If you’re one of the billions of people who visit New York City for a short weekend sojourn, the city’s unpredictability can be difficult to adapt to. When you decide to plant new roots in the complex and idiosyncratic metropolitan colossus that is also New York City, could you even survive 24 hours there without losing your sanity?

In the upcoming five episode comedy TODAY IN NEW YORK, a young yet naive millennial woman (played by Madeleine Meigs) experiences a bizarre yet comical series of incidents and individuals that make her only day in The Big Apple feel like a lifetime.

From getting entangled in a maze of dead-end streets and dark back alleys, to a weird chat with a potentially untrustworthy stranger, to an unexpectedly awkward yoga class, the five stories told in TODAY IN NEW YORK present a darkly humorous look at life in “the city that never sleeps”.

Co-created by Meigs and fellow New Yorkers/filmmakers Mike Labaddia (who directed TODAY IN NEW YORK), and Gus Halper (the show’s production manager) through their production company Produced By Actors, TODAY IN NEW YORK will debut in its entirety on July 15th on the outlet’s web siteIn creating the show, Meigs, Labaddia and Halper found a perfect starting point from which to conceive their tales of the beautifully imperfect place they reside in.

Madeleine Meigs stars as a befuddled millennial who comes face to face with New York City's unpredictability in TODAY IN NEW YORK.

Madeleine Meigs stars as a befuddled millennial who comes face to face with New York City’s unpredictability in TODAY IN NEW YORK.

“We knew we wanted to do a series of surreal vignettes about living in New York. We all have had so many strange and impactful experiences in the city that we knew there had to be something there,” they say. “Then, the idea came to tie all the vignettes together by making it about a woman’s first and last day living in New York. Once we all agreed on the idea, we brainstormed specific crazy moments in our lives.”

In developing TODAY IN NEW YORK, its producers also found their creativity being sparked by their memories of adjusting to life in New York City. “The series originally spawned from processing post-college life in this city. We all went to school in North Carolina and moved here right after. For Mike and Maddie, it was their first time living here. Gus was born and raised here. Being adults in the city has been jarring in lots of ways.”

While it wasn’t easy for Meigs, Labaddia and Halper to get used to the unpredictable flow of New York City, they found that the story-building process for TODAY IN NEW YORK was advanced by their shared recollections of times good and bad in The Big Apple. “In the moment, many of these experiences weren’t funny – they were stressful or scary or sad, but as we were all sitting around brainstorming, we realized how fun it was to have stories of life in New York City, and how much we all related to each other’s stories.”

Like it is for everyone who comes to New York with boundless expectations and wide-eyed astonishment, the experience of daily life there has been a major reality check for the people behind TODAY IN NEW YORK. The humbling nature of that experience is also something that makes each episode of the series especially authentic.

“We romanticize and imagine how our lives will be wonderfully cosmopolitan and that we will excel in our careers. Instead, we are exposed to some hard truths on the streets of New York City,” the series’ creators add. “Life in New York with all its ups and downs, obstacles and breakthroughs has been a metaphor for adulthood itself. We wanted to create a series that simultaneously sympathizes with that struggle and also pokes fun at it.”

A humiliating trip to a yoga class is among the five comical stories presented in TODAY IN NEW YORK.

A humiliating trip to a yoga class is among the five comical stories presented in TODAY IN NEW YORK. L-R: Meigs and co-star Dria Brown.

With TODAY IN NEW YORK revolving entirely around one woman’s incredibly eventful day in New York City, the show’s creative team focused on a limited yet memorable set of wacky stories for all five episodes.

Though part of the series is  loosely based on real events, the comedic style of its stories was thoroughly heightened in each script.

“We picked five memories of ours and each took one to write a short episode about. We then met in person for editing and revising sessions over the course of several months,” Meigs, Labaddia and Halper recall. “It was very much a joint creative process between the three of us. Once we had our final draft, we began to envision how the series would look. That process helped us develop the main female character, and the dark sense of humor further.”

Though the comedy found in TODAY IN NEW YORK is undoubtedly on the edgy side, its creators ingeniously blur the lines between their real life experiences and the outrageous moments they created for the series. “Some (stories) were exaggerated comically, but others are basically step-by-step dramatizations of specific memories. We will let you, the viewer, guess which ones are which.”

Whether you’re an old or new New Yorker, you’ll relate to some of the uniquely New York moments that are part of TODAY IN NEW YORK. “We think the show definitely appeals to New Yorkers, transplants and natives alike – or anyone who has known the feeling of moving to a new place to start their adult life.”

With TODAY IN NEW YORK joining the ranks of such absurdly observant comedies as CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM and SEINFELD, the series’ creators find it stylistically similar to another comedy that genuinely examined the hardships of the human experience.

“We would compare the show to LOUIE just for the realistic surrealism, darker sense of humor and the fact that the main character, while sympathetic, also takes the brunt of the joke at times. Our show is generally very grounded in reality, but every once in a while, there is a bit of an absurd twist.”

L-R: Meigs and TODAY IN NEW YORK co-star Bruce Apar.

L-R: Madeleine Meigs and Bruce Apar in an upcoming episode of TODAY IN NEW YORK.

“…Stylistically, we think it has a very individual style (our director of photography Rob Levy crushed it). The fact that much of it is handheld and there are a lot of different styles of shots used it comes across very intimate, almost like a home video with terrific cinematography.”L-R

As a result of its expansive six day shoot in New York City, TODAY IN NEW YORK’s “fly-on-the-wall” production approach also underscores how a single person’s journey is only a tiny story within the ongoing drama of life in New York’s gargantuan cityscape. Meigs, Labaddia and Halper illustrate how that observant style works during the series.

“We think that the camera angles and edit feel more like we (the audience) are haunting the woman, shadow observing this very important day in her life. This perspective is at the core of the series. We never find out this woman’s name or any details of her life, and the other characters just dip in and out of her day…never to be seen again.”

Though the travails of the series’ main character may seem like another story of how New York City can make the most hardened city dwellers feel like rookies, the considerably personal way that TODAY IN NEW YORK’s producers present their protagonist to viewers is strikingly evident.

“New York is a city of 8 million strangers, and we really tried to balance this anonymity and objective harshness with a very personal and specific experience of the city,” they say.

Before you decide to take a chance on the gleaming yet hectic world of New York City, TODAY IN NEW YORK might be the primer you’ll need to help you prepare for that world. While you’ll witness the often crazy moments that any New Yorker is bound to experience in a typical day, the series will also show you that a little laughter can help to make sense of those moments.

“We hope that our audience will be able to see themselves in our main character, (and) that they can relate to her, even as they pity her or laugh at her. (For) those who have never been to New York City, we aren’t quite sure if any romantic ideas about life here will be quelled or fortified. We just hope to give you an idea of what a day in New York is like.”

(NOTE: The show’s producers say that TODAY IN NEW YORK will be closed-captioned.)

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