In Santa Barbara, the monopolistic Cox cable company controls what we can see on our TVs — for years we’ve had to pay their high fees for packages full of extra shows we don’t even want to watch — plus we have to pay for streaming services like HBO Max, Netflix, Apple+, Disney+, or Anything+. In fact, Apple+ may add a fee to see the next season of its hugely popular comedy Ted Lasso.
What makes it worse is that each service has only two or three shows that we really do want to watch. It would be so much easier if there was just one service on which we could watch all of our favorite shows — and, since we’re making this up, wouldn’t it be great if this streaming service was free?
Well — we don’t have to make it up — it’s right here in our own town! Knockoff Productions is a Santa Barbara-based, little-known, and way-overly imagined streaming service which makes cheap local versions of the shows that we all want to see — they just shoot them without any high-salaried stars and on very low budgets. Here’s a list of Knockoff’s most popular streaming shows:
A mandolin-playing yoga instructor seeks inner peace during perilous journeys across bleak landscapes from Carpinteria to Goleta; he carries with him, and inexplicably protects, a stuffed green alien doll with Vulcan ears.
The Marvelous Mrs. Marzipan
In a period piece set in the late 1950s, a married yet frustrated young baker creates laughter and attracts a following during her daily deliveries of her fresh baked goods to the many coffee shops on lower State Street.
The Afternoon Show
Scandalous behavior, back-stage drama, and banter-filled outtakes highlight this production recorded on iPhones by the staff of the Ellen Degeneres Show when they were filming during the pandemic at her home in Montecito.
The Twilight Light Zone
Live cams of anything shown from approximately 6:15 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. on commercial and residential surveillance cameras in Summerland.
The ever-optimistic Fred Lasso literally moves uptown when he quits his role as a voluntary flag-football coach at Franklin Elementary School and accepts the job of Head Coach of Santa Barbara Middle School’s soccer team — a school and a sport about which he knows absolutely nothing. He humorously struggles to comprehend, and cope with, the elitist culture surrounding his new position.
Passenger-taken videos reveal the never-ending Waiting-for-Godot lifestyles of flight attendants working on planes at the Santa Barbara Airport.
Raised by Coyotes
Coyotes raise their pups in the Los Padres National Forest. A refreshingly unique animal show in that it is not narrated by Richard Attenborough.
The Hand’s Tale
A futuristic sexual saga containing instructional self-inflicted soft-core porn; shot in a decadent mansion located on a so-called dystopian Gilead Estate (locals believe it’s near the Old Mission) in the years after America’s Second Civil War.
An Irishman moves his family to the Funk Zone in an attempt to restart his life but huge unpaid shipping costs from his previous business haunt him — so he must constantly hide from menacing men in brown shorts and shirts who seem to be constantly driving around his neighborhood in large brown trucks.
Lucifer, Larry and Lucille
The Devil decides to return to Hell because living in Hell was easier than living in his Lower Riviera studio apartment with his parents during the pandemic.
Though these are Knockoff’s most popular shows, their documentary list is equally impressive — My Octopus Student (shot at City College) is not to be missed.
So — Santa Barbarians — if you want to stop paying for Cox’s high priced packages filled with shows you’ve never heard of — subscribe to Knockoff where you can see all the shows you like without paying a dime! Of course, just like every other streaming service, Knockoff will sell your email address and personal information to whoever wants to buy it from them — which means that you will be inundated with ads for things you kinda think you kinda want but don’t really need … for the rest of your life. But, hey, at least you don’t have to pay to see Fred Lasso.