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Review: The Shaman Web Series

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Jason Nash as The Shaman. Photo courtesy The Shaman.

In general, a web series can be a hard thing to get into, even though its short, any time / anywhere format would seem conducive to today’s youth-driven media market. Maybe there’s something inherently sketchy about the sustainability of online sketch comedy, like the media moguls who control television are just finding new, more subversive ways to lure us in. Or, maybe a lot of it is just bad, because the internet is boundless and video upload sites are plentiful. That’s why it’s so refreshing to see groups like Derrick Comedy make it out of the online jungle alive, because they have a knack for comedy and a belief in total quality that is so often lacking elsewhere on the interwebs.

These days, however, there’s a sea of talented comedy writers trying to navigate choppy economic waters, and are finding that the internet is more than willing to provide safe harbor. Jason Nash, who LAist last caught up with to talk all things podcast, is one such talent who has brought his considerable skills online with his new web series The Shaman, currently on atom.com.

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The series features Nash as a shirtless modern day Shaman, clouded by too much pixie dust and medicinal herbs, who is out to help the world one awkward moment at a time. His roommate, played by the superbly straight Matt Price, is often the foil of his best laid plans to have a solid jam session, hit on his neighbor, or heal everyone through hands-on power of massage. The two have a long history of working together, which makes their on screen relationship so much more subtle and endearing, without losing the quirkiness the show needs. The wonderful and attractive love interest neighbor is also effortlessly played by Erin Gibson, rounding out a small main cast that has pushed out five episodes so far.

To be honest, the show is not fall-out-of-your seat funny, but The Shaman has the comfortable feel of a series with real comedic talent behind it, without trying to cram jokes down the viewer’s throat. Like almost any character piece, the jokes are in the subtleties and nuances that are defined and refined over time, and Nash is certainly headed in the right direction. Unfortunately, web series’ have a habit of coming and going faster than Whack-A-Moles, so we may never get to see the true fruits from the early labors of the show. But with three more episodes to be weekly, The Shaman seems to be in a good position for the future, without holding anything back in the present.

Feel free to check out The Shaman here.