By Kyle Price-Livingston
Some folks can’t watch hospital shows. The sight of injuries and surgery and organs and blood makes them squeamish. They tense up, look away, and change the channel, often muttering “eww, eww eww eww!” while they do so. This is the same visceral, cringe-inducing response I have when I watch someone struggling with writer’s block. I’ve been there so many times that it just makes me cringe in sympathy.
Secludio is the story of Colin (Peter Stray, who also wrote and directed the series), the son of a famous writer, holed up in a place rented by his publishing company, trying to finish a follow-up to his first successful novel. He is lonely and heartbroken (having recently broken up with his girlfriend (Kate Edney) and feeling entirely overwhelmed by the fast approaching deadline set by his publisher. Searching for some kind of lifeline, he takes refuge calling his friends and video chatting from his laptop.
These chats make up the majority of the screen time in Secludio, and do a fantastic job as stand-ins for more traditional exposition. The relatively low budgetary constraints of filming with webcams frees up a lot of money for the refinement of the other production values, and the show looks and sounds excellent as a result. The acting is brilliant from top to bottom, and this reviewer was particularly happy to see a role for friend of the website Craig Russel (of Dave Granger fame).
The show is beautifully paced and the sharp dialogue and rapid delivery are on par with the very best in the web world. Check this one out on Vimeo if you like shows about people, by people, for people.