The Weekly Geek: “ISS” and “Monsters University”


This is really saying something, but I think this iteration of The Weekly Geek has the highest nerd factor yet. That’s because this week we’re looking at a brand new web series that combines two of the nerdiest things in human culture: improv comedy and space travel. Yes, really.

ISS, a 10 space/comedy/improv series by Monochrom has just debuted, with its first episode, “V-Day,” now available for your viewing pleasure. It really is sort of like The Office in space – only the whole shebang is entirely unscripted, and performed as improv.


Here’s the official description, from the ISS site:

ISS is an improv-reality-sitcom about living and working on the International Space Station. The four actors playing the ISS crew must develop strategies on the fly in response to surprise situations, which are loosely based on actual ISS data uncovered by monochrom.

They also have a pretty fantastic tagline:

In space no one can hear you complain about your job.

Go ahead and give it a shot. It’s nerd humor through and through, and utterly hilarious if you can get into the right mindset. As with all improv, it’s funnier (and more fun) if you can appreciate clever lines and bizarre situations as much as purely funny jokes and set-ups.

If that doesn’t convince you, check out the cast list, which reads like a bizarre sci-fi/improv laundry list. (I, for one, have become very curious about Lovepuke.)

Actors: Jeff Ricketts (Star Trek: Enterprise, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly), Maciej Salamon (Musicals: Barbarella, Tanz der Vampire, Sweeney Todd), Claire Tudela (Carmen, Musical: The Producers), Geoff Pinfield (Aoterroroa, Lovepuke)

If this is all a bit too weird for you, don’t fret – I have nerdy news that’s far more mainstream. The prequel to Pixar’s creative, adorkable Monsters Inc. has officially been announced! Monsters University will focus on how Mike and Sulley met and became monster-buddies.

From awesome new blog The Mary Sue:

Monsters University is expected to be released on November 2, 2012 and does not have a director attached. (The original director, Pete Docter, is working on his own “top secret project” slated for 2013 or 2014.) It is also worth mentioning that there is a Dreamworks project called Boo U, about ghosts going to “scare school.” One for ghost people, one for monster people. I guess that’s why they keep doing that?

Since Monsters Inc. was one of my favorite movies of the previous decade; I think it’s safe to say I’ll be in line for that one on opening night.

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