So I’m seriously sitting here chugging coffee, trying to get all my final thoughts down and published before everyone settles in to their gluttonous turkey genocide celebration.
This may come off as some stream of consciousness, J.D. Salinger bullshit but I’m sorry, I’m knocking this sucker out in the next thirty minutes. Thumbs up for high school literature references!
So ya, I just finished watching “#ATown,” a near feature length series about two female best friends living in Austin, Texas. One, Melanie, recently moved to Austin from Portland, so in a lot of ways this makes Austin very much a character on it’s own.
Between the series and the chat I learned a lot about Texas. First, everyone drinks Lone Star Beer, and no one has heard of Pabst Blue Ribbon. This sounds like a net plus. Second, they like to drink it by punching a hole in the bottom of the can with a key… I’m not sure what to think about this. Third, they have “Uber” but they must have just got it because they aren’t sure how it works yet. This works out well for the show.
Probably the most interesting and beneficial piece of information I gained is that you don’t need a permit to film. You only need one if you plan on shutting down a street or some other madness. I learned this cool tidbit after the opening scene, which takes place at the airport.
Now I made a point to mention that this was about two female friends, and normally I’d like to think I’d just describe a show like this as being simply about “two friends” but ‘#ATown’ or at least creators Mallory Larson and Elena Weinberg, set out to promote a positive view on female friendship and women in entertainment.
The truth is, I feel like I’m secretly a fan of all of these ‘feminist’ shows like ‘Cost of Living,’ ‘My Ex Is Trending,’ ‘Tiffany And Erin’ or ‘The Chloe And Zoe Show,’ where the focus is on a pair of whacky women. It’s not because I’m out looking for this type of thing, it’s just that GIRLS ARE FUNNY and we just don’t see it as much.
It’s a different perspective – and I’m not referring to a ‘female’ perspective so much as the type of comedy we end up with. These shows all feel a little more character oriented and there are a lot more jokes about vaginas – a nice change of pace from all the dick jokes I’m used to.
Male friendship is very different and series tend to find characters that are rather competitive and self-centered (not to say selfish). Invariably the shows about female friends end up with the two not talking somewhere near the end of the second act, but there always seems to be a little something extra on the character side that I find enjoyable.
In addition there is an element from my male perspective that finds something attractive in women excelling in generally masculine activities.
Whatever it may be, one of my favorite responses to my rapid fire questioning in the chat came from Bryan Evans, who spent a lot of time learning about sound while on ‘#ATown,’ but his biggest take away from the experience was “a fun summer with my friends.” It sounds cheesy, but stuff like that really matters. When everyone has fun, everyone gets along, it shows off in the end result. Apparently everyone wanted to rip up their paychecks at the end of the production. As the saying goes, when you do what you love you don’t work a day in your life.
You can find ‘#ATown” on vimeo! http://vimeo.com/channels/atownseason1/