The Concept Pilot for Duluth Sitcom ‘Old Lifty’ Is Now Available to Watch – Here’s My First Impression
After a special screening event at the beginning of the month, the public can now check out the concept pilot of the locally-themed and locally-produced sitcom 'Old Lifty'. The 12-minute video opens with iconic scenes of the Duluth area, including Park Point Beach, Canal Park, and Lake Superior taking center stage in the opening credits.
The important thing to remember about this first episode (as I'm reminded from things I've read about it) is that this is indeed just a concept episode, designed to introduce us to the characters and feel of the show, rather than a specific plot beyond the overall theme of the show. That overall theme, by the way, is the main character (Karleen Anderson) moves back to Duluth after losing a job in Washington DC, and has to readjust to life in her old stomping grounds of the Twin Ports.
After watching the episode, it is pretty obvious the creators are attempting to mimic the over-exaggerated Minnesota accent and dry, long pause-filled delivery style used in the movie and TV series 'Fargo'. The creators also go out of their way to make it very apparent that we here in the Twin Ports think of ourselves as a small town (of over 80,000), using vehicles like calling out the fact that the main character went off to school at 'The Big U' in the Twin Cities and worked out on the East Coast, or highlighting conversations like "Oh, didjya hear we're gettin' a (insert big town, chain business)?" to drive home that point.
If those stylistic choices are your thing (or you can get past them), the show does offer plenty of beautiful visuals of the Duluth area and a couple cameos from people like Senator Roger Reinert and Duluth Chamber President David Ross, so you can say things like "Oh, I've been there before" or "Hey, I know who that guy is!"
Again, it's hard to offer a legitimate review for a concept episode, but I was disappointed that I didn't really find any chuckle-worthy moments in what is being billed as a sitcom. Sure, this episode is designed to sell the concept more than anything else, but there wasn't much of a comedic hook. Then again, maybe my comedic sense is different from everyone else.
We'll have to wait to see more episodes of 'Old Lifty' to see if the plot develops, but there is some potential in the show. Check out the pilot for yourself and see what you think.