- TV Series
Indebted to the mob, Bobby 'Boombats', an underachieving loser, hatches a half baked business venture to avoid moving back home with his suffocating Italian Mama, and his more successful, ye... Read allIndebted to the mob, Bobby 'Boombats', an underachieving loser, hatches a half baked business venture to avoid moving back home with his suffocating Italian Mama, and his more successful, yet sexually conflicted older brother.Indebted to the mob, Bobby 'Boombats', an underachieving loser, hatches a half baked business venture to avoid moving back home with his suffocating Italian Mama, and his more successful, yet sexually conflicted older brother.
In his script and in his performance as the matriarch "Nonna", DeSantis deftly captures all the quirks and peculiarities of the Italian community, like the need to protect la famiglia from the evil eye and the superstitious solution that must be followed to the "T". "Toucha youself"! No son ever wants to hear that coming out of their mother's mouth but it was perfectly in character and culturally accurate. Nonna treats her sons as if they are perpetually her little boys. She rules with a firm hand, and she's not above putting common everyday objects...whatever's handy...to good use in order to mete out her justice. Nonna's crafty use of homemade knitted golf club covers to solve a difficult family member dilemma, highlights the repurposing skills of women of her generation.
Alia DeSantis is hilarious as the "crazy stalker". The smeared mascara is perfectly mentally unbalanced. Can a boiled bunny be far off in her future?
The web series soundtrack features a song written by Gabriel DeSantis and performed by him with King Cardiac that strikes the right note and tone to match the series. It makes a great theme song.
The relationship between hapless but good-natured single parent Bobby 'Boombats' with his daughter, Gabby, is played "for real". It makes for a nice juxtaposition to the crazy antics of gambling-addicted Bobby's life and the "boy toy" services he is forced to provide, caught in a web of "payback for his poor choices in life". Tony Sciara as "Bobby" and Nicole James as "Gabby" capture the essence of the push and pull between a parent and a teenaged girl/woman perfectly...the parental yin of "I just want to do what's right for you" and the adolescent yan of "Oh, puh-lease! (eye roll)." It grounds the piece and the audience can relate to it. Plus it fits with the parental mentality of the Italian immigrant community.
Likewise, Nicole James plays "Gabby" with a natural ease in her scenes with her friend/boyfriend prospect, "Moustafa", played by Yatharth Bhatt. The mixed race aspect of the relationship is treated as nothing out of the ordinary in culturally diverse Toronto. However, the "do I or don't I" issue of recreational drug use that every teenager faces at some time in their passage from puberty to post-adolescence is highlighted and handled well. It's not a "deal breaker" relationship-wise and Moustafa acquits himself nicely in defending his position based on his logical analysis approach to finding a middle ground. They're modern-day teenagers -- they're supposed to surprise you once in awhile.
Ron Lea as the closet gay "Lorenzo", brother to "Bobby", stays firmly in cultural place as far as acceptance in the Italian immigrant community goes. The Church says it's a sin. The irony of his relationship with the local priest hits its target. Regardless of which team he is a member; Lorenzo's relationship with his brother is still one of competition for Mommy's attention and approval. Bobby is "easy pickings", an unarmed man in a battle of the wits with the more refined, "less stupid" Lorenzo. At any given time they can be at each other's throats, either verbally or physically.
Maria Vacratsis as Mob widow, "Mrs. Scota", proves once again that her turn in "Mosquito Lake", the highest rated sitcom in CBC history at the time of its airing, was not a comedic fluke, nor her performance in "My Big Fat Greek Wedding". She is a consummate professional who brings a strong sense of character to her portrayal of a horny female businesswoman who knows how to leverage a deal. Bobby's gotta do it or pay the consequences by doing Mrs. Scota's "dirty work".
Recurring characters are well cast and acted. The episode directors are Brian Kowalsky, Matt Birman and Ron Lea. All maintain uniform tone and style across the episodes. The comedic bits hit their marks and targets. Kudos to all.
Combined, the three episodes of BOOMBATS provide an effective launch pad for the web series that quickly establishes characters, relationships and the world of BOOMBATS as seen through the prism of the Italian immigrant experience.
For this writer, one question remains: When's the next Kickstarter campaign, Mr. DeSantis?
- Mar 18, 2019