Quote of the Day

"We're only here briefly, and while I'm here I want to allow myself joy. So fuck it."
- Amy, Her.

Monday, 13 February 2012

9(ish) People We Need To See In Husbands

Last year, writer/producer, Jane Espenson launched the laugh-a-minute web series, Husbands, which focused on the unlikely gay couple of reality star Cheeks (YouTube Sensation, Brad Bell) and pro baseball player, Brady (Sean Hemeon). Swept up in a wave of uniqueness, the 11 episodes of the series (each at around 2 and a half minutes long) became the new kid on the block for internet-comedy, that brought something fresh and untapped into its hilariously written scripts from Cheeks and Espenson, but with a TV-level of aesthetic, thanks to director Jeff Greenstein.

     While I've praised Husbands heavily in the past (a write-up which actually found its way on to their official press page), it's now time to look toward the show's future. Whether it'll return to the web or wiggle its affectionate way onto network television is yet to be seen, but if the acclaim that the first season got is anything to go by, I think we'll certainly be seeing more of this independent, potentially ground-breaking series. And so it is that my mind drifts to the kind of guest stars that would be perfect for a cameo - or even a recurring role - next time around, following in the footsteps of Nathan Fillion's brief (but awesome) appearance in the third episode.

Shall we begin?

Jim Rash
One of my favourite characters from NBC's Community is, hands down, Dean Pelton (played by Jim Rash). As the overtly camp and flamboyant dean of Greendale College, Rash frequently steals the show with his impeccable comedic timing and physical presence, often taking the well written lines to entirely new levels of funny. This kind of camp is textbook Husbands material, and something that could be mined for all manner of hilarity.

    Although it pains me to say it, Community is treading a fine line this year, with a potential cancellation once the season is out, due to poor ratings (somehow!) and a slouch in marketing on NBC's behalf. This means, if worst comes to the worst, Rash could find himself out of a job soon - but the silver lining is he could then have time to appear on Husbands. And Jane's a big fan of Community (so I've heard), making it an even more promising venture if things pan out.

    Anyone who's seen Rash in action knows that I need not describe the kinds of character he could bring to the show  - just that it will be gut-busting fun. Heck, best case scenario: Community gets renewed (Six Seasons and a Movie, baby!) and Rash still makes a cameo. Win Win. And probably another Win.

Felicia Day (and the rest of The Guild cast)
Felicia became an internet phenomenon after creating her very own web series, The Guild, which was literally the show that started this web revolution for creative media. Now a goddess among geeks, Felicia and the rest of the talented Guild crew are five seasons in with no signs of slowing down, as she even expands into a variety of other web shows (See Dragon Age: Redemption).

When I participated in Jane (@JaneEspenson) and Cheeks' (@GoCheeksGo) Husbands Twitter Q&A at the beginning of the series, I asked whether a Guild/Husbands crossover would be on the cards, to which Jane replied: "We would totally be open to a crossover with The Guild! Love them! Love Felicia Day!", and Cheeks chipped in with: "Ha! Those worlds colliding would be hilarious! :D". So at least one side is up for this, and what with Jane and Felicia being rather good buddies, I'd say it's definitely plausible.

    How the two show's casts would mingle would be a very interesting thing to see, and how they are brought together would be quite the complex scenario (they are, after all, completely different character archetypes). But I'm sure the talent of Jane and Felicia's writing could make it all work out, with some hilarious consequences no doubt: Bladezz chatting up Haley, Brady being weirded out by Vork, Cheeks having a spa day/shopping trip with Clara. Yep, I can hear the laughter already...

   And hey, even if it wasn't a crossover, and just Felicia cameoing, that'd still be awesome and sure to attract a lot of viewers. I could imagine her as some sort of Celebrity-Gossip Blogger trying to get the low-down on Cheeks and Brady; prepared to do ANYTHING to get the scoop. Yep, still hearing the hypothetical laughter.

Neil Patrick Harris
Anyone who's seen NPH on How I Met Your Mother knows he plays Barney, the ladies' man; a player down to the core. But in real life, it couldn't be more different. Yep, Neil is 100% gay, contrary to his popular character. And that's not the only surprise he has up his sleeve (literally), as he's multi-talented in almost every performance based area: Acting, Singing, Dancing, Comedy, Magic - you name it, he does it.

       Now Neil's no stranger to web-shows either, thanks to his starring role in Joss Whedon's hugely successful Dr Horrible. With a fan base the size of a city, Neil could bring a huge number of new-comers into Husbands - even if it was a two second cameo. And the great thing is that he could play anyone due to his diverse acting capabilities: friend, foe, bub or babe, he'd be sure to mix things up with the Husbands guys. Whatever it is, this would be a guest star of LEGEN-wait for it-DARY proportions (just as long as he's wearing a suit!).

Wil Wheaton
An odd choice, I know, but one that could work. Former child star Wheaton managed to dodge adult-failure by garnering a big fanbase around him through his blog and various other internet projects, taking his nerdy attributes and using them to become a cultural icon. Nowadays, he can be seen turning up on a number on niche shows like Eureka, The Big Bang Theory and of course, The Guild.

