By Ryan McPherson
How much leeway do we give a story when it comes to coincidental plot development? We have to give it some, after all a lot of things in everyday life happen purely due to coincidence. Many stories use coincidence to “stir the pot” or push the action. How much is too much though? When does a story become too “cute” and start to lose its credibility in terms of plausibility?
Such A Small World, exists only due to coincidence. As the title (a typical phrase used at the occurrence of such an incident) suggests, the events that follow will be coincidental in nature.
Scott and Jen, have decided to introduce her brother Clay and his sister Liss in the hopes a romantic relationship will ensue. The siblings reluctantly agree to the blind date arrangement, even though they both believe they have found love after a recent “professional” encounter. Clay recounts the story to Jen only minutes before Liss arrives, of his meeting with an escort and his desire to see her again. He believes this woman had similar feelings for him, as she left her personal number with her real name behind when she left. Clay calls the number (still during the moments before Liss arrives) and is surprised to see Liss (who just so happens to be on the other end of the phone conversation) walk in the door mid-conversation. Things spiral out of control from there.
What perhaps provides the biggest challenge to the plausibility of such an arrangement is the length of the episodes. Clocking in at somewhere between two and three minutes per episode, it’s hard to get a feel for these characters and the dynamics within the room. It seems just as you’ve gotten invested, you have to switch to the next episode. Many of these episodes seem to end with some kind of cliffhanger, which generally works to encourage the viewer to want to see more, however in such short format it becomes frustrating. To end on a major event or question mark at the end of each snippet seems improbable, as the entirety of the series takes place in a condensed time span. It would be wise to expand the episodes so these moments would seem more organic and less gimmicky.
The other major issue this series suffers from is an identity crisis. It’s part raunchy late night comedy and part prime-time sitcom. Unfortunately, it’s not raunchy enough to appeal to that crowd and it’s too raunchy to appeal to the other. If you want to go raunchy with your content, that’s fine, but go all the way with it. Otherwise they need to tone down the rhetoric and “almost nudity,” creating something friendlier to a wider audience.
It’s not all negative. There are a lot of things here to build around. The ensemble cast is relatively strong; the four main characters are all quite likable and you want to root for all of them at different points; and many of the jokes garner audible chuckles. A change in format to either a feature-length film or 10-ish minute episodes, would go a long way towards making this more viewer friendly.