Spartan-produced 'Lagged Out' to launch Thursday
MSU alumnus Ryan “Anthony” Jurado would tell you when it comes to popular media, the geeks and nerds are underrepresented. In his new “gamer comedy,” “Lagged Out,” Jurado hopes to bring the nerd and video game subculture to the forefront.
“I just wanted to represent gamers in a way that is fun and in a way that represents the people that I know are like me,” Jurado said.
“Lagged Out” is an upcoming web series about Nicole Symanski, a premedical student who was deported from Korea after working as a commentator in Korean electronic sports. Now in America, she tries pursuing her dream of being a electronic-sporting commentator again by building a team of professional gamers.
Jurado is not a serious gamer himself. However, he said his friends inspired him to create the show.
“I have a lot of friends, especially when I was younger in high school, that took video games seriously,” he said.
Jurado first became interested in comedy writing during his junior year at MSU. He wrote for The Black Sheep and freelanced for humor websites, such as College Humor and Cracked. After saving up to pay for the pre-production costs, last summer he assembled a production crew from colleges all over Michigan.
“We have people from Michigan State University, Oakland University, Eastern University, Central Michigan, Northern Michigan, U of M, a whole assortment of people who are very talented and have different specialties and are interested in the project,” he said.
Oakland University alumna Vivian Rackover plays the role of Nicole Symanski. As a gamer, Rackover said she connected with Nicole’s character.
“The character overall really was pretty much me,” Rackover said. “The personality, the fact that she was a gamer. It was all very, very reflective of who I am, so I was really attracted to that role.”
One of the “Lagged Out” recruits is John Sfreddo. Sfreddo roomed with Jurado during their junior year, and he currently works as a lighting chief. He said working with the cast has been a wonderful experience.
“It’s a really refreshing change of pace from my normal 9-5,” Sfreddo said. “It’s a great experience working with the cast and crew, and (‘Lagged Out’ is) something that we can all be proud of.”
The show will launch this Thursday and can be found on YouTube. Jurado said the Internet is a good place for the show to call home.
“In the modern media age, we don’t see as many strong comedies, and they don’t seem to last as long, especially on the big networks,” Jurado said. “For me, it’s sort of a personal passion to try and make sure that scripted comedies stay strong somewhere.”