THE SHOW "Zach Stone Is Gonna Be Famous"
WHEN|WHERE Premieres Thursday at 10:30 on MTV
WHAT IT'S ABOUT Just out of high school, Zach (Bo Burnham) is going to be famous. He says so. To both record his ascent to fame as well as enable this eventual ascent, he has collected all the money he ever made working at the grocery store to hire a camera crew, which films his life. Mom (Kari Coleman) and Dad (Tom Wilson) are worried, but not Zach, who embellishes certain aspects of his daily post-high-school existence to make them more palatable to a celebrity-obsessed culture.
MY SAY Burnham is an extremely funny and talented dude -- as millions of fans who obsessed over his prolific YouTube music-comedy output over the past few years would attest. But can this type of personality -- hyperkinetic, scatological, verbally volcanic -- comfortably fit into the tightly structured, time-tested fixture of TV culture known as the "sitcom?"
The evidence presented here indicates an affirmative -- a too-polite way of saying that this is almost too clever, funny and ironic for MTV. "Zach" is both commentary and send-up of the ephemera that MTV and the Internet at large celebrate -- then instantly forget. It's a double-barreled blast at a celebrity culture that can create, for example, something like "The Show With Vinny." But there's a core gentleness here, too, and while Zach's frenetic attention span is extremely splintered, he still manages to be relatable.
BOTTOM LINE A winner