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Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

This Week's Web Series You Need To Watch: Paul Solomon: Chronicles of Love

There are very few songs that could open the LA Shorts Film Festival and be worth listening to for their non-comedic artistic merit. The Lonely Island's infectious contributions could easily clear the first hurdle, but could anyone ever digest Jizz In My Pants or I’m On A Boat as anything more than a joke song? Even without the cartoonish visuals, probably not. Paul Solomon: Chronicles of Love is unique because it’s visually comedic (hence the LA Shorts Fest props) and auditorily kind of legitimately good.

Samberg and Co.’s brand of parody is great because it’s really accessible and in your face. Broadly familiar genre melodies immediately betray tone and since Adam, Jorma, and Akiva aren’t true songbirds, their impact is achieved mostly through lots of punchlines. That technique’s different from the more ethereal humor employed here. Lonely Island writes sketch comedy set to music. Paul Solomon’s David DiLoreto (Paul) writes real, could-be-on-your-parents’-car-radio songs about funny situations. Both approaches are noteworthy. The latter is seldom explored.

Created, written, and produced by three high school besties, DiLoreto, Bill Schaumberg, and James Kirkland (co-creator of VH1's new sketch show, Stevie TV, due to air this March), Paul Solomon: Chronicles of Love follows a romantic musician who’s repeatedly led into surrealist music video fantasies at the slightest real-life indication of sentimentality. When read on a page, the premise doesn’t seem all that phenomenal. But when singer/songwriter DiLoreto is seen and heard in action, Paul Solomon is something special — sincere in its quality and deadpan in its subtlety.

Beware: the very reason it’s worth watching is the same reason it takes a minute or two to get used to. So don’t opt-out too soon. While the series is only two episodes deep, I’ve been lucky enough to take a peek at the third and can speak to its quality (pleasantly Glee-ish actually). Schaumberg says that installment will be released next month, with the fourth coming in March. Why the delay? Production value. You could slide Brian Adams into any one of these puppies.

We don’t usually profile series with just two videos, but given knowledge of installment #3, here are two reasons to watch. Sorry if I’ve upset you.

  1. Earnestness
  2. Talent

Episode #1: “Isaac”

Nothing about this series will hit you over the head with comedy and if it’s on in the background, you might just end up making a baby to it. If you’re giving it your undivided attention and can get into the ridiculous juxtaposition of a great looking guy with a damned good voice running like through a park like he’s chasing his female co-star in a Cameron Crowe romcom, while wearing a papoose and mulling baby names like “Ricky Ticky Tat Tat,” you’ll dig it.

Episode #2: “Rosarita”

Without DiLoreto’s real musical chops, Paul Solomon becomes an odd mix of quasi-artsy web series and underwhelming SNL digital short. Because the man’s got talent, the effort is far more impressive and textured.

  • Megan Williamson Daline@facebook

    These are hilarious.Great job Bill and company.