To truly recommend The Gay and Wondrous Life of Caleb Gallo, you have to show someone a clip of it, because it’s so radically different from most anything anyone’s ever seen. Describing it is almost impossible, although I’m about to try. But in order to give us a basic point of reference to start from, watch from about 2:03 to 3:24 in this video:
See what I mean?
The Gay and Wondrous Life of Caleb Gallo is a passion project by Brian Jordan Alvarez. It has five episodes on Youtube, centering around the Los Angeles lives of Caleb, Billy, Karen, Benicio, Len, and Freckle, as well as a few recurring side characters. They’re a mix of straight and queer, POC and white, and almost every character except Caleb is a working actor. A series about actors in Los Angeles is a done thing; after all, writing from experience is easy and Los Angeles people are the ones making most mainstream media. Caleb Gallo, however, has about as much to do with Entourage as I personally had to do with the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
If you’ve ever had a circle of friends that was at least half queer people, you will be immediately reminded of those friends. Specifically, you will be reminded of those friends when they’re smashed, sitting on someone’s floor, telling you about the time they went on a Tinder date and it All. Went. Wrong. Caleb Gallo strikes you as immediately familiar as well as totally new. You’ve encountered this type of humor before, but it’s only been in your real life, in that group of friends that’s known each other so long that humor has gone beyond humor and all possible personal boundaries were crossed at least a year ago.
In the grand scheme of Youtube web series, Caleb Gallo isn’t the weirdest, since it opts to have a plot. However, Caleb Gallo sets out to tell a story in a way that it would never be told in mainstream media. The best way that I can describe it is that Caleb Gallo feels like a multicolored LEGO statue built by a child, and I’m 100% not condescending when I say that. Watching it build, you can see how each piece is interesting and colorful, but you don’t really know why the child has attached a brown bridge to a yellow piece with an eyeball on it. Once it’s built, however, it becomes obvious; it’s an elephant, of course, just not one that really resembles typical elephants. This is just one of those built by someone with the artistic knowledge to build their elephant with authoritative absurdity.
Again, there is a plot to Caleb Gallo, but I don’t want to give too much away; it’s pretty involved, and an explanation would be pretty boring compared to how it really plays in the episodes. A scene that in any other property would involve screaming and heartbreak is completely hilarious and loving. Big drama scenes are cut entirely in favor of dwelling on their aftermath, which is more emotionally interesting to pursue. Nothing should be assumed to be guaranteed, going into this, except that Freckle will steal every scene they’re in. Everything will be hilarious, up until a throwaway line that stabs you straight in the heart. Its entire thing is being unexpected.
Caleb Gallo is a total win on all fronts. Sweet, hilarious, bonkers hilarious, and short, it will take less than an afternoon to completely win you over.
I’M A PIZZA.
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