Friday, August 22, 2008

New Comedy Series

A new series is coming to IFC (Independent Film Channel):
"Z Rock"

Based on a real-life band from Brooklyn, it is the story of brothers Paul and David Zablidowsky and their good friend Joey Cassata, who play in the metal band "Z02", which has opened for Kiss.
However, to make ends meet, they also perform at children's birthday parties and bar mitzvahs as "The Z Brothers".

From the press release:

In the show the band members play fictionalized versions of themselves, exaggerating their actual experiences — including a pitched rivalry with other New York-based children's musicians — pursuing the recording contract that long eluded them.

Like the dialogue in "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and "This Is Spinal Tap," much of that in "Z Rock" is improvised, though with the players working off highly detailed outlines. Most of the situations in which their characters are placed by the show's writers and producers — who include Mark Farrell, a former producer of "Curb" — are adapted from tales the band told in hours spent sitting around a table.

For a supporting cast the producers surrounded the musicians with stand-up comedians and improv players, including Lynne Koplitz (who plays the band's dedicated if addled manager, Dina); Greg Giraldo (as a powerful record producer, who delivers an endlessly profane reprimand to Paulie Z after the band is late for his son's birthday party); and Jay Oakerson (as a club manager who repeatedly propositions Paulie, who is straight).

Among the many musicians playing fictionalized versions of themselves in cameos are John Popper of Blues Traveler (who agrees to sign the Z Brothers, not ZO2, to a recording contract, but only after Dina sleeps with him); Dee Snider of Twisted Sister; and Chris Barron of the Spin Doctors. Joan Rivers plays Joan Rivers, but reimagined as Dina's aunt.

"It seems on the show like we're reckless, but we're not in real life," Mr. Cassata said. "We never put the ZO2 career in jeopardy. That stuff is definitely artistic license."

"Z Rock" premieres this Sunday night, Aug. 24 at 11:30 p.m. ET.

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