Charisma is a surrealist situation comedy set in an uncanny house that hosts four residents—Howy, Echo, Fin and Asher—alongside a plethora of mysterious guests, psychic entities and endearing idiosyncrasies. Everyone-anyone-no-one housemates enact a range of everyday domestic scenarios, with varying degrees of aptitude and ineptitude. The nowhere-everywhere-anywhere house, the common template of the classic sitcom set, turns into a cage-like labyrinth: every door, each potential escape route draws the characters—and the viewers—deeper into the psychological entanglements of this strange experiment.
Shot with a Betacam in the style and aesthetic reminiscent of 1990s daytime sitcoms, Charisma takes the form of a deconstructed television show, a series of filmed intimate plays. The interface allows users to create individualized viewing experiences: each episode consists of several diverse vignettes, that float inside a three dimensional grid. There is no linear way to watch Charisma. The series is constantly in motion, an intuitive experience that rewards imagination and engagement. We are invited to create our own narrative with scripted scenarios, streams of text, personality profiles and outtakes. With their peculiarities, their funny logic and offbeat humour, the characters gently, gradually grow on us. Like the hand-painted plates that are constantly broken and re-glued beginning in the second episode, this universe of mini-stories, a microverse, is continuously becoming and redefining our roles as the viewers.