Champions of the World
A story about women, wrestling, karate, and garlic rolls.
March 29, 2014
A Strange Splash of Color
Then The Letting Go
I'm a big fan of this show's comment section. Lots of brutal honesty and snarky passive aggression. I remember the days of the 101 forum where Dan gave several people admin privileges and strange comments would pop up like and also I like butts and sniff feline anus glands. Ask me about my gay.
Apr 09, 2014 at 1:38am
When the 101 website changed its look some time ago, I was very excited about the new comment threads, which I had always felt were lacking on the old site. But I was cautious to lurk quietly for a while before I started chiming in, to see what sort of comment culture would develop. What developed was this: 101 creators patting each other on the back. For a long time that's all it was. It was nice to see familiar 101 names out of character being nice to each other, but it was also kind of a let-down. As an audience member, I didn't feel invited to the comment party. In the last few months, however, the culture spontaneously changed. Suddenly, there were audience members airing their opinions as though this were youtube. And on top of that, for the first time, NEGATIVE FEEDBACK started appearing. What is happening? Is this the beginning of the inevitable Social-Media-ization of this website?
By the way, Casey, great show.
Apr 07, 2014 at 3:06am
Oh cool; new forum! What are you guys talking about?
Apr 05, 2014 at 5:23am
Wow, this is some old school shit. I don't have much to add that hasn't been said other than that the basic unspoken rule of Channel 101 has always been, when boiled down to its essence, "Don't Be a Dick." We all have dicks at work or on YouTube or wherever else who throw in their two cents about our perceived shortcomings. 101 has always been a place where criticism is generally constructive and, in most cases, solicited. In public anyway. Anything goes in private because most of us are both insecure and have confrontation issues.
Casey, I thought your show was a different flavor than anything I've seen you do before. That's what I personally like to see most from a creator, someone using a new color in their palette, so in that aspect, I'd say it was a success.
Re: Channy noms, since it has been brought up several times, yes - we are overhauling the system. No one who is directly involved (creator, recurring actor, writer, etc) with a show can nominate that show in any category. This is because, in the past few years, we have seen nominations skewed (from multiple shows and creators, not just one or two) by large blocs of cast and crew who nominate one show across the board in every category. Lots of those categories get nominations that are spread across many people, where only four or five votes can equal a nomination. So a large bloc does give an unfair advantage in those categories, particularly if the people nominating aren't familiar with 101 content beyond the show that they've worked on. We do invite anyone involved in the community to nominate, but we also need to make sure that the nominees for our dumb fake awards show represent the community as a whole so the right person can go home with their meaningful but inconsequential award.
Also, this thread is now the new Channel 101 forum, until we can figure out something else.
Apr 03, 2014 at 11:29pm
BTdubs, sorry if my post was received as a put down of any of you or Car-Jumper. I just don't like the animosity that comes along with discussing creative efforts.
Apr 03, 2014 at 10:17pm
Ok, one more thing, I explained myself and my intentions in the comments of my show because there were two other people talking about what my intentions were when the only person who knows my intentions with the things I make is me.
People can think whatever they want about my shows, I didn't prompt any discussion about it, it came to me, but when talking about success and failure it is different for everyone. That's the only thing I had to say.
Ariel and I already discussed the essay and my work in a separate private forum and it was a fine discussion.
Thanks for watching Champions of the World everyone!
Apr 03, 2014 at 9:59pm
I just wanted to add a few things, most of which have nothing to with Champions of the World, which is what this comment thread should probably be about.
Regarding Ariel's essay: I agree with some of it, I don't agree with other parts of it, and nobody really cares which parts I do or don't agree with so I won't post them. What I do wanna post about is something I know better than anybody else... Ariel Heyrman Gardner. The fact that he took the time to write all that and examine Casey's work is way more of a compliment to Casey than any actual or perceived "diss" in it. I'd be incredibly flattered if anybody wrote anything that long about any of my work (which brings the question of maybe I should be making more polarizing stuff which calls for essays but that's beside the point).
