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The Telefile
<I>Backwash</i>: A Web Series That Doesn’t Suck

As a huge fan of Joshua Malina (and his Twitter, which is seriously the best) and Michael Ian Black, I was delighted to discover their collaborative web series Backwash, which launched last week. The show is a collection of seven-minute shorts and there are only 13 of them in the can, but it really is a nice little comedy diversion to break up the cat videos and local news mishaps you usually spend your day watching. Plus, it's star-studded!

Just about everyone you've ever enjoyed on your television makes a cameo on Backwash, from Jon Hamm, to Allison Janney, to State alums Ken Marino and Joe Lo Truglio, to Michael Vartan, to even the great John Stamos, who just seems to be everywhere lately. To describe the show would be futile, as it's truly comedy of the absurd, but the premise is funny, so you might as well know about it. The conceit is that Backwash is the long-lost made-up William Makepeace Thackeray novel found by historians in the author's backed-up toilet, and the webseries' episodes are reenactments of the events in the novel. Things like Michael Ian Black confusing a drag queen for the real Liza Minnelli and Josh Malina donning a bloody mary helmet. You know, 19th-century stuff.

The show is low-budget, and the comedy is ridiculously on crack, so if you're into craziness and non-sequiturs (the closest thing I'd compare it to is probably Children's Hospital), I'd strongly recommend checking the show out. Especially episode 3, "Meet Nick Fleming," in which Allison Janney reveals her intense passion for St. Elmo's Fire. That one got me yelled at for laughing too loudly in the office. Make my shame your shame and watch it now!

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