CON MAN Season 1 Episode 4 [Review]

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CON MAN Season 1, Episode 4 “Retarding It Up”/ Written by ALAN TUDYK / Directed by ALAN TUDYK / Starring ALAN TUDYK & NATHAN FILLION / Produced by REDBEAR FILMS INC & CON MAN PRODUCTIONS.

[WARNING – This Review Contains SPOILERS!]

Wray Nerely doesn’t remember anything about last night’s VIP party at the sci-fi con suite. But it will quickly prove to have been a night he’ll never forget… no matter how hard he tries.

As he wakes up in his trashed hotel room, a few things become apparent. The good news is that he finally managed to record an audition video for the new Clint Eastwood western. The better news is that he sent it in and apparently the casting agent loved it!

Then there’s the bad news. And the bad news goes far beyond Wray’s bed being used for unspeakable acts of carnal delight by his convention manager, Bobbie. Though, in another bit of good news, said acts didn’t involve Wray and he wasn’t THAT drunk.

The bad news is that the audition reel wasn’t the only video that was shot of Wray last night. And the other video caught him, on the advice of Sean Astin after a few drinks, “being himself”. Of course when you’re a petty, envious jackass who hates science-fiction almost as much as you hate science-fiction fans, being yourself is probably the worst thing you can do at a party for science-fiction fans who paid handsomely to get to hang out with you for a night.

Thankfully, it’s the last day of the Con so all Wray has to do is survive one more panel before he can get out of there and start checking up on his big break. Unfortunately, that panel is filled with every single person he’s manage to annoy in the past two days and dozens of outraged fans. And Wray’s hangover is limiting his ability to try and explain everything away…

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Alan Tudyk’s script for this fourth episode of Con Man is a thing of wonder. Brick Joke after Brick Joke, based on gags from the first three episodes, falls to earth and every single Chekov’s Gun – including several we didn’t realize were guns – goes off and hits its target.

Tudyk’s performance as Wray Nerely proves equally amazing. Perhaps the greatest challenge an actor can face is playing a sympathetic jerk but Tudyk manages it with style, turning Wray into someone we root for in spite of his being a generally horrible person. In this Tudyk’s performance can be compared to those of John Cleese as Basil Fawlty and John Larroquette as Dan Fielding.

The rest of the cast is equally praiseworthy. Nathan Fillion plays Wray’s friend and former co-star Jack Moore as an Adam Westian parody of himself, seemingly calling Wray at the worst possible moments to accidentally rub his good fortune in Wray’s face. Mindy Sterling proves alternatively disturbing and hilarious as Wray’s convention manager. And Felicia Day steals the show as Wray’s supernaturally good assistant, Karen.

Con Man is available through Vimeo On Demand.

Rating 5

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