Regarding Jason Whetzell's replies: Like I said, criticism or praise, I'm always really pleased to read anything about my work. I've read every single YouTube comment on every single video I've made. But just for context and the "integrity of 101" that Jason brings up Casey's Facebook, it should be mentioned that Jason, prior to certain drama going down, used to be a big fan of our shitty spoofs. I specifically remember after the January 2013 screening, Jason coming up to me and saying incredibly nice things about the Breaking Good finale episode and the super silly Fleetwood Space.
Regarding Channy Nominations: I just looked through my emails to make sure I'm remembering things correctly and here's what I have. I have emails during the Channy nomination period asking me (and all other show creators) to pass on nominations to new people involved in their shows. I passed on the nominations to actors that we brought into 101 through our shows. I told them they're eligible to nominate and are even allowed to nominate themselves. I guess a lot of them did nominate themselves. As did I. As did some of your reading this. If that was wrong of me and if that affected the Channies in a negative way somehow, I'm sorry. I won't do it again this year (but I hear the system is changing anyway). But for the record, despite not being "loyal 101ers" for years and years, all those people worked hard on 101 shows and came to support the screenings and voted for a lot of shows created by people reading this thread.
And regarding Teen Wolf Mom: Please stay tuned for Episode 8, which should be dropping online soon and it stars two of the stars of Champions of the World, Kate Freund and Demorge Brown.
Apr 03, 2014 at 9:42pm
I feel like my friends are fighting over a perceived beef that doesn't exist and I HATE IT.
Seriously. Fuck you. This is Channel 101. The average show here gets as many views as a YouTube video on laundry folding. The Channies were invented as a fun joke. If you make a show you do it for your own reasons and the simple fact you chose the life of a creator. If your yard stick for success is votes or creative juju, then so be it. That's your yard stick. The stick YOU choose!
You think Michael Bay and Wes Anderson get into flame wars on the DGA forums about who's got it right? No. They shut up and make their own shit.
GODDAMN. It's like we're on a tropical beach and you gotta quantify who has the best spot picked out and why. It doesn't matter! If one of you wanna make a sand castle and the other wants to fuck a hole in the sand, go for it!
Oh and by the way- we're sitting on a beautiful beach!!
Come play paddle ball fuck faces.
Look. I make a show called Car-Jumper. Fucking CAR; JUMPER. Honest to God, I still don't know what it's about. But you know what? It's fun. That's the choice I made. A little bit of comedy, a little action, and some desperate attempts at character development. (plus Seger does all the work) Bing bang. Each episode I wish was a creative masterpiece, but each screening I feel we turned in some sorta turd with slo-mo shots. And I suspect half of the other show creators hate it. In fact it's a certainty. But you know what? That's their problem. We're just making a Channel 101 show.
Make what you want. Get good at it. Then shut up and have a Mojito.
Apr 03, 2014 at 8:56pm
Holy shit, Whetzell. Make another show and liven up the panel meetings, will ya?
Apr 03, 2014 at 7:09pm
Hey everybody, feel free to watch Champions of the World again while you visit the Champions of the World comments section! Pass it along to any friends or managers or agents you know! Show them the thread and also the show!
Apr 03, 2014 at 7:11am
Supposed to be Ascii art. OH WELL!!!
Apr 03, 2014 at 6:52am
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M=MM MM7 M M M MM M M M M MM MM==8D==M
M=MM 7MM M = M M M MM . M MM=MMMM=M
Apr 03, 2014 at 6:52am
Apr 03, 2014 at 6:52am
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M==MM MMM7 MMM M MMM M MM MMM M M MMM=========M
M==MMM .7 MMM M = M MM MMM M = MM MMM==MMMMM==M
Apr 03, 2014 at 6:51am
If anyone wants some advice on how to craft a joke and a solid comedic beat, character development, timing, or win over the audience with a pure vision, please don't hesitate to ask.
I created Company Man.
Apr 03, 2014 at 6:33am
This was fun to read. Can I be next?
Apr 03, 2014 at 1:44am
Also I wasn't sure if Ariel or Steve Agee wrote that for a while
Apr 03, 2014 at 1:09am
My favorite TV characters took more than five minutes to become likable. I look forward to witnessing the further growth of Casey's thing and hope to see a second episode of something. I wish this had one!!!
