Remote Patrol: La La Land

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

La La Land, a new Showtime series from creator/star Marc Wootton, is a prankumentary in the same vein as Sacha Baron Cohen's work.

Similarities run deep - three outlandish foreigners prey on unsuspecting marks with a barrage of boorish behavior until they reach a tipping point - but so do the problems.

La La focuses on three Brits looking for celebrity in Hollywood: aspiring documentary auteur Brendan; former cabbie Gary, who believes he'll become a big action star a la Jason Statham; and Shirley Ghostman, who hopes to be a psychic that communicates with deceased celebrities.

But it's not going to be easy - Brendan's knowledge of documentary filmmaking doesn't extend beyond Morgan Spurlock and Michael Moore. Shirley has no money and, more importantly, no psychic abilities. Gary's acting skills are nonexistent, and with an overbite, flattop and a Members Only jacket, he can't exactly rely on his looks either.

This show has potential, but it falls short of comedic genius. Laughs are there, but inconsistent.

Where Cohen's outlandishness shocks the audience into laughter, Wootton misses the laugh riot that could come from the exasperation of his victims. Instead, this is more of a character study exposing the inflated self-importance present in much of Hollywood.

And does Showtime really need another series reflecting the darker side of the Left Coast?

"La La Land"

Mondays at 11 p.m. on Showtime

Grade: C+