It's the morning after, and you awaken to the fact you made a huge mistake sleeping with the person next to you.
Now imagine the person you bumped uglies with is a powerful - though conceited - superhero, while you are an infamous super-villain.
This is the brilliantly hilarious premise behind the action comedy web series Super Knocked Up.
In the pilot episode we meet Jessica James, a.k.a. the super-villain Darkstar. She's beautiful, intelligent, on the wrong side of the law, and now she must contend with fallout from having a one night stand with her arch-enemy, Captain Amazing.
The good captain, whose alter ego is Michael Masters, loves chasing women as much as saving the day.
Much to their mutual shock and horror, our super-foes not only know the other's secret identities, but they also discover they are in the family way.
Now currently in its second season, Super Knocked Up is a blast.
Check out the trailers for seasons one and two ...
Created by writer/producer/director Jeff Burns, this series features a premise rife with comedic gold - and the writing mines every bit of it.
This series is funny, but it also contains surprising moments of poignancy as the protagonists deal with their impending parenthood - all while fighting their growing attraction for each other.
Super Knocked Up is based on comic books with all of the classic tropes intact. Though it's a comedy, this project is not a satire of comic books.
Instead it's a homage - a comic book brought to vivid life.
There are costumed superheroes and super-villains with powers on full display, as well as nefarious plots by evil masterminds.
However, these side plots complement the main narrative thread of two superhuman people facing the anxiety, fear, and joy of becoming parents.
Jeff Burns' scripts are witty and smart. The cast is a revelation. While many other web series often suffer from subpar acting at best, this cast has real chops.
The two leads bring their characters to life without falling into out-of-control campiness:
- Darkstar/Jessica James is portrayed by Natalie Bain in season one. Ms. Bain embues Jessica with a complex mix of fierce strength and vulnerability.
- Jourdan Gibson takes over the role of Darkstar/Jessica in the series' second season. Ms. Gibson makes the role her own with her emotional depth, wit, and intelligence.
- Mark Pezzula as Captain Amazing/Michael Masters also gives a layered performance that successfully makes you like the lecherous superhero.
- David Bunce as Dr. Destruction provides real gravitas as the evil mastermind intent of ridding the world of superheros. Mr. Bunce eschews moustache twirling to creating a villain with depth, who also has a mentor-student relationship with Darkstar.
Not to be overlooked, the supporting cast adds just the right amount of comedy relief as well as menace.
The production values are of excellent quality. The visual effects are sterling. The soundtrack is filled with energetic tunes which complement each episode.
Consequently, this award-winning series is proving very popular with over two million views to date!
Super Knocked Up is among a slew of cutting-edge web series raising the bar for online entertainment. With a great premise, network comparable production values, a skilled cast, and engaging plot, it makes an excellent case for the web being the new hotbed of stellar filmmaking.
To view all current episodes, and to find out more about the production, visit the series channel on YouTube: SuperKnockedUp.com
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