Apr 03, 2014 at 1:08am
My nomination for best comment thread #channys2014
Apr 02, 2014 at 8:35pm
for the record, nothing about my last post was sarcastic. But I am crossing my fingers that one day we'll make something that isn't a parody.
Apr 02, 2014 at 8:18pm
Can we please leave Teen Wolf Mom out of this? She's a Teen Mom AND a Teen Wolf!
Apr 02, 2014 at 8:10pm
I think the biggest joke is that you sarcastically say that you make hacky parodies, implying that you actually don't, but you've made a show called Breaking Good and currently make a show called Teen Wolf Mom. If you are not completely embarrassed by those titles then you will never have an intelligent artistic perspective. Casey has perspective. Having that is much more important than any skill you might think you have.
You were the first person to ask for the Channy system to be changed and the lone person to exploit it.
I'm really happy you won't write anything again. That was truly my only goal.
Apr 02, 2014 at 8:01pm
I admit writing this I felt I was doing something wrong, but I felt a strong compulsion to write about my personal relationship with your work. I apologize Casey if I was at all rude or didactic in my writing.
But thank you Jason for your thoughts on our hacky parody shows, it is appreciated. I'm always grateful for honest feedback, positive or negative. The difference here in the criticism I think is that I have no personal vendetta towards Casey, and I have only ever wanted him to succeed, whereas I'm sure you Jason would take great pleasure in watching us fail.
Now what I'm learning is that everyone has different standards of failure and success, and therefore any/all criticism is inherently flawed and I'll never write anything again.
Re: the channy noms, I don't give a shit about any accolade that is undeserved, and I was the first person to ask the channy system be changed. I apologize if it upset or confused anybody.
Apr 02, 2014 at 7:14pm
I'm not saying that's what you said, but you did say things like you dismiss my shows, and that I am unsuccessful and what I am saying is votes don't mean success for everyone.
For instance, with I Am The Devil I wanted to try and make something that made people uncomfortable and tense as they watched it just to see if I could because I've never made anything like that before. You wrote that that's exactly what I did, even though you also said it was undeserved. I think I got something like 29% of the vote with that show but I achieved what I set out to achieve with it.
Apr 02, 2014 at 7:09pm
oh i see. sorry casey for writing a long essay about how you should make spoof humor so that you can get votes.
Apr 02, 2014 at 6:16pm
Votes don't equal success to me. I learn from every show I make. I make what I want to watch and if other people like it great, if not great. Channel 101 isn't a showcase of masterworks, it is a place to try and learn and grow. I have specific things I am trying to do well as a writer/director and I am going to work on those things at Channel 101 because there is supposed to be no pressure and I take the "Make anything you want!" policy very seriously and I don't want to make parodies.
Channel 101 isn't the end all be all. I've successfully made shorts outside of 101 before I started making shows and I continue to find success outside of 101 as Ariel noted with my "Hands" short for example. What I make for 101 I make because I am working on ideas and trying things I haven't tried before. Every one of my shows I try something new for me and because of this I am successful, regardless of if some of the audience can see it or not.
For Ariel's single opinion on me "missing the mark" every time, I have had plenty of people make sure to tell me I really hit the mark for them. After all, this is a subjective medium.
I don't make shows for votes. I make shows for me. That alone makes me successful.
Apr 02, 2014 at 10:12am
The idea that you can teach Casey anything and the tone in which you presented your "essay" was rude and uncalled for. Casey never asked for your input and your critique was ignorant and uninformed. Spoof comedy is often empty which in turn is crowd pleasing. Casey isn't trying to make Teen Wolf Mom and I imagine he would never ask for help from someone who would make that. A higher audience share means nothing. Casey has more respect from 101ers and he should be writing you an essay on how Godfather endings are hack. The whole Channy nomination system is being changed because you sent out emails to everyone involved to nominate your shows in every category. This isn't some conspiracy theory it's a fact.
