Vimeo TV review: Oscar’s Hotel for Fantastic Creatures
Ivan Radford | On 11, Nov 2015
Every week, we pick a series from the web and write about it. We call it Web Series of the Week.
What do Patrick Stewart, Alfred Molina and Elliott Gould have in common? They’ve all checked in to Oscar’s Hotel for Fantastic Creatures, a new web series that’s as bizarre as its cast list.
The show, created by YouTuber PJ Liguori (aka KickthePJ), follows normal human man Chris Kendall, the nephew of the titular Oscar, who finds himself left in charge of the strange establishment, which is home to horde of weird and wonderful beasts. Well, weird anyway.
Kendall makes for a likeable lead, bothered and bewildered by the shenanigans that ensue, but the real stars are the residents themselves. From a disco-gun-toting horse to kitchen ingredients that don’t realise they’re food, the collection of critters don’t shy away from being completely and utterly odd. Whether it’s Elliott Gould as a sirloin steak or PewDiePew as a sprig of broccoli), the guest cast sink their teeth into the bit parts, helping the tone to swing wildly from stupid to perilous.
The show is well aware that its monsters are its biggest strength and plays straight to them, hiring Jim Henson’s Creature Shop to handle them all. The result is a marvellous array of puppets, costumes and made-up people, which recalls the surreal creativity of The Mighty Boosh. The circa-10-minute episodes, meanwhile, keep any reliance upon plot, character or jokey set-ups to a minimum, instead offering short bursts of imagination. If that means there’s little depth or substance to engage beyond the wacky surface, though, Oscar’s Hotel for Fantastic Creatures is the better for it: this is forgettable, yes, but insanely fun, with an emphasis on the insane. After all, when was the last time you saw Elliott Gould play a sirloin steak?
Oscar’s Hotel for Fantastic Creatures is available on Vimeo On Demand. For more information, click here.