Friday, October 24, 2014

Try It Out: Fake Off & Friends of the People

It's a big week for TruTV, with two new series premiering on Monday and Tuesday. If you haven't come across the network before, you might have just not noticed - 91 million households in America receive it, though it was formerly Court TV (pre-2008). The channel is designed for reality programming, though it also carries some sports games, particularly NCAA basketball. But, the new series coming are both reality-based, with Monday's 10pm Fake Off being reality competition, and Tuesday's 10:30pm Friends of the People being sketch comedy.
Fake Off promises to be visually stunning (and from what I've seen, it truly is), and promotes a hot type of performance these days - Faking. It's a mix of theatre, improvisation, illusion, and other factors, and will have troupes competing to "re-imagine iconic moments in pop culture." It'll start with ten teams doing 90-second routines, and eliminations would happen one at a time until only America's Fake-Off Champions remain. Judges include Chili (of the music group TLC), Michael Curry (puppet designer for Cirque du Soleil, Walt Disney Theatrical, 1996 & 2002 Olympics Opening Ceremonies, and more), and Harry Shum, Jr. (Mike Chang on Glee).
Friends of the People is set up much like other sketch comedy series, with a bunch of comedians/improvisation artists who also serve as writers and executive producers on the series. There will be recurring characters, they will poke fun at pop culture, and there is inspiration from earlier similar series, like In Living Color. From the bits I have seen, I think that it actually will have a different take than and be more genuine than something like Saturday Night Live. And, yes, you have seen those twins (left in the image above) before - Keith and Kenny Lucas were on 22 Jump Street as residence hall neighbors for the guys.

Fake Off: Monday, October 27th at 10pm.
Friends of the People: Tuesday, October 28th at 10:30pm on TruTV. 

TruTV is on Comcast 65/841, DirecTV 246, DISH 242/9430, FiOS 183/683.
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