Apr 02, 2014 at 8:15am
oh weird, my last post was a typo. what i meant to say casey was that you needed more actors.
also casey, don't forget to stuff the ballot box with extra votes when nobody's looking. that's key because 101 is all about gaming the system. i hope my weird typo didn't throw you off, but we lizard people derive pleasure from forcing people we respect and admire to watch shit they don't want to see. I don't want you to think I actually care about any of this shit.
See you at the channies,
Apr 02, 2014 at 7:45am
Yeah Casey, you should pack the audience with a huge cast and all of their friends and family. Then you can have them vote for you and squeeze into 4th place. The exact thing they did for them to amass a Channy nomination in almost every category for shows that no one remembers (with zero wins). Please Casey, make a show and pack the audience so you force loyal 101ers to continue to watch boring hack shows riddled with lowest common denominator jokes and forgettable characters. Listen to the Guru of 101 who has had zero 1st place shows and has never had a show where I remembered a single plot line.
Apr 02, 2014 at 12:58am
Re: Steve Agee
Casey Donahue, Masculinity & The Importance of Being Earnest In Your 101 Show
Why am I writing this? Maybe because 101 consumes my life and almost every day I'm trying to figure what makes a good show. Or maybe I'm just nostalgic for writing film analysis papers.
Well, I know I'm writing this because I was driving through Los Feliz listening to Springsteen and I saw a sign that mentioned hands. The symbiosis of the two things reminded me of Casey's 81k-viewed(!) video, "A Short Story About Hands."
In "Hands," Casey begins "My father is a man." and then recalls a few factual events of his actual father's life alongside real footage and photos of his dad. The blending of fact/fiction creates a tone of sincerity that's appealing and makes the score feel appropriate and not more important than the content. He then learns a lesson from a half-naked man that in order to be a man, you have to confront your biggest fear, which in the case of his character/him, is how much he loves his girlfriend. Now I'm not sure it makes a lot of sense that your biggest fear is how much you love your girlfriend, but I've never been in love, so I don't know.
In any case, it was a sincere effort and easily his best work in my eyes. The interesting thing is that it is only 4 minutes long, which tells me that that curtailed length of a 101 show is definitely not the issue here. (There is the issue of non-tv-trope-episodic storytelling at 101, but that's a different essay altogether.)
His first 101 pilot "Drips" maintains almost the same tone and style of "Hands." Casey playing himself, voice over narration, shaky dolly push-ins, post-modern phillip glassy music, and a character dealing with his lack of masculinity in a masculine universe.
It begins as "Clancy" proclaims in voice-over a self-affirming quote about how every person is a snowflake and that's okay. This musing is interrupted by a group of skateboarders who slap him and call him a DRIP. Cue title card "DRIPS".
We find Clancy reading his book on a set of bleachers at public park next to two giggling girls. While the scene progresses, you might be asking yourself, why is he reading at an empty venue for sports activities? Why are these adult women also there and why are they openly and rudely making fun of this guy for normal things like wearing glasses, reading, having the name Clancy, not drinking alcohol, and enjoying sandwiches? These women only exist to unjustly accuse this harmless guy of being the most boring guy on the face of the planet.
At this point, I really miss the earnestness of "Hands."
After the skateboarders arrive to bully another "drip" sitting on a park bench, there is a hip hop skate montage that impresses the imaginary girls and leaves Casey and the other drip feeling dejected and lost in the world.
At home, Clancy continues to read. At this point, I think it's revealed that maybe he is reading motivational words out of the book, but I'm not sure.
He re-learns what he was saying with confidence at the beginning of our story, puts down the book, turns on the TV and he watches a nature channel. Cut to black.
We're back at the park with the only other people in the universe who all hang out at the same park. The skateboarders ruin his sandwich that he liked.
CUE PUNK ROCK SONG
because music cues have a tendency to substitute for character development in 101 shows.
Casey attacks the skateboarder and the song cuts out, telling us that oh this fight isn't cool and it's a pussy ass fight. But he stands up and everyone is silently impressed/afraid. The other drip cheers him on for beating up the dude. All the characters are adults.
He steals the Lone Wolf jacket, walks in slow motion, flips off the girls, cut to credits.
