I love when I watch a series and the show is just so easy to talk about. Sometimes I sit here after a viewing and the specific topics for discussion are hard to find – this is not the case with “My Ex Is Trending” which is simultaneously entertaining and worth talking about.
“MXiT” is a sort of hybrid vlog / narrative comedy series about two roomates and seemingly best friends dealing with breakups. As was brought up during the twitter portion of #WebSeriesWednesday the real interesting thing about the show is it is ultimately not about breakups or romantic relationships but really an intimate look at female friendship. CoCo and Monique aren’t given any backstory but it was instantly clear that actresses Abby Rosebrock and Layla Khoshnoudi must have known each other for years.
C&M are a ton of fun as the series is essentially one of them holding a video camera and recording their conversations while they go about their business. ‘Their business’ generally includes walking down the street, refusing to get out of bed for work, hanging out in the apartment, visiting a café or a park, generally really mundane and boring shit. What is amazing is that CoCo and Monique hold your attention all the way through.
A lot of credit has to go to the super tight editing that removes all the boring parts and cuts straight to the hilarious insights and comments either of the two make. The editing is an outgrowth of the hybrid style of show “MXiT” has embraced. The show is essentially devoid of plot and offers very little context yet features a dynamic range of locations and situations not possible in a vlog format.
Vlogs are big on the YouTube, they are a proven format but they are almost always focused on discussing “things that happened” like a standup routine, an audio book, or a radio drama at their best, vlogs lack that ability put you in the situation, and are limited in the variety of ways they can be experienced.
Where “MXiT” excels is in knowing that – like a vlog – it’s character’s interesting personalities are the draw, while also enabling the series to be more dynamic than a vlog.
There are two noticeable areas for growth and improvement for the show – the most pressing issue being the lack of context embedded in the episodes. Each video is based around a topic, essentially something like, let’s sit around the living room and discuss drones, or let’s go through our closet and talk about Detroit. The context is cut out because it is mundane, but it is also an opportunity for creating a video efficiently. What I would like to see is the influx of a little plot, like say, “let’s walk down to the park and talk about crime, then get mugged” or “let’s go down to the chicken coup and then end the episode eating chicken. These are off the top of my head – the point is there is room for at least a little bit of plot and context that I believe would go a long way without creating a massive inconvenience production wise.
The second issue is that I’d love to see them get a better video camera. The technical quality is not really important for a video of this style, but there are times when the light is just so blown out it looks bad, and times when the audio has so much going on that it is distracting. I’m not sure what the technical process was here, but I feel like a little more attention and potentially budget in this area could go a long way. I’m not saying go out and hire a sound guy, or go schedule crew for everything, just a bit of improvement is needed here.
Another amazing fact about the show is that for the most part it is all improve, with a bit of prepared monologue. The improv format along with the tight editing makes for some great moments without the duds, and perhaps more importantly it allows them to come up with three to six episodes worth of video per day. The duo aim for close to a weekly release schedule and with more practice in the editing suite I think we’ll find new episodes of “MXiT” coming out at an alarmingly fast rate.
While the improv style is great some of the best moments come from those clearly planned monologues. I feel like everyone’s favorite was the discussion on racism in the park. How can one be racist if they got pregnant by a Japanese guy last year? The back and forth between characters is playful and witty with the punch line coming when the question of what happened to the baby is posed.
All in all “My Ex Is Trending” is a really fun series with a lot of potential room for growth. The format is rather innovative and I can see the style becoming more and more popular with time since the episodes seem so easy to shoot. Of course this format puts all of the pressure on the talents of your performers, which is something creators Abby Rosebrock and Layla Khoshnoudi seem to have in spades.
You can find “My Ex Is Trending” on the Control Top TV YouTube Channel.