It’s not an everyday occurrence that a Web series makes the jump to broadcast TV, but I couldn’t think of a better group to pull it off than Pure Pwnage. The gamer-skewering online series has built a massive fanbase with edgy humor and unforgettable characters, and tonight they make their national TV bow on Canada’s Showcase network. I sat down with masterminds Geoff Lapaire and Jarett Cale to talk about the long, hard road to the airwaves.
Heavy.com: Congrats on making the jump to TV. What’ve been the biggest challenges in taking the show to a broadcast audience?
Geoff: I think after the challenge of doing the webseries, it was easier on the whole for us. With the caveat that things are very fast paced in TV, we were working long days and long hours, but after working on the webseries for 6 years, it was very natural for us to do the transition to TV
Jarett: Weeping at night after the greenlight. That was the challenge. A few years from now, ask me that question again.
Heavy.com: How did the show come about?
Geoff: We met with Showcase a number of years ago, and had been talking on and off since then. Initially, we didn’t know how to fit the property into TV, and it’s not every day that somebody comes in and says “Hey, we’ve got a million viewers worldwide, let’s make a tv show!” Initially we didn’t know how to make it work, but then we started working with our executive producers Ron Mann and CatherineTate – they became mentors to us and we figured out how to make it work, through getting a development deal, and then getting the greenlight on the project because Showcase liked the scripts, and now we have 8 episodes starting this Friday at 10.
Heavy.com: Let’s talk about the TV show’s place in the Pure Pwnage continuity – is this a “reboot”?
Geoff: It’s a reboot. The TV show is carefully written so that if you’re totally unfamiliar with the web episodes, you’ll have no problem getting into the show. On a meta level, the webseries exists in a sort of reality with fantasy elements, so the TV show becomes sort of a non-reality inside the reality of the web universe… there’s a few layers. The TV show is accessible to everyone, we fully expect that the majority of the people who watch it will never watch the web show.
Jarett: It’s a… partial reboot. These three characters are already well established from the webisodes, but starting from scratch, reintroducing them in a different way, so that while some people are meeting them again, it’s all new material. Nothing’s being repeated.
Heavy.com: It’s been over a year since the last full web episode of Pure Pwnage. You said that the TV show wouldn’t stop new episodes, so what’s going on? Any date for a new episode?
Jarett: Well, you know, the web series did pay our bills for 5 years. It’s not something that we’re prepared to abandon, and we do have a duty to our fanbase to tie up the story, but we’re so busy with production – I mean, this is a great move with our careers, but there’s a lot of work involved, especially with the web series, we have to do everything ourselves! We don’t have our 50 man union crew. There are scripts, we have a plan to tie up the story, but they’re on our plate, which is piled very high.
Heavy.com: Now that you’re on Showcase, any possibility of a Pure Pwnage / Trailer Park Boys crossover?
Geoff: I’ve never thought of that but it would be a neat thing to do – to have the universes clash in double mockumentary mode. Guest stars, someday, season 2 or 3, that would be an interesting thing.
Jarett: We do guest appearance from Kenny (from Kenny vs. Spenny) in one of the episodes, but we’re trying to space things out so we’re not “The Showcase Show.” Personally, I’d love to get Ricky and Julian involved in some way. We also do live events, and they do live events in character, who knows – our documentary team could wind up at one of those.
Heavy.com: Are we ever going to get a chance to play Vasectomy?
Jarett: I hope so, man! I really, really do. I would love to be at a point where some professional studio is at a point to bring that fantasy to life. I know I’d be on board.