Arts and Entertainment

The feel of success: WRECKED the series season 2 | Kitsap Week

Liz Ellis founded Honey Toad Studio on Bainbridge Island to create
Liz Ellis founded Honey Toad Studio on Bainbridge Island to create 'WRECKED,' a web-based television show.
— image credit: Honey Toad Studio / Courtesy

By RICHARD D. OXLEY
Bainbridge Island Review

If the first try was a smash, then the second ought to really wreck it.

“WRECKED,” a web-based series produced on Bainbridge Island, began airing online episodes of its second season this month. The show — known for its mature content certain to insight laughter and a fair share of blushes — continues the story of Spencer, a young woman picking up the pieces of her life following a series of shattering circumstances. The story incorporates both drama and comedy, and a dash of vulgarity; perhaps more than a dash.

“The show is a story of the day-to-day lives and dramas of young artists, people living in the Seattle area,” said Charley Pope, unit production and location manager of the show.

“It approaches these problems from a mature and realistic standpoint without glossing over language and content, or emotions that might usually be ignored.”

The end product is a show that isn’t shy about placing a crude joke in the middle of its drama. As such the show is very niched in the young adult scene.

Procrastination is key
“WRECKED” is the brainchild of Bainbridge Island’s Liz Ellis.

Ellis returned to Bainbridge Island in 2012 with a degree in one hand and a script in the other. The script was the product of hours she intended to spend on her senior thesis at Hampshire College in Massachusetts. Her procrastination yielded the concept of “WRECKED.”

Ellis was determined to turn her script from a mere idea into a reality.

Soon, fellow islander and Hampshire alum Nathaniel Buechler came on board to make the show happen.

Honey Toad Studio was born. The film studio helmed by Ellis picked “WRECKED” as its first project.

Filmed over the summer of 2012, the six-episode series soon began airing online installments in October on www.wreckedtheseries.com. It sourced its locations, music and actors locally, including its lead, Bhama Roget of The Edge Improv fame.

The show garnered positive reviews. It earned two bronze Telly Awards and was nominated for six Indie Soap Awards. Of the six nominations, Ellis won best director and Robert Bergin won best supporting actor for his role as Ted, Spencer’s love interest.

But once season one was over, the studio, and fans, wanted more. A Kickstarter campaign — an online fundraising tool — was launched, raising just over $32,000 in donations to put toward season two.

“ ‘WRECKED’ is for people who are like the people in the show,” Pope said. “It is for young adults, probably between 20 and 40, living in an environment similar to  us — artists in Seattle, working at bars, people working minimum wage jobs in a metropolitan area.”

Season two
The first episode of the second season aired in May. Six episodes are scheduled to be released each Monday on the show’s website.

Season two begins by providing fans with a larger peek into Spencer’s backstory, before she moved to Seattle. But while the story begins with Spencer, the show’s second season expands on the characters around her.

“In season one, we were introduced to the characters. In season two, we are introduced to the people,” said Keiko Green, the actress who plays Amina, the foul-tempered girlfriend of Spencer’s brother Peter.

“Now that we’ve established who these people are, we got the opportunity to explore their complex relationships,” Green added.

Buechler added, “The drama in season two of ‘WRECKED’ is much more driven by the interpersonal relationships between the characters than outside events, which is something that I feel makes it a stronger installment.”

Buechler edited much of season one, but he stepped into the role of director for season two.

“Getting the opportunity to direct this season was a great privilege for me,” he said, adding that he admired the storyline of the second season.“Now we get to move forward and have the drama stem from within, which is more interesting to me.”

While the drama is clearly more present than in the first season, fans won’t be at a loss for a laugh.

“It’s funny and sad,” Pope said. “It has its serious moments and its sexy moments. The ultimate goal of the show is to make something entertaining but emotionally expanding for the people watching.”

Season two of “WRECKED,” as well as the entire first season, is available online at www.wreckedtheseries.com. For more information about Honey Toad Studio and its projects, visit www.honeytoad.com.

— Richard D. Oxley is a reporter for the Bainbridge Island Review (BainbridgeReview.com), a Sound Publishing newspaper.

 

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