Reel People: Parked's stay-at-home dads

New Vancouver web series, directed by Peter DeLuise, includes salty language, raunchy scenes and some behaviours that prove men are indeed different than women

Stay-at-home dads get the web series treatment in Parked, a new Vancouver-shot web series that’s burning up the ’net with its irreverence.
How irreverent? At the beginning of the first episode, three dads are sitting at the entrance to a park, chugging beer and aiming darts at a stuffed animal as kids play behind them. As the episode ends, one of the dads is dashing home in a panic, having just remembered that he left his twin preschoolers all alone in his apartment.

Parked is the brainchild of S. Siobhan McCarthy, a busy actress, producer and writer, and Adam O. Thomas. McCarthy was inspired to pull the thread on stay-at-home dads after watching her son’s father go through a tough time in similar circumstances. “I would hear the constant sadness that would come from my son’s dad: ‘it’s really lonely, it’s not the same, I try to go to mommy groups, I don’t fit in, this is a horrible experience,’” McCarthy said in a recent phone interview.

Parked’s irreverence — which includes salty language, raunchy scenarios involving drugs and porn, and episode titles such as “80 Lays” and “The Filthy Anus” — sets it apart from other dad-centric properties. “There are some dad shows out there that are very precious, and we never wanted to be too precious,” said McCarthy.

And the web — with its pioneer spirit and lack of regulation — allows for an abundance of irreverence.

That irreverence was particularly attractive to Peter DeLuise, the veteran actor, director, and son of comedy icon Dom DeLuise. DeLuise had directed more than 160 hours of television, but had never directed for the web before stepping up to helm Parked.

As a father himself, DeLuise found the subject matter riveting — especially the part that addresses the impact that having a child has on friendships with childless friends. “When you have a child, your friends who are childless, somehow their problems are totally different and suddenly foreign,” he said. “You think you’re the same person but you don’t realize how a child changes you.”

Parked was financed by the Independent Production Fund, the BC Film and Media interactive fund, and an Indiegogo campaign. Once funded, the team shot the entire season over three weekends this past November and December.

“It was not unlike what I imagined making a student film would be like, except we had professionals doing it and volunteering a lot of their time,” DeLuise recalled. “We were savvy with regards to characters and locations, and we got an enormous amount of production value for very little money.”

The fruit of those three weekends of labour are six full episodes (ranging from six to 10 minutes apiece), and more than 20 mini episodes. Since launching on February 28, the first episode has logged nearly 15,000 views. Episodes will air well into the summer.

It took four years for McCarthy to bring Parked from concept to internet reality. From the get-go, McCarthy — an expert in digital marketing — has intended for Parked to be strongly interactive. For example, in the final episode, when the characters are taking Instagram photos of each other, subscribers will be able to click and view the actual Instagram photo, too.

It helps that she has YouTube sensation Freddie Wong in her corner. Wong is the #1 most subscribed director on YouTube, and he appears in an upcoming episode of Parked as an IT guy.

“I’ve always been really impressed with his mindset of just give it away, make everything be possible to be downloaded,” McCarthy says.
Parked stars Kirby Morrow as Tim, David Lewis as Jesse, Sean Amsing as Davinder, and Matty Granger as Josh.

Watch Parked online at DailyMotion.com/parkedtheshow.

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