Nirvanna the Band the Show

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Nirvanna the Band the Show
Nirvanna the Band the Show.png
Created byMatt Johnson
Jay McCarrol
Written byAndrew Appelle
Robert Hyland
Curt Lobb
Matthew Miller
Jay McCarrol
Jared Raab
StarringMatt Johnson
Jay McCarrol
Opening themeVarious
Ending theme"Army" by Ben Folds Five
Country of originCanada
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes16 (list of episodes)
Production
Production location(s)Toronto, Ontario
CinematographyJared Raab
Andrew Appelle
Editor(s)Robert Hyland
Curt Lobb
Running time22 minutes
Production company(s)Zapruder Films
Release
Original network
Picture format1080i (16:9 HDTV)
Original releaseFebruary 2, 2017 – present
External links
Website

Nirvanna the Band the Show is a Canadian mockumentary television series based on the web series of the same name, created by and starring Matt Johnson and Jay McCarrol. It premiered on February 2, 2017 on Viceland.[1]

The show has been renewed for a third season and there are plans for a fourth.

Premise[edit]

The show stars the duo as "Nirvanna the Band," two hapless lifelong best friends and roommates, who engage in a series of complex publicity stunts around their home city of Toronto in the hopes of landing a gig at The Rivoli, despite the fact that they have never actually written or recorded a single song, nor taken any other steps to get their band ready.[2]

Production[edit]

The show is a combination of scripted scenes, candid camera footage of people unaware the show is being filmed, and improvisation. Often times the show is influenced by events that happen in reality. For example, in the fifth episode, "The Big Time", creators Johnson and McCarrol used the premiere of Johnson's real life movie Operation Avalanche at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival to film an episode around the concept of the character Matt sneaking a fictional movie of the same name into the festival. In the same episode, a woman unaware of the show being filmed intrudes on a scripted conversation between Johnson and Kevin Smith (appearing as himself), offering Johnson alcohol, which inspired Johnson and McCarrol to include the concept of the character of Matt discovering a love of alcohol in the episode. The show frequently blends the line between fiction and reality in ways like these, with actors breaking character and characters breaking the fourth wall.[3]

Originally created as web series between 2007 and 2009, it was later expanded into a full television series which premiered on Viceland on February 2, 2017.[4][5] Three episodes were also screened at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival as part of its Primetime program of television projects.[6] The series was originally announced in 2016 as slated to air on City, but was later shifted to Viceland with City airing only the first episode as a preview special. The second season has not been picked up for broadcast outside of Canada, however is available for streaming in Australia via SBS On Demand and in Britain via Channel 4 On Demand.

The characters, Matt and Jay, are based on characters McCarrol and Johnson started developing in high school in Mississauga.[7]

Series overview[edit]

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
18February 2, 2017 (2017-02-02)March 23, 2017 (2017-03-23)
28October 27, 2017 (2017-10-27)February 9, 2018 (2018-02-09)

Season 1 (2017)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateUS viewers
(millions)
11"The Banner"Matt JohnsonAndrew Appelle, Robert Hyland, Curt Lobb, Jay McCarrol, Matthew Miller, Jared RaabFebruary 2, 2017 (2017-02-02)0.063

In an effort to raise awareness about the band, Matt and Jay drop a huge banner across from The Rivoli.


Opening Title: Original Web Series[8] (Music Used: "Pop Looks Bach" by Sam Fonteyn)
22"The Booking"Matt JohnsonAndrew Appelle, Robert Hyland, Curt Lobb, Jay McCarrol, Matthew Miller, Jared RaabFebruary 9, 2017 (2017-02-09)0.053

Matt and Jay book their own gig by sneaking into the music listings page of Toronto's alt weekly newspaper.


Opening Title: Growing Pains[8]
33"The Bean"Matt JohnsonAndrew Appelle, Robert Hyland, Curt Lobb, Jay McCarrol, Matthew Miller, Jared RaabFebruary 16, 2017 (2017-02-16)0.038

The guys try to get a float into the annual Santa Claus parade; challenges abound, and they are left wondering if they will get their Christmas miracle.


Opening Title: Home Alone[8]
44"The Blindside"Matt JohnsonAndrew Appelle, Robert Hyland, Curt Lobb, Jay McCarrol, Matthew Miller, Jared RaabFebruary 23, 2017 (2017-02-23)0.042

Matt goes temporarily blind on opening day of The Force Awakens.


Opening Title: Daredevil[8]
55"The Big Time"Matt JohnsonAndrew Appelle, Robert Hyland, Curt Lobb, Jay McCarrol, Matthew Miller, Jared RaabMarch 2, 2017 (2017-03-02)N/A

Matt spirals out of control after he sneaks his film into Sundance and becomes a pseudo-celebrity.


Opening Title: Entourage[8]
66"The Boy"Matt JohnsonAndrew Appelle, Robert Hyland, Curt Lobb, Jay McCarrol, Matthew Miller, Jared RaabMarch 9, 2017 (2017-03-09)N/A

Matt and Jay befriend a sick kid to use his final wish to ask for Nirvanna the Band to play the Rivoli. They wind up showing him the time of his life.


Opening Title: Crank[8]
77"The Buffet"Matt JohnsonAndrew Appelle, Robert Hyland, Curt Lobb, Jay McCarrol, Matthew Miller, Jared RaabMarch 16, 2017 (2017-03-16)N/A

Jay writes Matt a letter saying that he is leaving the band. Over a feast at an all you can eat Chinese buffet, Jay tries to work up the courage to read Matt the letter.


