Have you ever seen a film and enjoyed it so much that you wanted it to be made into a series? No, think about it. It actually happens pretty frequently, and is often a lot of fun. A series provides content creators a chance to expand on subplots and further develop characters we enjoy; to abandon aspects of the story that don’t work and refine and distill those that do. In some cases, the series ends up being a better way of telling a story than a feature. Buffy the Vampire Slayer springs to mind, as does Star Wars: Clone Wars (for a variety of reasons).
Clutch is a refinement and expansion of writer/director Jonathan Robbins‘ short film Your Ex-Lover is Dead. Although the film is difficult to find, track it down if you can. You don’t need it to enjoy the series, but it’s a lot of of fun.
The series is excellent, with a fast-paced plot and deep, well-developed characters. Kylie (Elitsa Bako) our hero (anti-hero? I dunno, she’s a pickpocket, but she’s a good person…let’s go with hero) will stick with you long after you’ve finished the far-too-short 2 seasons currently available, and her boyfriend, the scummy-yet-redeemed Matt (Matthew Carvery) will make you grit your teeth in impotent rage as a cascade of poor decisions puts our hero in increasingly dangerous situations. Oh and watch out for Buzz Kofman‘s Hatchet Man (as if you need to be told to watch out for a guy named “Hatchet Man”) he’s a good painter but an even better enforcer for crime kingpin Marcel (Peter Hodgins).
The themes here are mature. Clutch is not for kids, which, frankly, is a nice change of pace from the “everything for everybody” watered-down accessibility of more mainstream webertainment (that’s right, I’m creating another term. For those of you keeping score at home, the list now includes “webertainment,” “cewebrity,” and “e-morse code” although that last one has limited application).
The show is set somewhere vaguely Canadian but knock that American sneer off your face (or Hatchet Man will do it for you). Do you know what the difference is between urban Toronto and, say, Chicago? Nothing. There is no difference. Don’t expect moose sightings or Rick Moranis here, it’s a dark, exciting, fast-paced show, cleverly designed to be watched marathon-style. It’s a self-aware thriller for the modern age, is shot well, fantastically acted and quite well written to boot. In short, it’s exactly the type of show you should be watching…you know, assuming you like good things. And if you DON’T like good things, check this out anyway so you’ll at least know what you’re missing.
Clutch has 2 seasons currently available on its website and, if we’re very well behaved, we might get another film or even a third season…so watch it darn you! And tell your friends!
Oh, and then, check out Out With Dad! Clutch creator Jonathan Robbins is also an actor, and proves it in season 3 of this interesting drama.
By Kyle Price-Livingston