The story essentially tells us that in order to become a man, and live your life fully, you gotta put down the book, you gotta get in touch with your animal masculine nature, and you have to stand up for yourself against schoolyard bullies. Remember this doctrine.
I feel like I was tricked into voting for his next show "I Am The Devil," because of the presence of an intense unblinking performance from Natey Grammy Smitty, and because it was driven by the intense pulsating tones of SUICIDE.
It begins as Clancy Casey rises into frame overlooking the city of Los Angeles from Griffith Park. The shot seems to suggest he was born in this moment, or had arrived from another time a la terminator, though maybe he was just going on a hike. Though nothing else in the story will justify or explain this. It might as well be a baseball field.
He turns around and finds a masked man staring at him. The man walks away, end of scene.
After which we return to the unmotivated dolly shots as we meet his complaining wife and mean boss who are bogging him down. Yet again, we're in a universe where everyone is inappropriately rude to a boy because he wears glasses. Clients call him a stupid piece of shit. The wonderful atmospheric music tells us something important is going on while him while his girlfriend watch TV on the couch, but the body language of the two actors look like they hadn't met before that day.
He lies awake in bed at night in a beautiful composition by Nate. He goes out for a walk.
Outside, he meets the masked man who tells Clancy that he is in fact Tyler Durden and he should come with him and fuck some shit up to feel alive.
SUICIDE returns, which is intense as FUCK in a theater, as "Curt Neill" his mean boss, wakes up in bed to find the scary masked man hovering over him. The scene is undeniably tense. Casey clearly understands the way to manufacture tension, but the tension is undeserved.
In no surprise at all because fight club, it's revealed the masked man is just Casey wearing glasses. He then goes home and kisses his wife because he feels alive and breaking bad. Then we see Nathan outside still there in case anyone thought Casey's taste of violence was quenched. Uh oh.
With I Am The Devil, Casey takes the violent dethroning of his bullies a step further. He's telling us again, life is not worth living unless you unleash your inner rage on all those bullies that are keeping us down. To live is to be a man, to be a man is to fight.
Wild Animals begins with a 3 second overture that tells us there will definitely, most definitely be something going on in the subtext of this scene that is dark intense and demands our attention. We follow Clancy Lone Wolf Casey from behind in a shot reminiscent of the ending of Drips as we meet Wendy at her door. An awkward beat tells us they don't know each other that well and this is their first date.
They walk and talk and Wendy tells us how her neighbor died. It's funny. Casey waxes philosophical with "everything that he did led up that guy's stuff on the curb." Not bad, these guys wanna talk about real shit, let's get real, I'm down. This first beat resonates with me a little bit.
The tense music develops and we can't really see or hear what they talk about in this next beat.
They get to the Foster's Freeze in Atwater and they innocently eat ice cream. Clancy tells her how a moment they shared was the greatest thing that ever happened to him, and Wendy takes this in with... a little bit of skepticism turned flattery- Yes! It makes sense! You should be skeptical and you should be flattered! Finally a truthful, sincere moment! He's no longer playing to an idea, but to the people on screen. There is a clear relationship that I understand in this moment. I'm hooked.
The ice is broken a bit and Casey Clancy playfully asks her to live her life by littering. (We find out in this moment that Wendy is Casey Clancy in this one.) She drops her cup in a wide shot and this is the best comedic moment in a Donahue pilot so far. I feel like I've maybe seen this exact scene before, but it works. These 2 relatable characters are getting to like each other and it's nice.
As they leave the restaurant, Casey tells her it's important to do important stuff so that people will remember you. Wendy asks what about if someone just remembers you for your smile. Look at this! A neat little human nature question that is tastefully unanswered.
They walk slowly in silence until they pass a drunk man in the street. In a relief of tension, Futernick shouts from across the way "let me taste that pussy baby!"
Will they pretend that this didn't happen? Will he diffuse it by making a clever joke? Will he confront the drunk man and ask him to apologize to his girl for being rude? Any of these options would have made sense for these human characters.
