I will admit to the occasional lapse in judgment in purchasing items found on home shopping channels. Most of these items usually proved disappointing once the box was opened. What makes us buy this stuff? It’s the skill of the on air salesman. Acting as merchandise evangelists, and with the assistance of their able models, the best shopping channel hosts can make you believe they are selling an item you cannot possibly live without at this super spectacular low price. And while you’re at it, buy two or three because heaven knows when the item will be back in stock.
Anyone who has ever watched one of these home shopping salespeople can relate to The Amazing Gayl Pile. Our hero Gayl (co-creator Morgan Waters) was raised by his late mother, Gayle Pile, Sr. at the now nearly bankrupt $hop at Home Channel ($AHC). Gayl’s one dream is to become a home shopping star. His inheritance was a fat bank account and the job as host of the ‘Ladies Power Hour’ on $AHC. As the title implies, items for sale during the Ladies Power Hour include various items designed to make any woman look better, and therefore feel better about herself. Enter Australian pitchman and entrepreneur, J.D. Castlemane (Andy King), self-proclaimed “female beauty virtuoso”. With a spiel to make any host envious, the wildly confident J.D. is determined to make Gale a host in his own image, selling all manner of products containing a magical ingredient: marsupial pouch mucus. J.D.’s motto “the more you yell, the more you sell” just might bring success to the mild mannered Gayl as he transforms into the “Amazing” Gayl Pile.
While shaping Gayl’s image, the conniving J.D. wins Gayl’s admiration and preys on his good nature, making himself at home in Gayl’s home and life while managing to antagonize most of the staff at $HAC. Reverend Dave (co-creator Brooks Gray), on-air vendor of religious tchatchkes, still carries a torch for the late Gayle, Sr. and feels it’s his duty to be Gayl’s protector, to little avail when it comes to the over-the-top behavior of the Australian. J.D. aggressively manhandes model Reneé (Inessa Frantowski) while demonstrating his products. He borrows money from reclusive station manager Darron (Leo Scherman), whose aim it is to find a way to fire Gayl. New plot twists in each episode keep the story fresh, and there’s even a cliffhanger at season’s end.
There have always been workplace comedies, but creating one that manages to be dark, yet have a vein of sweetness is no easy task. Waters and Gray have pulled this off brilliantly. Thanks to the spot-on direction of the talented cast, The Amazing Gayl Pile has me sold. A contender in numerous web fests, watch The Amazing Gale Pile on Seeso and CBC Comedy and find out more about its cast on their website !