8, 2013 2:14 PM

    @Bama

    Differnece is, The Office and the other shows who did this are actually FUNNY.

  • Bama | February 8, 2013 2:12 PM

    Parks and Rec and The Office shoot like this, break 4th wall with subjects in background and they seem to be doing just fine. Your analysis of what's right and wrong is a little off.

  • WowfromFellowFilmmaker | February 7, 2013 11:24 PMReply

    The haters on this board are atrocious and small-minded. The comments are loaded with vitriol and crabs in a barrel mentality. Why are our filmmakers not allowed to just CREATE. Ain't nobody asking for money go this. Is a FREE WEB SERIES and jokers hating on it like A) they paid something and B) they have done anything close to better. Mean spirited come at aimed at S&A for posting? THIS IS A BLACK FILM BLOG, dumbass. That's what they DO. I just don't get it. Matthew, homie, do YOU. Make your movies. Make your web series. Stay encouraged and keep encouraging others on your Twitter etc. Disregard these zombies who don't even GET the Woody Allen reference which is simply about breaking the wall and talking to camera. Idiots all.

  • HI TO ALMOST 30 TEAM MEMBER | February 8, 2013 6:49 AM

    A quick look around this site will show you that people here are just as vocal about things they like. Your crew put together a horrible product that pales in comparison to web series with smaller teams, tinier budgets, and from less known creators. Lash out all you want, call everyone haters, crabs, whatever, that won't make your shit any less shitty. Audiences deserve better whether they're giving you their money or just their time. Come correct with episode two and maybe you'll change some minds. Right now, you've got a bad show and a bad attitude.

  • Carl | February 7, 2013 11:51 PM

    @WOWFROMFELLOWFILMMAKER

    Well we knew the "hater" label was coming didn't we folks? lol

    I see. Anyone who dislikes crap is a hater? OK, if that's the case, I'm a hater. I HATE crap. Guilty as charged. :)

    And YOU are an enabler of mediocrity in black cinema. Thus the beauty of subjective thought in watching media. We all don't have to agree or kiss your ass.

    Now go cry us a river. lol

  • STEP YOUR GAME UP | February 7, 2013 10:05 PMReply

    How did a team of writers come up with only this? What pool is this camp drawing from?
    Reminiscent of pre-90's Woody Allen?

    Being supportive is all good, but good gracious, seems like everybody and their mother is trying to come out with a webseries, these days, and very few are of good quality. Let's not be afraid to step back and say when something is pure crap.

    Take this series back to the lab.

  • Do Better | February 7, 2013 6:42 PMReply

    Why does this blog insist on pubbing this guy? Not hating, I'm simply stumped by all of the hype and none of the execution. All of his work has been borderline deplorable and yet, he's back again with another lackluster form of entertainment. Matthew, have respect for the craft. Practice, practice, practice, and then release your work. This was clearly rushed and it shows. We must stop supporting mediocrity.

  • Lynne | February 7, 2013 8:59 PM

    What ar you talking about Carl? Don't make excuse. Shadow and act has a lot of better black projects to support. I watched this yesterday and knew they were going to post the trash here asap. Awkward black girl and Black and sexy grab you from the start with good idea and good writing. This does not. No excuse from filmmaker with money and team of writers. No excuse.

  • Carl | February 7, 2013 8:19 PM

    Didn't you know that most black film is judges on a curve? Support FIRST, worry about quality second. Thanks to cheaper technology, Tyler Perry and the few that have made it big without film school (Tarantino), any hack with a camera can call them self a filmmaker.

  • Akimbo | February 7, 2013 6:21 PMReply

    That was bad. Not jaw-droppingly abysmal, just poorly acted, poorly written, not entertaining, and seemingly pointless. I guess the friend being kind of a jerk is interesting but otherwise, they could have kept this.

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