The Globe and Mail

by John Doyle

(This article originally appeared in The Globe and Mail on July 9, 2002.)

Apartment Story (Wednesday, Bravo!, 9:30 p.m.) is a wonderful example of smart, entertaining television being made on the cheap. Essentially a one-man production (director Kent Tessman also wrote and produced, and filmed it in his own apartment), it's about a young man who tries to create an isolated, one-man world for himself. Guy (David Bajurny) lives alone in a typical Toronto apartment, and one day he just can't muster the enthusiasm to open the door and go to work. He stays at home and discovers that he loves it. From there, he makes an effort to live and work at home without ever having to leave the apartment.

He discovers that he can, in fact, exist happily on his own. His journey of discovery about isolation is often amusing -- Guy is at first amazed to find that he can order out for groceries and booze, earn money at his home computer and, as long as the occasional visitor agrees to take out a bag of garbage, simply stay at home.

For all its quiet humour and deft charm, Apartment Story is about a serious subject. It shows us that the contemporary, interconnected world actually creates isolation, not connection. As the main character is named Guy, we can assume that he's meant to be an Everyman. Like many people, this Guy clearly has a boring job that doesn't motivate him. At first he's thrilled to discover that technology allows him to exist in his own little world and consume and converse through the phone and computer. However, it slowly dawns on him that he's become a lonely voyeur. He develops a crush on his neighbour's girlfriend and becomes so isolated that he loses the ability to connect in a human way with another person.

On the other hand, Apartment Story could be interpreted as a wry drama about agoraphobia. No matter -- it's a gem at any time and particularly good to find in the middle of summer.  

This excerpt is copyright © 2002 Bell Globemedia Interactive Inc.




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