By Omeleto

 

By Omeleto

.

.

Brent Spiner made his name as iconic android Data on “Star Trek,” but he’s retreated from public life in Hollywood. He’s been teaching acting at Cal State Fullerton, but when he’s up for an award for his work on the show that made him famous, he mulls over a comeback, though he’s reluctant to dive back in. It’s a whole new Hollywood, complete with TMZ and hashtags, and Spiner isn’t sure it’s for him.

But when his old nemesis LeVar Burton commits to the awards show, Spiner decides to jump back into Hollywood. As he makes the rounds and re-enters in the industry, he finds himself embroiled in the old feud that plagued him during the height of his fame — and it’s still bitter enough to possibly derail his re-entry into Hollywood.

Directed by Sharon Everitt and written by Karen Anderson, Jeff Cosgrove and Everitt, this spiky short comedy has a scope and ambition rare in a genre where punchline skits and sketches dominate. The storytelling is character-based, driven by its protagonist’s drive to prove himself and stake out his terrain in a hostile, competitive environment, against a long-running archenemy. Sounds serious, but when the main character is a petty, egotistical star trying to regain his past glory in an industry always looking for the shiny and new — and you throw in some musical numbers for good measure, along with Frasier actor Peri Gilpin as Spiner’s wife and a cameo by comedian Doug Benson — the result is hilarious, entertaining and a helluva lot of fun.

The film’s strength rests on a great central performance by Brent Spiner, who is playing himself. But it’s clearly a heightened portrait of a star who has seen better days and yet still demands the attention of current-day celebrity. Spiner the character is bitter, sarcastic, ego-driven and vainglorious. Spiner the actor is clearly enjoying himself as he sings, dances and preens, with a performance that’s both utterly committed to the moment’s emotion while winking at the satire of an ego that just won’t let go of past glories or grudges.

Spiner traipses from one scene and musical number to the next with a deliciously toxic combination of entitlement and bad attitude, and the rhythms of the storytelling are both amiably laidback yet constantly bubbling with sharply amusing observations. The visual style is also seemingly relaxed and casual as well, in the style of the handheld one-camera comedy that’s great at capturing small but telling moments. These moments pile up as Spiner finally confronts his nemesis — and rethink its long-running effect on his life when it bubbles over into humiliation.

The delight of “Brentwood” is watching an iconic actor poke fun at himself and the peculiarly enduring level of stardom that being on an iconic, much-beloved show and franchise confers. Though Spiner the character has tried to move on, he’s not quite where he wants to be despite all his efforts and is both hampered and seduced by his enduring fame to remain in the past. The great irony, of course, is that by lampooning himself and the grip of stardom, Spiner the actor reveals terrific range, comedic chops, and wily self-awareness — not to mention a facility as an enjoyable song-and-dance man — and it would be immense fun to follow this story of a former star finding his way in a new Hollywood. Which, after all, isn’t so different from the old Hollywood, except with more hashtags on social media and more ways to get famous than ever.

 

Transcript provided by YouTube:


00:04

[Music]



