The Untitled Web Series That Morgan Evans Is Doing For MTV is a mouthful of a title, but it’s an accurate one. The nine-episode (plus mini-episodes) series is about Morgan Evans making a web series, and also about Hollywood “show business,” relationships, and assholes.
Untitled is a quick watch — the longest episode is about eight minutes, but most clock in around six — and it doesn’t always flow well, but it manages to tell a complete, engaging story within such a short amount of time. Morgan (Morgan Evans) somewhat reluctantly takes an opportunity to move to Los Angeles and host MTV’s Teen Wolf After After Show (an actual program that Evans hosts), where he stumbles into problems after problems.
The long arc of the series isn’t its strongest suit — we’ve already seen plenty of move-to-LA-for-the-business narratives in just about every medium you can imagine — but the web series excels in its smaller stories, its attention to detail, and its funny but often too-realistic dialogue between friends and siblings. The first episode features mostly Morgan and his arson-happy agent (Neil Casey), who is distraught over a recent breakup and urges Morgan not to take the MTV opportunity — “It’s not worth it … There’s no one in this business who’s happy,” he offers as fatherly advice, before dragging Morgan along to torch a house. It’s a good indication of the weird, and sometimes absurd, humor that’s to come, but the second and third episodes are better example of what makes Untitled so charmingly infectious.
The second episode takes place entirely at Morgan’s surprise birthday party and drifts between mundane, non sequitur conversations (“So you know that doctor I was dating? He’s not a doctor, he’s a garbageman”) while Morgan tries to dance around his quickly revealed secret job offer. The third features just two characters: Morgan and a homeless punk named Kyle (Griffin Newman) who panhandles for movie tickets. In a web series that actively channels Louie, this episode is the most reminiscent of the FX comedy. It follows the two men on their afternoon, with slow-build conversations that lead to both a revelation and an unexpected punchline.
Untitled really works in its throwaway lines and attention to detail. Nicole Byer expresses her distaste for overly humorous commercials (“What’s funny about a bar of soap?”) in one episode, while John Milhiser laments over his canceled sitcom about “five guys who move into a big house only to find out it’s an apartment” but talks up his new web series about his life (“like, auditions and traffic”). One of the laugh-out-loud funniest episodes features studio executive Jen (Jessica St. Clair) talking about the ridiculous scripts that come across her desk (“Black Swan, essentially, but with a golden retriever”) and explaining, “I want to make art but with humongous franchise opportunities.” (Untitled is littered with cameos like this; in addition to the above, Abbi Jacobson pops up as a frustrated bar trivia host, and Teen Wolf‘s Melissa Ponzio plays herself.)
The Untitled Web Series That Morgan Evans Is Doing For MTV still has a couple of rough spots — it ends with a clunky plot device; it can sometimes feel too much like it’s aiming to be a short version of Louie, which distracts from the creativity — but it’s definitely an ambitious and confident series, and one that bodes well for MTV Other’s continued foray into short, original content.