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Completely Normal Activity Not So Normal

Boredom leads to boring



The web-only comedy series Completely Normal Activity follows Richie (Bryan Beckwith) on a journey through boredom-induced paranoia.

The show comes from Private Portions, a collective that specializes in short films, started by Ward Crockett, Adrienne Dawes and C. Dylan Plummer, all of whom are graduates of Chicago's Second City. The trio provided not only the framework for the series but also some space to grow for the ensemble cast since all of the dialogue is improvised.

Richie, having won a huge disability settlement after an incident at his old job, squanders the windfall on video equipment so that he can document the paranormal activity going on in his apartment and annoy his live-in girlfriend Relle (Muriel Montgomery), an NYU-bound experimental filmmaker. Richie gets wrapped up in his own spirited hype, as well as in his mysterious, awkwardly seductive upstairs neighbor Lilah (Erin O'Shea).

The premise for the series was clever but the execution fell flat. The improvised dialogue sounds forced and hinders any real character development--and a viewer's desire to wait around and see if that ever happens.

The season finale is scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 30, and if it isn't more exciting--or at least entertaining--than the rest of the series, Private Portions might have to deactivate Completely Normal Activity.


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