Recurring Cast: Kee Seymore
Q’s One Night Stands is an independent web-series and be can seen for free right now, right here.
Say what you want about seediness, but few can argue that sex sells. And when making a web series that is made or unmade by its view count, making the talking point and main premise all about sex, quite simply, works. And therefore we have summarised the plot to Q’s One Night Stands in a sentence. The lead character Q roams New York, looking for one night hook-ups and the series chronicles six of his wacky encounters. Each episode features a brand new conquest (although many of them never quite get conquested, as it were…), and there is little connecting each story, except Q’s rule book when it comes to women. No prostitutes, no drunk girls (that one’s broken on a regular basis), no second meetings… In being such a simple premise, Q’s One Night Stands becomes a very watchable series. Each episode runs between four and ten minutes and in having no connection to the next one, allows the viewer to dive right into the fun. The set-up is quick to get into (summarised in the title sequence every time), so if you find yourself waiting for a bus, on a break at work or simply in need of a quick pick-me-up, Q’s One Night Stands becomes the perfect cocktail of entertainment and simplicity. You don’t even need to watch them in any specific order, grabbing the first one that pops up on your Youtube search feed. And each episode is very funny. I don’t want to spoil any of the jokes as the set-ups work best when you, like Q, are stumbling into the unknown with each new female lead. However, I can give the series the stamp of confidence and declare this a very worthwhile watch. The highlights of the season, for me, are definitely the Hispanic ‘secretary’ and the ‘Negotiator’, just for the hilarity of how both situations spin wildly out of control.
Credit must go to Kee Seymore. Q is a very tricky character to get right. For one, any lead hero that needs to established as a likeable person to invest emotion in in a matter of seconds is an almost impossible task. There is no time to develop or flesh out Q’s character beyond the initial premise of him being a man who sticks by his own set of rules and as a man who has a healthy appetite for women. Another problem that could have cropped up with Q’s character is that his whole motivation is something that doesn’t have a very successful history with film-making. Like the heroes in the lesser American Pie movies, it is tricky to enjoy spending time with characters who spend the entire running time actively seeking out women to bed. In many ways, Q is a very easy character to relate to, honest about his motivations and a man who wears his heart on his sleeve. Q’s best trait is how up front he is about the rules of a one night stand with him. However, even if we have, as an audience, experienced these emotions ourselves, they are usually not parts of ourselves we particularly like. One episode sees Q lash out at a girl who refuses to go that extra mile in the bedroom, leaving Q very sexually frustrated. Yes, maybe Q acts childishly and, depending on which character you side with in that particular episode, distastefully, but that is something along the lines of stuff we may have done, or thought about doing. It is just a little ugly watching it unfold on camera. However, despite all of this, Q is a very likeable person to watch. Most of this is Kee Seymore tapping into his natural charisma. He even throws a romantic twist into Q’s mission. He is rather romantic person in his own way, the romance merely lasts for a single encounter. His jokes always feel smooth and in rhythm, a honest extension of the character and the performance. It helps that the odd self-depreciative joke is thrown his way and the cast of female actors are just as game as he is. The women in Q’s One Night Stands aren’t the dim-witted narrative devices that we usually get with this genre. They are active participants and, most of the time, just as strong as Q’s character. And most importantly, they get their share of the jokes. They might only get an episode each to shine, but shine they do.
However, Q’s One Night Stands feels very fleeting. It feels too obvious a complaint to make. With only six episodes, each one designed to quick and snappy, it is over before you know it. Because of their short length and moreish qualities, you can easily blast through the entire season (and at the moment of writing this, entire show), in just under half an hour. Also, laugh out loud jokes only can get you so far. With a lack of central story, you never grow with Q. You watch him from a distance, enjoying his antics, but as he has no time to develop, you never quite connect with him. It becomes a tricky balancing act between the show’s marketing campaign (you can pick up any episode of Q, watch for five minutes and leave satisfied), and narrative complexity. I don’t want to cheapen Q’s One Night Stands by suggesting there should be a recurring female character, out of Q’s reach and the one girl he would like to settle down with. That plot device has been used in almost every sex comedy ever produced, but it is hard not to admit, it would create an endgame and a good means of justifying to backers why a second season should be invested in. Therefore, we leave this review with a question of what the future holds: does Q’s One Night Stands continue with the accessible, simple yet effective means of joke-telling or does it strive to be something more, perhaps losing out on newer fans? It is hard to blame the writers as much as I blame the tricky market for independent web series at this point in time.
Final Verdict: Pretty much like a one night stand in itself, pick up any episode, leave very satisfied and very entertained, but don’t expect any lasting consequences.