00:06

yeah no



00:07

i haven’t had an agent in years i teach



00:09

acting now at cal state fullerton



00:12

we just got back from the woke



00:13

shakespeare festival in ashland



00:15

came in first hashtag me too excuse me



00:20

no no no no no no no no i didn’t mean it



00:22

like that i mean



00:23

me too as in i came in first



00:27

with them since i’m their teacher



00:30

hashtag



00:31

me also all right so mr sparner oh here



00:34

it comes



00:35

you want me to do a comic-con no



00:37

actually i’m with the intergalactic



00:39

tribute awards on



00:41

sci-fi we’re reuniting the whole cast



00:44

yeah do you guys make up these award



00:47

shows based on who you can get



00:49

no it’s real yeah well it’s not a thing



00:51

i do



00:52

i have to be a college professor i don’t



00:54

do award shows never reality shows



00:57

certainly not game shows i don’t do



00:59

conventions i won’t do a cruise



01:02

no to vegas i would do broadway



01:05

that’s a shame because everyone is in



01:07

except you and lavar



01:09

lavar is not doing it



01:12

don’t tell me some network was so



01:14

desperate they brought his



01:16

reading with the stars



01:23

gotcha i’m sorry no i was



01:25

talking to



01:26

think of it this way you could score



01:27

major points with your wife get her a



01:29

gown at fancy heels



01:31

carrie is a podiatrist she does not wear



01:33

heels



01:34

no listen i’ll uh i’ll think about it



01:37

but



01:38

uh no offense these things are dumb



01:44

they want me back



01:47

because i’m great now i don’t have to



01:50

stay home



01:50

and masturbate they want me back because



01:54

i’m grand i’m too talented



01:57

you understand always leave them



02:00

wanting more but let’s face it i’m



02:04

kind of a that’s why they’re back



02:07

begging at my door



02:09

[Music]



02:11

and even though i teach with all of its



02:14

stigma



02:14

the one thing you can’t teach is



02:17

charisma



02:20

i got it and they can taste it



02:24

come to me baby for they love me



02:28

oh they need me they can’t live without



02:31

me they



02:32

adore me who do they want



02:36

who do they need who can they not live



02:39

without brett



02:41

what the are you doing come and



02:43

open the door



02:44

sorry honey i’m i’ve got beans in the



02:46

van i’m coming



02:48

idiot



02:52

why all the beans earthquake



02:55

tsunami rocket man hey



02:58

hope your old man put all this stuff



03:00

away will you



03:02

you’re not my real father



03:06

why’d she keep saying that to me he just



03:08

joined ancestry.com and found out that



03:11

your family owned slaves



03:13

it’s unfortunate i was trying to hide



03:15

that from him



03:17

producer called wants me to do an award



03:20

show on



03:21

sci-fi that was like hell to the hell no



03:25

really because i just heard an after



03:26

that on the radio and they used your



03:27

name



03:29

i told them i wasn’t going why



03:33

never go backwards steve harvey



03:36

plus you don’t want to go out get all



03:38

dressed up come on



03:40

you never take me anywhere



03:45

and we’re gonna keep it that way i gotta



03:48

give him a piece of my mind



03:51

i said i wasn’t going and you used my



03:53

name in all your promos



03:55

oh really our ad department must have



03:57

left that slip



03:59

yeah they slipped they slipped real bad



04:01

you’re gonna hear from my lawyers



04:03

that’s plural you screwed with the wrong



04:06

puppy lady



04:07

sayonara senorita what’s that



04:11

all right



04:15

are you still there i just hear banging



04:18

yes i’m still here look i know you’re



04:20

mad let me pitch you this



04:22

your name’s already out there we’ll give



04:24

you the sweet spot



04:25

presenting hurricane relief oh



04:28

that sounds kind of interesting



04:32

no no no no no if you did it we’d have



04:34

the whole cast we just got lavar



04:37

lavar lavar burton



04:40

i’ll do it



04:46

thanks to all of your hurricane



04:48

donations



04:50

our phone lines have been flooded with



04:52

cold



04:53

flooded flooded with calls flooded



04:57

flooded with calls right look these



05:00

m m’s have your initials on them it’s



05:03

impressive



05:05

we have some poise pads guess who’s



05:08

not using the bathroom tonight



05:12

oh look at this a jet ski what are you



05:14

gonna tow that with



05:16

your electric car oh that reminds me



05:19

please do not make a scene with lavar



05:21

tonight



05:22

what let it go what he did was



05:25

unforgivable what



05:26

it’s unforgivable not to open your evite



05:29

seven evites



05:31

i’m gonna send him an eighth you are



05:34

cordially invited to



05:35

go yourself burton okay well i’m



05:38

going to get drunk tonight



05:40

look at this i don’t even know what that



05:42

is



05:43

like somebody’s got the new darth vaper



05:45

oh



05:46

red spider you’re my favorite robot



05:49

man from the tv oh well



05:50

doug benson my favorite movie podcast



05:54

wow i introduced him to your podcast you



05:57

should come on sometime



05:58

oh well no thank you oh you don’t do



06:01

podcasts



06:02

i don’t do anything anymore i do



06:05

broadway



06:06

doug it’s time to uh meet with bernie



06:10

we’re gonna go pre-game do you guys want



06:11

to join yeah i want to pre-game



06:13

no she doesn’t uh we’re gonna go uh



06:15

check out the skyscraper of shrimp in



06:17

the green room



06:19

cool see you guys later bye don’t do the



06:22

gesture and say the code



06:24

not both they don’t neither one you’re



06:26

embarrassing honey did you hear that



06:30

i’m cool i’m cool



06:35

[Music]



