Fans of MTV’s seminal sketch comedy series The State might remember the name David Wain. He was one of the cast’s 11 members who has since gone on to write and produce films like Wet, Hot American Summer, Role Models and the forthcoming Wanderlust.
What you might not know about Wain is that he’s been producing a series of short films for My Damn Channel since 2007 called Wainy Days. The series chronicles a highly fictionalized version of Wain and his romantic pursuits. Seasons 1 – 4 have recently been collected and released as a DVD.
Its hard to rationalize the appeal of Wainy Days. If you’re a fan of offbeat humor, you’ll find a lot to enjoy here. Quite often, things happen for no rhyme or reason. For example, David has an odd habit of pushing people down in the street at random. No reason is given and no repercussions are ever felt but the assaults are frequent (I assume) because it’s funny to watch people fall down.
David also discusses his relationship problems with his friends at the sweatshop where he works. Why does David work at a sweatshop? Again, no reason is given except perhaps to play on the juxtaposition of having a bunch of educated white people working in a sweatshop.
Probably the better reason to watch Wainy Days is because it’s practically an alt-comedy smorgasbord that is sure to delight the most entrenched comedy nerd.
Guest stars of the series include Elizabeth Banks, Lake Bell, Julie Bowen, Saffron Burrows, Rob Corddry, Rashida Jones, Megan Mullally, Nick Offerman, Amanda Peet, Elizabeth Reaser, Paul Rudd and Jason Sudeikis. You’d be hard pressed not to find at least ONE episode featuring a comedy star acting beyond ridiculous just for the hell of it.
The early episodes are a little rough. The transfer looks somewhat pixelated, kind of like the uploaded it the DVD straight from 2007. Also, there’s a good chance that the xylophone-infused theme song for the series will drive you insane before you make it though the second season. So a marathon session is not advised.
However, the films are short – about five minutes a piece – easily digestible and very enjoyable. You don’t really have to keep track of what happens from a narrative stand point between episodes. It’s pretty much small, concentrated doses of silliness. A welcome reprieve from an otherwise hectic life. Watching the different episodes, you begin to understand very quickly why the series did so well online.
Smartly, Wain interrupts episodes with snippets from a Hefner-esque “Pajama Party” that features several of the guest stars featured in the series. Extras include outtakes from each episode, a live script reading, never-before-scene shorts and audio commentaries.