Sometimes it works, sometimes it fails,
but that’s what we face, when dealing
with improvisation. – Jan Garbarek
Stand In My Way
by Kidd West ft. Slim Cuddie
JOHN LEHR’S ‘QUICK DRAW’
AN IMPROVISATIONAL WONDER, EVEN IN RERUNS
a series review by Kendall F. Person
To attempt the near-impossible – shoot the moon, Urban Dictionary
I was a fan of Quick Draw even before I knew it shot the moon every time it filmed. I thought the delayed and sometimes quirky dialogue was different, but I could not put my finger on what that difference was. I am fan of the old west, but you do not have to be. to be entertained, although the costume and set design certainly fit the stage. I am a fan of Hulu, living almost exclusively by my computer, and although they are most famed for allowing us to stream prime time shows at anytime of the day, Hulu also boasts original series, and I must say – they did themselves proud in premiering, but a disservice with the promotions of Quick Draw.
Quick Draw is a marvel of television viewing or more appropriately, computer streaming. While improvisation, made popular for my generation by the late great Robin Williams in Mork and Mindy, is nothing new to the sitcom or stand up comedians, but I cannot think of a show where the entire dialogue – every word – is improvised by the show’s host of talented performers. John Lehr and Nancy Hower, series creators, write extensive scripts but the cast sees none of it, only receiving direction about the scene and where it needs to go. It is up to the actors to imagine the verbal interaction, to feed off cues or timing of one another and to transform those thoughts – in an instant – in order to deliver a show that does not simply entertain, but flows from beginning to end.
One of the most common fears amongst the general population is public speaking, and when we have to, many of us rehearse our few lines over and over. In some cases, outright panic overtakes us if our name is called before a block of people or a microphone is shoved in our faces and we have nothing prepared, but must instead, improvise off the top of our heads. It is a credit to the cast and to those that did the casting, to be comfortable within oneself and a master of one’s craft, to create your own script, based upon a scene, that you are not the only one in – and that is the marvel that Hulu failed to see.
If you are looking for humor, for something light to add to your streaming experience; with its multitude of zany characters, throwback storylines and improvisation at its finest, Quick Draw may hit the bullseye. Start from Season One, Episode One. But if westerns and comedy are not necessarily your thing or you simply have no time for more tv, do yourself a favor and watch Temperance – Season One, Episode Five – (for artists of all genres, it should be required viewing). It delivers it all: conflict, prohibition, prostitution, suicide, shootouts and laughs, and it places the spotlight on the character of Livinia Webb (Tasha Ames) the hidden jewel in a talented cast.
I know very little about the television and motion picture industry, but series creator John Lehr holds my admiration, not just for creating an artistic endeavor under the guise of a sitcom, but for believing in his creation and the value of improvisation, as he is on a one man crusade to bring Quick Draw back for another season, but enjoy the two that are now streaming.
– a series review courtesy of The Neighborhood