NO! He is going to beat him up. Beat him viciously! Not like cinematically viciously, he very weakly breaks a breakaway glass bottle over his head, and very gently places Futernick's head on the ground repeatedly without the aid of sound effects... but he clearly kills this man with his bare hands! Then he rubs the blood on his face!
masculinity. protect the girl, stand up to the bullies. but this time he lowers the offense of the bully, and raises the amount of violence.
Then Wendy enters frame to tell him, "That was very sweet..." and she kisses him for no other reason than to get blood on her face. Casey abandons everything he set up about these tangible characters for the cool images of this scene. "...But you're a wild animal," "So are you." Who are these characters? What did I just watch? Where am I?
Then as Wendy calls the police, Casey looks at what he's done with his hands as if he wasn't conscious of his very gentle and deliberate and calmly executed murder.
You are not a man and you are not alive unless you BRUTALLY MURDER anyone who says ANYTHING!
This brings us to our most recent Donahue excursion, Champions of the World. It stars the amazing Demorge as Casey as Clancy asTerrence as T Bone doing karate that looks nothing like karate despite caring about nothing but karate.
We've definitely left the darker, violent worlds of Devil and Animals and returned to the lighter tone of Drips.
He is met by a comedic sidekick who admires his non-karate. T-Bone tells to us about what he likes about women: their appearance.
T Bone is either captivated by the wrestling or he's thinking about Carol. Demorge calls up the pizza company We find out Carol is the pizza girl. Demorge forgets that food costs money, in this case, 1 dollar no tip.
T-Bone finally builds up the courage to ask Carol if she wants to watch him do Karate, and she says no as if she expected the question. Without a beat he asks her if she wants to be his girlfriend, and she's ready to tell him that she's just trying to do her job. She then very rudely calls T bone a stupid piece of shit. Now, there's nothing wrong with the idea that characters can be dumb, or that characters can be cruel to each other. It's just that there's nothing human underneath. Nothing in this scene feels human except for Kate's hoarse voice.
Demorge sincerely sobs in the bathroom in what should be a touching scene if anything before it felt sincere.
The comedic sidekick tells T Bone she isn't so great, cue SABBATH, UH OH, then a quick Volkswagen ad before T Bone and his sidekick somehow get all the way to Carol, who for some reason hasn't left their house yet. Also they're on pegged bmx bike because teenage masculinity skateboarding drips wrestling masculinity.
Demorge tells her off and then carol.. APOLOGIZES?
T Bone and Comedic Sidekick walk the bike into the sunset:
CHAMPIONS OF THE WORLD.
BE A MAN. STAND UP TO YOURSELF TO ANY WOMAN WHO RUDELY CALLS YOU A PIECE OF SHIT FOR SINCERELY ASKING HER OUT.
Before that moment in Los Feliz, I was struggling trying to articulate why Casey's stuff has been unsuccessful at 101, why I've been dismissed it, and why I've felt conflicted about dismissing it.
The thing is, it's typical for 101 shows, even successful ones, to be guilty of some of the same choices Casey is making. The problem is that Donahue's tone is not absurd trope-based comedy. It feels like, "hey this is gonna be good, judge it by the same standards as you would a real drama. Read into it." I don't feel like it's the wrong tone to have, NOT AT ALL. The tone is excellent but you have to deliver truthful, meaningful content. It doesn't have to explain the universe, it can be as simple as loving your dad and your girlfriend.
For every Casey show, I've gone in really really wanting to like it. I always want to see something different, something funny and sincere. Kate & Kyle have been doing something different for years and fucking nailing it every time and I wish they'd tell me how.
Despite thoughtful compositions in his collaboration with Nate, good performances from good actors, awesome needle drops, Casey's missed the mark 4 times. But he's clearly a thoughtful filmmaker with a unique voice who is going to figure out how to break our hearts soon enough and I sincerely look forward to his next show.
Apr 01, 2014 at 12:05pm
Black Sabbath and karate, why the FUCK was this cancelled?????
Mar 31, 2014 at 8:56pm
This is great. Paul is a beast.
Mar 31, 2014 at 12:47am
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Paul Walter Hauser
.... Randy Blompkin
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