    But one thing we've learnt from his roles on these, is that he is very good at playing the douche. A sharp tongue and a stone-heart drive his (purposefully) dislikeable characters into classically pantomimic, villainous territory. This is where Husbands comes in: Wil plays a stereotypical, homophobic meanie. After slating and belittling the guys, they fight back to him in some deviously funny ways, ending in tears of sorrow for Wil and tears of laughter for us. And just for pure speculation, Jane recently contacted Wil privately through Twitter for unknown reasons... Suspicious, eh?

Sean Maher
Last year, it came as a bit of a shock that Maher, who played Firefly's Simon Tam, turned out to be gay, AND has been happily living with a nine-year partner and their two kids. So that's twelve years in Hollywood, and no one really suspected a thing.

    Now the great thing for Sean is that Husbands could be a great stepping stone for his coming out shindig. While his "secret-gay-guy" role in the short lived The Playboy Club never got anywhere due to its swift cancellation, Sean has yet to truly shine in a role that reflects his newly revealed place in life. So with Husbands, he could jump aboard into perhaps a recurring role, as his ties with Jane and series costume designer, Shawna Trpcic are still pretty tight (at least I like to think).
 What I could picture him as is a fellow Baseball player of Brady's, who also comes out after seeing Brady's warm reception into the world of gay. But Cheeks being Cheeks sees him as a no-good copycat, out for Brady's heart, and inevitably creates some hilarious, inadvertent chaos. An episode entitled "Swing and a Miss", perhaps?

Riki Lindhome & Kate Micucci (Garfunkel and Oates)
Garfunkel and Oates are a comedy-folk duo, made up of comedic actresses/musicians Riki and Kate, who are often found on YouTube singing downright dirty-crude songs, that'll bring smiles to your face and suggestive thoughts into your minds; but ultimately, it'll bring laughs to your life.

   Having signed a deal with HBO to make their own show pilot last year, and enjoying a successful career due to their mass-internet fanbase since their arrival, the girls are obviously not shy to either medium. You may even recognise Kate from Scrubs (as Season 8's Gooch) or Raising Hope, Riki from her countless bit-parts on tons of shows, and the pair of them from my RE:Commend of them and their awesome music.

    Now let's transfer their skill-sets to Husbands, and it's awesome all around; I smell a musical number (or even a musical episode!). And if their "Sex With Ducks" and "Gay Boyfriend" songs are anything to go by, I'd say the two would be rather delighted to appear on the show. At the same time as giving us pure entertainment, they could also build up some hype around their upcoming show, which is already being dubbed "Glee with dick jokes".

Alec Mapa
Alec is one of those people whose face you know, but the name escapes you. He's one of America's finest "That Guy"s, making appearances in everything from Friends to Marley and Me, and had a recurring role as the gloriously camp fashion show presenter on Ugly Betty. Again, this is a no brainer for Husbands, clicking perfectly with Cheeks' humour, and giving us some cultural diversity along the way.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I happen to recall Mapa getting in touch with Jane (via Twitter) shortly after the premiere with regards to the show and appearing on it. This may be "totes" jumping the gun, but I reckon this one's already locked down, if not in serious consideration. Possible roles: Cheeks' agent, Cheeks' mortal enemy (because he is also a gay reality star) or even a reprisal/reference to the Ugly Betty role, as some sort of reporter?

Hayden Panettiere
By having Haley, Cheeks' BFF, in Husbands (played by the wonderful Alessandra Torresani), the show is given another dynamic, from which some great storylines could sprout from. And therefore comes Hayden, another lavish young blonde who could amp up some tensions in the show. Just imagine her as Haley's rival, hating each other since high-school, and now in very similar life-roles. Why not throw in the classic sitcom trope of "OMG, look: a group of people exactly the same as you!", with Cheeks also having a parallel who hangs out with Panittiere's character. Stink eye would be given, drinks thrown into pretty faces and hysterical nonsense all around.

     Why Panettiere though? Well, we really haven't seen much of her since Heroes, and her similar age and style to Alessandra makes her the perfect candidate for a mirror-like character. Them both having come from Sci-Fi show backgrounds (Alessandra on Caprica; Hayden on Heroes) furthers the similarities and could provide some referential easter egg moments. And if that doesn't work out, well it wouldn't hurt to have an non-identical twin-sister come visit, would it?

John Barrowman
Another thing that I brought up during the aforementioned Q&A was the prospect of good ol' John making an appearance later on, to which Jane and Cheeks both whole-heartedly agreed would be awesome, with a "We'd love to have John on Husbands! That would be amazing!" and an "Omg, he endlessly flirts with both of them and causes drama! (Comedic drama, obvi)" from the pair, respectively.

Now remember, Jane was writing and co-exec-producing on Torchwood: Miracle Day not long ago, and Husbands' director, Jeff Greenstein is an exec on Desperate Housewives; both shows that Barrowman has been involved in (obviously the former more than the latter). So basically, the links are there, and it'll only take a few phone calls (and a lot of crossed fingers) for John to be getting his camp on, and causing mayhem with Cheeks and Brady in pure Husbands style.


While we may not get to see all these familiar faces making a well-deserved appearance, it's safe to say that no matter where Husbands takes us, it's sure to be one heck of a funny ride (but you've got to admit, some of those set-ups I've plotted do sound pretty rad, right?). Jane and Cheeks may have started work on the next bout of episodes, but that doesn't mean a couple cameos can't be thrown in for good measure.
Whatever happens, let's just make sure we keep watching and supporting the show, via:


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