Arts and Entertainment

'WRECKED' picks up the pieces for a second season

Sean Mulroy reprises his role as Thomas in season two of
Sean Mulroy reprises his role as Thomas in season two of 'WRECKED,' a web-based series produced by Honey Toad Studio.
— image credit: Photo courtesy of Honey Toad Studio

In the wake of its successful first season, the web-based series “WRECKED” will soon unveil its second season upon Internet fans.

“If people liked the character of the porn store boss before, they will really like this season,” said producer and writer Liz Ellis.

Ellis appears in short cameos as the boss and is just one of the many rather mature aspects of the show — which has come to be known for its fearless, and shameless, display of crude, vulgar topics.

“WRECKED” is the product of Honey Toad Studios, based on Bainbridge Island.

The first season — six episodes that aired online —  tells the story of Spencer and her attempts to manage an adult life with help from her best friend, Thomas. Together they navigate through crass conversations, lewd life situations and other adult matters, often at the dismay of those around them.

Season two will premier May 13 and continue Spencer’s tale.

“It starts three months later, when Spencer and Thomas haven’t seen each other for that time,” said Liz Ellis, producer of the show. “He gets back and we get to see how she progressed as she turns into more of a Seattle person.”

Ellis notes that, with the help of additional writers, the second season is able to address more topics than the first season.

“This season is more serious, perhaps less funny, but much better,” she said. “You never see what the outcome is of events that happen on sitcoms, but this is what would actually happen if you put them through what we put them through in season one.”

“You always see people dating all these different girls, but you never see the emotional toll of the events that take place in sitcoms,” she added. “Now we have an opportunity to see it.”

Ellis, an islander, returned to Bainbridge in 2012 shortly after graduating from Hampshire College in Massachusetts. She stepped back onto the island with aspirations of starting her own studio geared toward making web-based TV shows.

Ellis garnered help from fellow islander Nathaniel Buechler and classmate Charley Pope. Buechler handled camera work and editing while Pope took on a producer role.

Sourcing actors from the area — such as Bhama Roget of The EDGE Improv fame and islander Keiko Green — “WRECKED” managed to pull off a youthful and witty array of web-based entertainment.

“WRECKED” premiered its six-episode first season online in October 2012. It was well-received. Honey Toad’s first show garnered two bronze Telly Awards, and was nominated for six Indie Soap Awards.

Of the six nominations, Ellis won best director and Robert Bergin won best supporting actor for his role as Ted, Spencer’s love interest.

But once the season was over, Honey Toad was at a loss as to how it would keep the momentum alive and continue “WRECKED.”

The studio turned to Kickstarter, an online fundraising tool where people can donate to causes, often in turn for gifts. The website was recently responsible for raising more than $3 million to fund a movie followup to the cult show “Veronica Mars” six years after it was cancelled.

“WRECKED” set its funding sights a little lower. It managed to take in just over $32,000 in donations to put toward season two. Gifts ranged from DVDs of season one to cameos in the second season.

“We had two people who bought at a level that got them a cameo in the show,” Ellis said. “There are two pretty funny scenes. One scene is a Kickstarter backer and her daughter who play a mother and daughter at a bus stop that Thomas offends. And another plays [a character’s] boss.”

Once the money was raised, Honey Toad hopped to it.

“The second we were finished with Kickstarter we sprang into action,” Ellis said.

She began writing the season with help from islander Gabe Carbajal, Courtney Meaker and Lizzie Sivitz.

Then the studio had to pull together all the other pieces.

“We had to fly in Daniel Gilbert, who is our director of photography, and Sean Mulroy, who is one of our actors,” Ellis said. “Sean has a super tight schedule, he only had a week he could film.”

Ellis stepped down from directing for season two. Instead, Buechler took the helm and directed all six of the new episodes.

The studio continues to finalize the second season’s episodes leading up to the May 13 premier.

In the meantime, fans can still watch all of season one on the show’s website www.wreckedthe

series.com.

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