Adam Green and Joe Lynch are probably my two favorite directors in the horror genre. Not only can they deliver (individually) some great horror films (Frozen, Spiral), but they are also well equipped to create some golden horror-comedy (Hatchet 2, Wrong Turn 2). Every time they are in the middle of working on something, I pay close attention. Though they may disappoint me someday, I will always wait with glistening eyes and a child-like smile for their next project(s).
So here we are with Holliston, which debuted last week on FEARnet and was met with a large amount of praise. Unfortunately, for most, the show is unavailable on many cable networks and you may have to end up buying episodes as they come out (or be a LOSER and pirate it). I live on Long Island and I also do not have cable (I despise it), so I was out of luck when I heard that the Holliston was going to be on television. Luckily I have connections and was able to see it legally. So, I am here today to give a few thoughts on the show and maybe convince you of why you need to see this.
Holliston is about two characters named Adam (Adam Green) and Joe (Joe Lynch) who are aspiring horror film directors living on no money in Holliston, Massachusetts. Yes, the narrative is based loosely on the lives of the directors, but I can’t say that it is entirely because the show takes a lot of liberties with the fiction. For all intents and purposes, we will refer to the show as fiction from here on out. The duo host a low budget T.V. show and spend their time trying to think of ways to get their scripts off the ground. The first episode focuses on Adam, as his old girlfriend whom he never “got over” comes back to Holliston. Adam is convinced that she is back for him, even though she has a boyfriend and a successful life. Hilarity ensues when he tries to impress her, but maybe honesty is the best policy.
The show is set up like a standard sit-com, in that there are sets, a laugh-track, and a basketful of witticisms. It’s as if Green sat down, watched a whole day of sit-coms and then took notes on familiar tropes in the genre. I am not saying that he is ripping them off or is unoriginal; I am just saying that he knew how to create a sit-com piece by piece. I did not expect him to know the genre so well; I figured he only knew how to put a movie together, but what do I know? As with a sit-com, characters come in and out all the time. Dee Snider plays a local metal head and Oderus Urungus of GWAR plays Adam’s imaginary friend who pops in for some wise words. It’s a little loony, I guess. But, it’s made by Green and Lynch, of course that’s what you’re going to get!
Now, in terms of what to expect, do not expect a show ALL ABOUT HORROR. In fact, this show is very accessible to people who don’t even care about horror. The jokes never get too esoteric and the lighthearted nature of the show makes it easy to just pop on with some friends around. There are some great “Green” moments in which gore does come into play, but it’s usually in his head and not happening in “real time.”
Holliston is funny, but I never found myself “rolling” with laughter. That’s maybe the only downside to the show so far (OTHER THAN THE FACT THAT IT’S ONLY ON FEARNET), while it is enjoyable, it never really gets a big laugh out of me. With that said, I sat through the first episode feeling very content with what the duo has produced. I feel very confident is recommending this to all walks of life, and I hope this show becomes more available in time. Even though I only saw the first episode, I am very excited to see the rest of the series. Green and Lynch really know what’s good.
Catch Holliston Tuesdays at 10:30 p.m. on FEARnet!