I Watched Every Second of Pauly Shore’s New 10-Part YouTube Series
What the hell did I just watch? The inimitable Pauly Shore just dropped a new, 10-episode YouTube series that’s mind-blowing in its lack of commitment to a plot or reason for being. And yet if you told me, “This is really what Pauly Shore’s life is actually like,” I think I might believe you. After an all-in binge, here are my key questions about Hooray for Paulywood…
Did Shore Just Give Up on a Storyline?
Hooray for Paulywood does have a throughline, at least at first. Shore’s personal assistant (comedian Ali Macofsky) quits the job because she’s fallen in love with Pauly and she won’t mix business with pleasure. That’s a problem: Shore doesn’t know how to “open the computer,” and he needs help with his half-baked projects. There’s your setup for the next seven episodes, with other comedian friends interviewing (or not) to be Pauly’s go-to guy. The problem is solved when comic Shapel Lacey agrees to be Shore’s Black assistant — or as Shapel prefers to be called, Shore’s assistant.
All of this is barely a story — but wait, there are still two episodes to go. Those are made up of random conversations at Shore’s kitchen table: Cooper Lydon expressing fears about coming out as pansexual and Chris Kattan asking for cash for a Marx Brothers biopic. All completely disconnected from everything that came before. Questions: What happened to Shapel Lacey? Does Shore have a clean T-shirt? And if Kattan needs cash, he comes to Pauly Shore?
What’s Up with All the Transitioning ‘Jokes’?
In at least half of the Hooray for Paulywood episodes, Shore confesses that he’s getting ready to transition to female. On a couple of occasions, he tries to convince his fellow comics to transition with him. It sounds like a lame attempt at a hot-button joke — except he rarely appears to be joking. He just mentions it casually in the same way he talks about his “Ask Pauly” video series — a to-do on his Special Projects list that he may or may not get to.
I’d chalk it up to Shore attempting to be edgy, except he never seems to be going for laughs. Is this Pauly’s way of actually making some sort of announcement?
Why Are ‘Paulywood’s Technical Woes So Depressing?
When your buddies get together to make a funny video for YouTube and the audio sounds like it’s coming from inside a tin can, you get it. What do they know about making movies? But considering the actual crew listed in the end credits of each episode (multiple camera operators, video editors, etc.), what’s the excuse for effed-up sound in episodes like “My Black Assistant”?
It sure seems like Shore is going for a shaggy quality with these videos — many of them take place in the same room with a minimum of action — but the technical goofs are just depressing.
Art seems to be imitating life in Hooray for Paulywood — it’s not hard to imagine the real-life Shore struggling to return emails or pining for a role in a dramatic movie. (He’s spent recent months campaigning to star in a Richard Simmons biopic.) But a career stuck in mid-gear isn’t funny in and of itself. Two comics riffing at a table can be hilarious — Shore doesn’t bother with second takes when he cracks up at Benji Aflalo’s rants — but where are the jokes? I’m not counting transgender cringe like “I might get a puss, I don’t know.”
Shore’s series is an easy watch as far as time commitment — several episodes are only three minutes long and the longest clocks in at seven — so it doesn’t take much to give it a try. But you might find it difficult to muster up a “Hooray for Paulywood!” when you’re done.