Last week I caught the premiere episode of Comic Book Men, a new show airing on AMC TV. (Full disclosure: I’ve blogged at AMC in the past.) I liked it enough to come back for this week’s second episode and I’ll be tuning in for the rest of the 6 episode run. I never thought I’d enjoy any reality show, but if I had to pick one to watch, it’d make sense it’s one tailor made for geeks.
The show revolves around Kevin Smith’s New Jersey comic shop, Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash. It stars Kevin Smith and the guys who work (and/or hang out at) his comic shop: Walt (the manager), Mike (the more level-headed of the bunch), Ming (resident whipping boy), and Bryan (the wise-cracking hangabout). They’re likable folks and have great chemistry together, though I suspect Ming fantasizes about all kinds of revenge he can exact on his coworkers. That guy deserves a raise.
The show, which AMC bills as “unscripted”, basically consists of three kinds of scenes shuffled together:
- Video of the guys recording their podcast. Funny stuff. And comic book references old enough that even I get them. If you like those sorts of references in Big Bang Theory, you’re the target audience. A warning for those who might be offended: it’s a bunch of guys hanging out occasionally making jokes about exactly what you think guys joke about when they hang out.
- Shots from inside the comic store. For the most part, this is basically people coming in trying to sell their old geek-related stuff. (Me: “Hey, I recognize that Steve Austin action figure!”) One guy was selling a picture Bob Kane drew of Batman and Robin back in 1970 (estimated to be worth more than $10,000).
- On location shoots. These are enjoyable breakaways from the store and studio. Episode one featured a competition to sell off items at a flea market. The second episode showed the guys playing hockey after a hiatus of many years.
There are some surprises along the way. For example, episode 2 featured an appearance by Jay Mews. (He’s the “Jay” to Kevin Smith’s “Silent Bob”. It was an odd appearance to say the least. Scary, if truly unscripted.) But mostly the show just stands out as being funny to watch. I think its worth a look.
Watch episode #1 below.