May 31, 2020

Drake & Wayne Episode One “The Earth-7 Shuffle” Review: A Brilliant Start to an Ambitious Series

I’m going to start off this review by stating a simple fact: it’s totally biased. I created the initial universe that Drake & Wayne is based in, and three of the main characters originally appeared in my web series. I won’t mince words, and this is a full disclosure that I have been wicked excited to watch this series for over a year. But before you read my review, you should watch the episode! What’s stopping you? It’s embedded right there, above this paragraph! There’s nothing stopping you!

Now that you’ve (ahem) watched the episode, I can jump in. Drake & Wayne is nothing short of professional, in more ways than one. From the very beginning it’s clear that you’re in for a wild ride; the cinematography and visuals suck you right in, and tease just exactly what you’re in for.

Gore Crenis -- a major player in future episodes, to be sure...
The first of six Drake & Wayne episodes begins with Drake (Maximus Papsadore), a recent graduate from the Multiversal Police Academy, sent on a contraband bust on his first day in the field. He’s teamed up with detective Richard D. Johnson (Caleb Petty) and narcotics expert Triglav Hattrick (Jack Sullivan), but during the bust Drake recognizes his old MVPD roommate, Wayne (Patrick Morahan) who’s become a purveyor of rare interdimensional items (such as some mysterious toothpaste from Earth-20).
The show jumps right into the action, and it’s very easy to understand. The setting is a multiverse, comprised of a seemingly infinite number of universes, all containing sometimes subtle, sometimes obvious differences from one another. Presiding over it all is the Multiversal Police Department, an organization which isn’t fully fleshed out in the premiere, but will undoubtedly be developed further as its own entity in future episodes.

In addition to the leads, the world of Drake & Wayne is populated by a number of charmingly unique characters. There’s Gore Crenis (Ryan Hall), a powerful psychic who has a puppet companion named Mr. Fingers. Cayde Barrera plays the uptight Superintendent, the presiding officer of the MVPD. Oisin Hopkins is hilariously deadpan as the MVPD scientist Dr. Somnus, and Satria Knight is chillingly intimidating as the villain, Argos Blade. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

They’re Drake and Wayne, and they’re pretty insane…
Packed with a number of film references and parodies (most obviously The Terminator), the episode is pure fun (especially for me, someone who’s been pumped about this show since its inception). Its wackiness is addicting, its effects are top notch, and even in the normal-TV-length first episode there’s enough surprises to tide you over for the week before episode two premieres.

Drake & Wayne is so hilariously “out there” that it quickly establishes itself to be different from typical web content nowadays. It offers a fun, fully-developed world to immerse oneself in, with a ton of colorful side characters, as well as fascinating leads. The premiere especially contains an ambitious fight scene that not only manages to astound, but is also so professionally done you could swear the directors had a plethora of equipment and a generous budget at their disposal.

It’s this ambitious nature that distinguishes Drake & Wayne as something to pay special attention to, and something to definitely take seriously. The first episode is critical, because if it’s not perceived well, it could spell failure for future episodes. That won’t be a problem for Drake & Wayne, though; “The Earth-7 Shuffle” knocks it out of the park. [Grade: A+]

Directors/Writers: Patrick Morahan and Maximus Papsadore
Starring: Maximus Papsadore, Patrick Morahan, Cayde Barrera, Jack Sullivan, Jack O’Haire, Oisin Hopkins, Satria Knight, Ryan Hall
Available: YouTube
Fun Fact: Genevieve Sull reprises her role as Carrie Voss from The Jethroverse, the series that Drake and Wayne first appeared in.

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