Holliston follows Adam and Joe, struggling horror filmmakers and best friends in the Massachusetts town of Holliston. The pair work for a local cable channel, making terrible commercials. Adam is struggling to get over his college girlfriend, years after their breakup.
I watched Holliston during its original run of FEARnet and a second time to refresh my memory for the review. I was surprised to find that I actually liked it more the second time. FEARnet has done well with their first original series.
Holliston is clever. Most of the dialogue is great (“We met at a charity function that she was heading up for children with bad cancer.”).
Series creator Adam Green was smart in casting close friends for the show. The on screen dynamic amongst the cast is very natural and fun to watch. Casting Gwar’s Orderus Ungerus as Adam’s imaginary friend who lives in his closet was a stroke of genius. Dee Snider is great as Lance Rocket. His ambiguously gay exploits are a well timed bit of comic relief. Adam’s is relatable in a vulnerable ‘every guy’ kind of way. Joe is a laid back, carefree yin to Adam’s slightly more high strung yang. Corrie English is great as the down to earth, level headed member of the clan. Laura Ortiz is my personal favorite. She steals the show. She is hilarious, her comedic timing is pitch perfect, She does a brilliant job keeping the audience wondering if she’s a bit of an airhead or actually an evil genius. The scene in episode three where Laura Ortiz and Corrie English are arguing over where to put the annunciation in Market Basket had me in stitches.
You can tell that the cast is having fun while making the show. It’s obvious that they are enjoying themselves and that shows in the finished product.
Some of the punchlines are a little cheesy and the acting isn’t as polished as what you might see on a major network series, but I didn’t really care. I was happy to overlook that because the guys are having fun and it’s infectious. You cannot help but have fun with them. The fact that most of the content is based on actual events in Adam’s life makes it even more fun to watch.
The funniest moments in Holliston aren’t always those that line up with the laugh track. A lot of times, it’s the sub-plots and more subtle moments that are the funniest.
Holliston has a ton of heart. It will appeal to horror fans because it is made by horror fans for horror fans. It’s a very unusual dynamic. It’s a comedic sitcom that will appeal to mainstream audiences and horror enthusiasts, alike. The show’s primary story lines are relatable to the average viewer, but there are plenty of Easter eggs thrown in for horror the enthusiast to look forward to.
The first time that I watched the show, it grew on me more, with each episode. By the second time around, I really, really liked it. The three best episodes of season one are Laura’s Little Twitter, Skunked, and Candyman. Each of those episodes has more hilarious, awkward, and awesomely nonsensical moments than I have room to describe here. If you’re on the fence about checking out the series, take a look at any one of those three episodes on Amazon or iTunes. Any one of those three should help you make up your mind about the series.
Holliston Season One is now available on DVD and Blu-Ray. Check it out. It’s well worth a look.