There are some truly inspired web-based programs out there these days. I enjoyed Spellfury, though I seem to be in the minority; I enjoyed NBC.com's Ctrl starring Arrested Development's Tony Hale. And now I've found Goon.
What is Goon? That's a good question. And I wish I knew. But that's part of what keeps me watching. It seems to be one part Lost and one part Twin Peaks, but there are definitely some odd things going on with the story and characters.
Brian (Ryan Schwartzman) seems to be a gun for hire, but may be more than that. Laura (Jennica Schwartzman) is a grad student off for the summer who encounters Brian living at her grandmother's home and chooses to keep him around for entertainment. Then there are the weird characters played by Josh Gregory, Ben Bandelau, Paul Pesnell, and Vanessa Rose Parker. In one scene, Gregory is tied to a chair with duct tape. In another, Bandelau seems more than a little upset. And in yet another scene we see that Pesnell and Parker have one heck of an odd relationship that seems to end badly for her.
How do all these threads come together? I haven't the foggiest. But the quality of the production and the deliberate pacing of the mystery has got me hooked, along with the use of various camera styles, washed out (almost black and white) backgrounds, and camera angles that bring you into the action.
Writer/director Marc Hampson summarizes it like this: "Following a smoothly executed job, small time crook Brian discovers the real heist has just begun. Eight goons. One score. No honor among thieves." Goon is an 18-part series that shows some serious promise, not only in the production values but in the storytelling and acting. And you can tell it is a labor of love.
Shot in eight months (July 2008 to February 2009) in 720 HD by the guys at Brotherhood Pictures, you'd think this was produced by one of the bigger companies. But it's a small studio doing an amazing job on almost no budget. And from the behind the scenes clips "From Shelved to Series" you can tell they had a great time putting it together.