Jacob Kornfeld ’19/ Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
“Oscar’s Hotel is reachable by the Forever Train, Red’s Taxi Service, and something else equally bizarre and weird,” says Oscar (Andrew Ableson) at the end of the first episode’s cold opening. “Something else equally bizarre and weird,” is an accurate sentiment on the nature of PJ Liguori’s, better known as KickThePJ on Youtube, new web series, Oscar’s Hotel For Fantastical Creatures.
The show throws its audience right into the insanity by playing a comically produced TV ad created by eccentric hotel owner, Oscar. In this commercial, Oscar introduces the audience to his hotel and some of the recurring characters, such as Mo Nay the talking painting (PJ Liguori), Oscar’s Hotel’s resident Octochef (Mamrie Hart), and Oliver (Chris Kendall), Oscar’s nephew, “ass.” [assistant], and protagonist of this strange, yet charming web series.
Following a seemingly random, yet tragic scene involving a birthday clown and a pony, we are brought to the front desk of the hotel. Here, Oliver sees the need for some excitement to boost the general morale of the hotel. To do this he hires Duncan Daydream (Jake Roper) to spice things up and bring in some much needed pizazz. Unfortunately for Oliver, it seems that Duncan is not the pie throwing clown he had hoped for, but instead is an insane, glittery, gun-wielding, demon-horse clown. To make matters worse, anyone shot by Duncan’s party gun will continue to ‘get down like it’s 1999’ until they literally die.
If you haven’t noticed by now, Oscar’s Hotel For Fantastical Creatures is incredibly charming. With it’s super stylized sets, wacky character design, and general insanity you cannot help but smile during the episode. Production designers Ashley Fenton and Meghan Fenton’s use of miniatures fits very well with the overall oddball feel of the web series, and does not seem out-of-place.
The character design is also something to be praised. Each inhabitant of Oscar’s Hotel is extremely unusual and memorable; creating a whole world of wonder that viewers only catch a glimpse of through Oscar’s Hotel For Fantastical Creatures. Some of the characters who truly stand out include Wiggles the Joker-esque clown (PJ Liguori), balloon security guards Murray (Thomas Ridgewell) and Stan (Bertie Gilbert), and of course Duncan who only really wanted Oliver to dance inside his gaping chest cavity.
The writing is also very funny at times, with Murray and Stan as the highlights in this episode. Overall, “The Party Nightmare” was a highly enjoyable first episode! It will be interesting to see where the show goes from here.
Check out Oscar’s Hotel For Fantastical Creatures on Vimeo and catch a glimpse of the fun in this trailer: