Fourth Wall Studios has released the new web series Dirty Work, a dark comedy that follows the gruesome misadventures of a reluctant crime-scene clean-up crew. The “dark” comes from the blood, guts, and corpses that they handle each episode, while the “comedy” derives from the messy lives of the show’s characters. The series has waded into unknown territory, creating an interactive viewing experience that’s “somewhere between a pop-up video and a Choose Your Own Adventure book.”
Actress and comedian Mary Lynn Rajskub, who is returning to comedy after a dramatic run on 24 to play the clean-up crew’s spunky driver Roxy, told Nerdist in a recent interview, “I was really skeptical of all of the extra stuff because I liked the story and the characters so much. I was like, ‘Oh, can’t this just be a regular show?’ Not that I didn’t trust they wouldn’t pull it off, but I was really excited to see the final product, and it really works.”
Tech-junkies will love playing with all of the extras in the series, which runs about 25 minutes each episode. In my opinion, the interactive elements add little to the viewing experience of a show already composed of lovably-flawed characters and quirky, clever dialogue. It is, however, not at all disruptive to the viewing experience, which is likely the biggest fear of technophobes approaching the trailblazing series.
“Usually, when a project is done,” Rajskub said, “there’s the post-production, which is a whole other job, but this one had a third whole other job, which is the added stuff and the designers did such a good job of making it non-intrusive. It’s pretty cool.”
But, is it worth the effort for an entire series? The show is still in beta, with two episodes available online so far and a third (as of this writing) “coming soon.” Many more scripts are in the works, but the show’s producers seem to be holding their breath to see what kind of viewership the series will draw, and whether that will merit the amount of work that will have to go into creating future episodes. Watch the trailer for the series below for a sneak peek into the interactive elements and the disturbing comedy. You can watch the first two full episodes here.