Opening Title: My Dinner with Andre[8]
88"The Bank"Matt JohnsonAndrew Appelle, Robert Hyland, Curt Lobb, Jay McCarrol, Matthew Miller, Jared RaabMarch 23, 2017 (2017-03-23)N/A

Matt and Jay become unwitting players in a hostage situation. But Matt sees it as an opportunity to finally make it to the Rivoli.


Opening Title: Dog Day Afternoon[8]

Season 2 (2017–18)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateUS viewers
(millions)
94"The Book"Matt JohnsonAndrew Appelle, Robert Hyland, Curt Lobb, Jay McCarrol, Matthew Miller, Jared RaabOctober 27, 2017 (2017-10-27)N/A[9]

In a non-canon Halloween special, Matt goes trick-or-treating while Jay stays home and plays music from a haunted book, which shrinks him.


Opening Title: Treehouse of Horror
103"The Buddy"Matt JohnsonAndrew Appelle, Robert Hyland, Curt Lobb, Jay McCarrol, Matthew Miller, Jared RaabNovember 3, 2017 (2017-11-03)N/A[9]

Matt comes up with a new plan after watching Mrs. Doubtfire and brings the plan to life in two very different ways.


Opening Title: Mrs. Doubtfire
112"The Boost"Matt JohnsonAndrew Appelle, Robert Hyland, Curt Lobb, Jay McCarrol, Matthew Miller, Jared RaabNovember 10, 2017 (2017-11-10)N/A[9]

Matt wants to use Jay's Goldeneye 64 skills to win a show at the Rivoli, but Jay comes across some medical problems.


Opening Title: GoldenEye 007
125"The B-Day"Matt JohnsonAndrew Appelle, Robert Hyland, Curt Lobb, Jay McCarrol, Matthew Miller, Jared RaabNovember 17, 2017 (2017-11-17)N/A[9]

Matt forgets Jay's birthday and tries to make it up to him. Jay gets lost at Toronto's 4/20 festival.


Opening Title: The Walking Dead
136"The Banned"Matt JohnsonAndrew Appelle, Robert Hyland, Curt Lobb, Jay McCarrol, Matthew Miller, Jared RaabNovember 24, 2017 (2017-11-24)N/A[9]

Matt and Jay convince a computer store employee to try to hack into the Rivoli's computer.


Opening Title: Hackers
141"The Burger"Matt JohnsonAndrew Appelle, Robert Hyland, Curt Lobb, Jay McCarrol, Matthew Miller, Jared RaabDecember 8, 2017 (2017-12-08)N/A[9]

Matt and Jay try to stick to one plan for the entire season.


Opening Title: Wahlburgers
168"The Banned List 2"
"The Betrayal"
Matt JohnsonAndrew Appelle, Robert Hyland, Curt Lobb, Jay McCarrol, Matthew Miller, Jared RaabJanuary 12, 2018 (2018-01-12)
February 9, 2018
N/A[9]
After Matt and Jay's previous plan fails, they find themselves stuck on the Rivoli's roof.
157"The Band List"Matt JohnsonAndrew Appelle, Robert Hyland, Curt Lobb, Jay McCarrol, Matthew Miller, Jared RaabFebruary 9, 2018 (2018-02-09)N/A[9]

Matt and Jay sneak into Toronto's underground tunnels to get under the Rivoli.


Opening Title: Indiana Jones

Critical reception[edit]

The show has received mostly positive reviews.

Jake Howell of The Globe and Mail praised the show, commenting "Bickering like a married couple, Matt and Jay's constant back-and-forth enabling, backstabbing and belittling of each other has thus far made for great television."[10] Calum Marsh of National Post gave the series a positive review, stating "The intricate arrangement of jokes, careful plotting of action and meticulous orchestration of references demand considerably more from an audience than one tends to expect of a mainstream sitcom."

While Kate Robertson of NOW Toronto was critical of the show's racist jokes saying "The pop culture references are always 90s, and the show aims to preserve a certain part of Toronto that many of us associate with those years. There’s also an uneasy, dated quality to it. Things have changed: ironic racist jokes of the past were never funny after all. They were just excuses to be shocking and racist. Maybe gags like this are an effort to highlight the persistent prejudices from the beginning of political correctness in the 90s, but it’s still a show programmed for a 2017 audience."[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "'Can-con bad boy' Matt Johnson: Meet the enemy inside TIFF's gates". The Globe and Mail. September 9, 2016. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  2. ^ "Nirvanna the Band the Show is back – but this time it's bigger and on proper TV". Now Magazine. June 6, 2016. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  3. ^ "Thoughts on Nirvanna the Band the Show". Youtube.
  4. ^ "nirvanna the band the show". Exclaim!. September 11, 2016. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  5. ^ "Viceland's original comedy 'Nirvanna the Band the Show' arrives February 2". Cartt.ca. January 27, 2017. Retrieved January 29, 2017.
  6. ^ "Nirvanna the Band the Show to premiere at TIFF". Now Magazine. August 3, 2016. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  7. ^ "Nirvanna the Band the Show puts Toronto front and centre in hilarious new show for VICELAND". Now Magazine. February 2, 2016. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h Taylor, Noah R. (March 29, 2017). "Nirvanna the Band the Show (2017) – Art of the Title". The Art of the Title. Retrieved December 4, 2017.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h Howell, Jake (October 31, 2017). "Why aren't people watching Nirvanna the Band the Show?". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved November 6, 2017.
  10. ^ "Why aren't people watching Nirvanna the Band the Show?". Retrieved 2017-12-15.
  11. ^ "TV review: Nirvanna The Band The Show's nostalgia schtick is starting to feel dated".

External links[edit]