Local reality sitcom ‘Quiet Desperation’ makes more noise on way to TV

A party gets out of hand during Episode 14 of “Quiet Desperation,” a locally filmed reality sitcom about the lives of struggling comedians and musicians.
A party gets out of hand during Episode 14 of “Quiet Desperation,” a locally filmed reality sitcom about the lives of struggling comedians and musicians.

The latest episode of reality sitcom “Quiet Desperation” has been posted on youtube.com and quietd.com by Rob Potylo — the musician formerly known as Roadsteamer.

The show, a funny and sometimes thinly veiled look at the life of Potylo and others, “not only tries to showcase the many talented folks in the area, but also paint a picture of the often shit-filled river one has to swim through even to be creative for a little while,” he explains. “Poorly attended gigs, shitty daytime jobs, lots of drugs.”

But, in a more hopeful vein, it is also a venue to show a decent television program can be produced on the cheap, on the fly (the episodes, filmed by Joe Madaus, make room for plenty of improvisation) and especially in Greater Boston.

“It’s kind of frustrating being a comedian a little bit outside the box up in Boston,” Potylo says. “You either have to move to New York or Los Angeles to make a living or learn how to develop material for tourists and mom and pops to get decent paying shows. There’s really no TV stations or anything up here to get exposure on.”

That may not be true for much longer. People appearing in Episode 14 had to sign witnessed releases to be filmed, possibly paving the way for “Quiet Desperation” to be seen on local television.

With this 14th show, it’s clear the episodes are getting longer and more sophisticated over time — while keeping enough of an anarchic edge that the quietd.com page for frequently asked questions includes the plaint, “The show doesn’t make sense! What’s it about?”

The site offers a moderately helpful explanation, although it’s likely watchers will either understand and appreciate the show immediately or never warm to it; there’s enough drugs, sex and cursing to make its demographic clear. But really, “Quiet Desperation” is about building something creative, local and sustainable, just as Potylo and comedian Chris Coxen attempted in establishing a weekly free comedy show at the Cantab Lounge over the summer. (It’s defunct.)

The show also has a live site, where fans can watch and chat at the same time, and Coxen is in another sort of YouTube pilot, this one set in “Manchvegas.”

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