The six-episode series Pilot Season on Trio does for Hollywood types what BBC America’s The Office did for desk jockeys. It’s with a spot-on satire of the orgy of dealmaking and spirit-killing that transpires every year in an attempt to fill the insatiable maw that is the television schedule.
The concept: Eight years ago, a group of film students followed an aspiring actress, Susan (the acerbic comic Sarah Silverman) as she moved from the Big Apple to Tinseltown in hopes of finding acting work. She’s trailed by her clueless schlub boyfriend, Max (Sam Seder, also the writer and director of this sharp comedy). That documentary, Who’s the Caboose, is never shown, because Susan refuses to sign the release.
Fast-forward to the present, when a new group of students track down the same characters to see how they are faring. They find Susan is still pursuing film work (though it will appear she’ll settle for the TV version of an action blockbuster) and Max has become a slimy manager who still can’t let go of his so-over relationship with Susan.
A defining character moment: Max has a chance meeting with an old New York performance artist friend who now works for the Southern Poverty Law Center. He explains to Max how he just freed a man after years in prison due to an unjust conviction.
As the friend walks away, Max says, “What a waste! He was so talented!”
Pilot Season is populated with self-absorbed network weasels, chortling at the every utterance of the flavor-of-the-week, an actor they’re all sure is massively popular for they see him everywhere in a series of Motel 10 ads.
There’s also the egotistic entertainment lawyer, who so overestimates his skills that he attempts to defend a client on a drunken-driving charge and manages to talk a 96-hour stay in the pokey up to 120 days.
As wryly wonderful as the main characters are, some of the best moments appear in the cameos. Comedian David Cross is hilarious as a seeking-screen-time client of Max’s posing as a working actor; and Andy Kindler generates laughs as a network writer, with delusions of creativity, trying to make a megabuck deal with an actor he doesn’t seem to notice is uninterested and immediately unavailable because he’s in jail.
Pilot Season’s too-few episodes run throughout this month on Trio. Check the network’s schedule for air times.