About “Successfull Alcoholics”, T.J. Miller and Lizzy Caplan

This short film is incredible and everyone should watch it, so I decided to publish “Successful Alcoholics” in this highly respected blog and ruminate about its stars Lizzy Caplan and T.J. Miller. But not to repeat myself,  let’s begin by quoting the formal information provided: 

This was Vogt-Roberts’ most well-known film before Kings, as it was a hit on the 2010 fest circuit, playing Sundance, SXSW and more. The 25-minute short stars regular collaborator on and off screen T.J. Miller opposite Lizzy Caplan with supporting appearances by familiar comedic actors like Tony Hale, Nick Skoll, Whitney Cummings and Maribeth Monroe. Also, we showcased it last fallin a Short Film of the Day post. It’s equal parts hilarious and depressing, and while I want to celebrate the two lead characters as being the most enjoyable drunk couple since Nick and Nora Charles, there’s something sort of wrong about doing so. They’re definitely one of the best such duos, chemistry-wise. And as much as I’d like to see more of them, I appreciate that while it’d be very easy to stretch the plot of this story out another hour or so, it works so ideally in less than half an hour. As you’ll (must) see right now if you haven’t already seen it:

It’s “equal parts hilarious and depressing” alright, but “Successful Alcoholics” is also deep and interesting beyond its length. It leaves you pondering the weirdest mix  of ideas: depression, love, the privileges of money and class, the hardships of being a genius,  reasons seemingly ideal couples could be toxic for each other, the complications of life. Of course you’ll think about the devastating effects of alcohol, a drug readily available everywhere, but that particular idea has been explored before and is always conveniently ignored by the victims of the epidemic.

In any case, great short film, a hilarious work of art.

So, Lizzy Caplan: I used to be in love with this woman back when she was a loser and all her shows got cancelled. It all started with “Freaks and Geeks”, one of my all time favorites, an underground classic that was tragically cut short. She was barely in it, but it was enough to spark a lifelong romance. I saw all episodes of “The Class” just for her, even though it wasn’t a terrible show; got hooked on “True Blood” trough Lizzy and only saw the “New Girl” episodes she was in. And the one with Prince. She was the main character on one of the premiere examples of a show cancelled before its time, “Party Down”, the only sitcom I’ve seen twice all the way through. It’s not that good the second time around, but still.

And then came “Masters of Sex”, her first hit show. I wanted to like it just for Lizzy, but it wasn’t meant to be. To me, it seemed like a “Mad Men” clone made by someone who didn’t get what made that show special. I couldn’t connect with the story or the characters and I just stopped watching midway through the first season. And I never saw Lizzy Caplan again, until I stumbled upon that Successful Alcoholics” short. I’ve missed her… If you need me, I’ll be here thinking about the reasons seemingly ideal couples don’t make it.

So, T.J. Miller: I was not a fan, he rubbed me the wrong way and I started watching “Silicon Valley” in spite of him being in it. Cut to the present and I can’t believe they’re going to try and make another season without his character Erlich Bachman, he made the show, he was the X factor. Apparently it was Miller‘s idea, “That character, as you have seen, disappeared into the ether. And he did it at a time when no one was sick of him, when he had worn thin but not worn out.”, he told THR in a hilarious interview. At the time Miller seemed to be doing great outside of TV land, appearing in films and doing stand up constantly, but recently he was accused of sexual assault. Which he denied, but by now you all know how this goes.

And that’s it, two extremely interesting actors and comedians together in an unknown short film that makes you laugh and think, what more could you ask for? An incredible ensemble cast around them, perhaps? Or maybe the early work of a director on his way up the Hollywood ladder? Well, Samples and Examples got you with those two also. I guess that’s why this blog is so successful and well respected.

BONUS: T.J. Miller‘s interview with Snoop Dogg –>


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