David Hewlett mixes sci-fi, love and laughter in new online series Assassidate

Red Dwarf notwithstanding, sci-fi isn’t generally a genre into which viewers go boldly seeking laughs. Most sci-fi series do have some comic relief, and that role was often filled on Stargate Atlantis by Dr. Rodney McKay, played by David Hewlett.

Since the show’s cancellation in 2009, Hewlett has kept busy on the big screen, appearing in the films Splice (2009), The Whistleblower (2010) and Rise of the Planet of the Apes, but 2012 has also seen him establish a presence on the Internet, teaming up with his sister, Kate — who not coincidentally also played his sister on Stargate Atlantis — for the web series Assassidate.

Hewlett plays Iain, described on the series’ YouTube page as “an introverted Internet nerd.” In an effort to find love amongst his own kind, Iain devises an online dating system to help individuals find romance through their game-playing, be it Solitaire or World of Warcraft. Unfortunately, his decision to give his wife Pam a test account on the system results in her finding a better match for herself than Iain, putting him in a position where he signs his company over to his sister Emily in order to avoid losing it in the inevitable divorce.

Assassidate isn’t always laugh-out-loud funny, but the comedic chemistry between the Hewlett siblings is undeniable, making each episode a pleasant viewing experience that consistently inspires a steady smile at the very least.

The greatest strength of the series is that David Hewlett, who directs and co-writes the series with Kate, seems perpetually game to let his sister come out as the cooler family member. As each instalment unfolds, it becomes increasingly clear that although Iain’s pursuits may be geekier, Emily’s relationships are, in their own way, just as romantically dysfunctional as her brother’s.

Originally published in TVW. For daily programming updates and on-screen Entertainment news, subscribe to the free TVW e-newsletters, or purchase a subscription to the weekly magazine.