“I feel like I’ve gone on 26 fruitless romantic adventures since you asked me out last July, and it’s starting to get repetitive! If my life was a web series, I would say there’s enough episodes and it’s time to stop!” David Wain complains to triple- and quadruple-timing would-be love interest Elizabeth Banks in the simultaneously maddeningly and enjoyably redundant 26th episode of Wain’s faux-autobiographical web series Wainy Days. To underline Wain’s meta self-criticism, Banks’ second turn on Wainy Days ends pretty much exactly as her first does, with Banks harming her chances with Wain by making out with two dudes simultaneously in front of him.
In Wainy Days, Wain plays a goofily fictionalized version of himself as a balding, middle-aged, sexist, proudly boorish (he makes a point of pushing people to the ground for no apparent reason) sweatshop employee who nevertheless proves irresistible to a wide array of gorgeous women. In episode after episode, Wain hooks up with an impossibly gorgeous dream woman under ridiculously unlikely circumstances, only to lose her for equally preposterous reasons. In season four, for example, a woman played by Amanda Peet throws herself at Wain because she’s turned on by his tiny, soft penis, then dumps him because she finds his penis altogether too small.
If Wain created Wainy Days solely as a pretense so he could make out with beautiful women, he succeeded far beyond his wildest dreams. Like a homemade Stella with a raging, ironic hard-on, Wainy Days is single-mindedly obsessed with sex, but its conception of coitus bears only a fuzzy resemblance to the real thing: People are constantly making out on Wainy Days, but their omnisexual heavy petting resembles a wrestling match between two wildly uncoordinated foes. Wainy Days is ideally suited to the web-series format. In spite of the preponderance of universally game big stars and funny people both behind the camera and in front of it—male guest stars range from a very funny Paul Rudd as a Mystery-like seduction coach who teaches Wain how to insult his way into women’s pants to Jonah Hill as a scooter-bound fellow with “Stephen Hawkings disease” to an abundance of The State alumni—the episodes tend to bleed together into one horny, randomly musical lark. They’re best digested in bite-sized chunks. At its most inspired, Wainy Days finds oddball hilarity in absurd, oversexed repetition; at worst, it’s content to recycle the same damned joke over and over. It’s a gleefully surreal, often hilarious joke, but watching too many episodes of Wainy Days in succession can be like eating an entire box of chocolates in one sitting: way too much of a good thing.
Key features: Star-studded audio commentaries, outtakes, amusing “Pajama Party” connecting segments that find Wain reuniting with (and insulting) the series’ many guest stars, a live Wainy Days ostensibly written by Wain when he was 12, three Wain shorts, the funny, adroit Garfunkel & Oates (and Wain) music video “David Wain Is Sexy,” and most pointedly, a three-and-a-half-minute long “Makeout Megamix.”