06:38

mandy boone we spoke on the phone yes



06:40

yes yes of course uh you sent me the



06:42

script



06:43

you know i’ve got a lot of notes here



06:44

about that so you’re not going to be



06:46

presenting the hurricane relief segment



06:48

anymore



06:49

we’re giving that to lavar we just think



06:52

he’ll set the right tone



06:53

but i’ve got the perfect thing for you



06:55

to do it’s a spit



06:57

where you reprise your beloved android



06:59

character data



07:00

on a date with alexa the amazon echo



07:02

assistant



07:03

right also a robot you do this



07:07

lady in the spaghetti thing no no



07:10

no no no



07:10

no i don’t play data anymore of course



07:13

not not without makeup



07:15

so we’re gonna get someone in here to



07:16

powder you up no that is



07:19

unacceptable



07:22

already in character you’re amazing



07:25

thanks so much



07:31

so it’s my fault yes lavar have you



07:34

i have not you might want to check the



07:36

local library



07:37

there he is lavar the stars event hi



07:40

baby thank you so much



07:41

for the call carrie how are you so good



07:44

to see you as



07:45

always that’s enough spine



07:48

i love you man yeah well you’re



07:51

wrinkling my suit



07:52

it’s been too long it could have been



07:53

sooner listen i have great news



07:56

kevin costner just canceled and i’ve got



07:58

an opening on reading



07:59

with the stars really i’m gonna steal



08:01

you for a minute



08:02

i’m gonna smell him for a minute



08:08

check out the flamingo i bet he sleeps



08:11

standing on one leg



08:14

oh my god grant slow down you look like



08:17

you’ve never seen a shrimp before i’m



08:19

gonna eat



08:19

all of these fancy shrimps before levar



08:21

gets any other i think they’re just



08:23

costco shrimp they do look



08:36

yes i’m a doctor but i’m a podiatrist i



08:38

don’t



08:50

he’s having an anaphylactic reaction i



08:53

got your spine



09:06

oh



09:23

levar you’re a hero dude you should do



09:26

my podcast



09:28

love to on second thought



09:31

i’m available



09:47

available for what



09:51

no no he was choking he was not allergic



09:55

he was choking



09:56

holy dad that was epic well but



09:59

look at it this way



10:01

you know we had a night out uh i got 56



10:04

new followers



10:06

then we got a gift bag worth 24 000



10:09

do you know you’re gonna have to pay



10:10

taxes on all that right



10:20

this i have to sell this crap



10:25

i wonder if levar ever deals with that



10:29

maybe this grudge has gone on for too



10:32

long



10:33

i thought he ignored me turns out i had



10:36

his email wrong



10:38

maybe it’s me you know what i’m tired of



10:42

being a prick



10:43

i’m gonna turn over a new leaf i’m gonna



10:45

be a nice guy



10:47

you’re the dude in the shrimp video



10:49

that’s awesome



10:51

i am awesome the old me would hate this



10:55

viral success



10:56

but now i choose to feel hashtag blessed



11:00

sure all of this is thanks to lavar now



11:03

i feel kind of bad



11:04

for key in his car this internet fame



11:07

i’m gonna jump on it quick



11:09

i’ll be back in the game without being



11:12

such a dick as though i look like a



11:14

like jeremy pimen if it gets me on



11:17

broadway zero will be given



11:20

life is looking good and the future



11:22

looks bright



11:23

gonna let my wife finish first tonight



11:26

i’m a changed man with a new lease



11:29

online



11:31

hey don’t put your dog’s feces



11:36

in my trash can



11:37

that’s for my feces and my family’s



11:40

feces not yours



11:43

off



12:02

[Music]



12:19

you





This post was previously published on YouTube.

***



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