Eagleheart’s Maria Thayer survives “Pilot Season”

Maria Thayer co-stars in Chris Elliott’s ridiculously over-the-top cop show parody Eagleheart, which airs its second-season finale tonight on Adult Swim.

It should return for a third season. But what if it doesn’t?!? That’d mean Thayer would have to start auditioning again for new roles. She has plenty of experience doing that, and you’ll say to what lengths she’ll put up with casting auditions in the webseries, “Pilot Season.” Directed by Andy Blitz (a consulting producer on Eagleheart and former writer for Late Night with Conan O’Brien) and hosted on Funny or Die.

The first episode showed Thayer in front of casting director Janie Haddad-Tompkins auditioning for the role of a detective in “Behind Blue Eyes.”

With that opening salvo, Blitz and Thayer (who co-write the webseries) established that “Pilot Season” would not only make you laugh, but make you wondering where they’d go from there.

Where they went included “Home Wasn’t Built in a Day” (ostensibly for ABC Family, but casting a Showtime pilot next door during Thayer’s audition), “Bleep We All Say” (a CBS sitcom, obvs, but featuring Andy Daly as a co-executive producer, writer and star who loves his work), “Doctors Without Orders” (an NBC medical drama that’s very complicated), “Pacific Palisades” (a CW soap), “Glosh of Sorvania (an FX fantasy drama) and “Bridal Wave” (an NBC sitcom).

It’s not what you’d expect. Which is the recurring theme of “Pilot Season.” Auditioning for TV pilots is never what you expect it’s going to be. So expect the worst. It probably won’t be as bad as that. But it could be! It could even be your fault. Unless it’s the show’s creators. Or the casting director himself or herself. You never see them, but hearing them can make all of the difference between a good audition and a bad one. ┬áCo-conspirators so far have included Janeane Garofalo, Gillian Jacobs, John Roberts, Tami Sagher, Andrew Secunda and Sean Conroy.

My favorites are two episodes that throw our hopeful Thayer off in delightfully shocking ways, “Home Wasn’t Built in a Day” and “Pacific Palisades.” Roll ’em!

Want to see a clip of Thayer with co-stars Elliott and Brett Gelman in the actual TV series she’s in? Here’s one now!

No matter what happens with Eagleheart (it’s coming back, right? of course it is), we can watch this webseries knowing she’ll be ready for the next job, and you’ll watch this knowing what you’re in for if you want to go Hollywood and submit to the rituals of “Pilot Season.”

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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