On “Drunk History,” comics get drunk and tell their versions of famous events.
A new Web series called “Hikea” takes that premise to another level, by which I mean constructing Ikea products while on psychedelic drugs, by which I mean LSD and magic mushrooms, by which I mean hallucinations and expanded consciousness, by which I mean walking through the (already-built) doors of perception.
The series, made by producers Hunter Fine and Alex Taylor and posted on a YouTube channel called Hikea Productions, currently has two episodes available. In the first, a couple named Gianncarlo and Nicole take acid — and three hours and 53 minutes — to build a cabinet. In the second, a guy named Keith takes mushrooms — and five hours and 37 minutes — to build a desk. The participants were found through a Craigslist ad.
“Building IKEA furniture is hard,” the producers say on their website. “Building IKEA furniture under the influence is nearly impossible. So we thought it would be funny to make a Web series filming people high on drugs while attempting to build their affordably priced furniture. And it’s funny to say ‘HIKEA.’ ”
They are right, it is funny to watch the construction, and it is funny to say Hikea. I’m sure it will become a thing.
But still I wish the series were something more than just a one-joke bit. The two episodes, each a handful of minutes in length, do little more than give us giggling people trying to function while blitzed. There’s no long, strange trip; just a short, offbeat clip.
I wanted to see more footage of the drug takers pausing during their construction missions for heavy and/or hysterical thoughts about life, humankind, the universe, etc. Why have them take psychedelics if you’re not going to find entertaining material in their effects? For brief moments, we see Nicole staring mysteriously at her hair, and we see Gianncarlo looking out the window at the world and noting, “It’s just there.” I wish Fine and Taylor took more advantage of those kinds of perception shifts and the participants’ altered states.Matthew Gilbert can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewGilbert.