Steph’s LA Weekly Web Series Pick of the Week: The Program

Oscar Nuñez  and Maria Bamford in The Program

Oscar Nuñez and Maria Bamford in The Program, photo credit Mandee Johnson, FOD

“I’m Peace. I have a Ph.D. in medieval studies. Which means I owe $200,000 in student loan debt at 49 percent interest rate! Whoops,” Maria Bamford quips as she introduces herself and the other endearingly in-debt characters in her new Funny or Die series, The Program.

Bamford and fellow L.A. comedian Melinda Hill co-wrote the show, which follows the journey of five members of a 12-step, Debtors Anonymous program. The two came up with the idea while carpooling to various Anonymous meetings that they “may or may not” have attended in L.A.

Read the rest of Stephanie’s review of The Program in her column about the best series on the web in the LA WEEKLY. Watch The Program on FunnnyOrDie.  And check out with her full interview with Maria and Melinda below.

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Steph’s LA Weekly Web Series Pick of the Week: Bad Timing – Full Interview with Andy Goldgenberg

You’re the nebbishy, bumbling IT guy. She’s the hottest girl in the office, maybe the planet. Under no circumstances is she ever going to have a candlelit romantic dinner with you. OK, maybe one circumstance: You both survive the Zombocalypse.

Check out Steph’s full review of Andy Goldenberg’s refreshingly blood-soaked take on the “odd couple on an island” web series in her LA Weekly column HERE. And continue reading below for her full interview with Goldenberg about making the show.

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Howie Kremer (Community, Trophy Wife) Throws Down Mad Knowledge about Making His Latest Hilarious Web Series: Uh, Hey Dude

After working in the writers rooms of shows like Community, Hello Ladies, and now Trophy Wife, comedy writer Howie Kremer now has his own series – on the Internet: Uh, Hey Dude. Betsy Sodaro (Animal Practice), Joe Wengert (Playing House) and Tracy Meyer (Hello Ladies) in this slice-of-life, female-centric comedy about three hilarious friends and a whole lot of relatable ‘nothing’. Ala Seinfeld, Uh, Hey Dude explores the small awkward moments that affect us all — like universal experience running into a mutual acquaintance with your friends, and NO ONE being able to remember their F*%#* name. And then they invite you to their birthday party.

Check out Kremer’s hilarious, insightful answers below as to how he created and executed the show and all the steps in between. You can watch more at www.Uhheydude.com

You’ve worked a lot in the TV world. What did you learn from the writers’ room or on set that you carried over into creating your own web series?

EVERYTHING. EVERYTHING and EVERYTHING!

Being in a writers’ room has helped my writing tremendously. Not only have I been lucky enough to be in writers’ rooms, I’ve been in the funniest, weirdest, craziest, smartest, and most lovely writers rooms ever. Each experience has helped me unlock something that has led me to be able to make UHD.

Doing my episode of TROPHY WIFE also helped SO MUCH for UHD. Being onset as a writer, and working with KEN MARINO who directed my episode, was such an incredible learning experience. It helped me with so many things: writing ON THE FLY — when a scene wasn’t working and me and Sarah Haskins had to rewrite a speech for Malin, or when a joke could be beat and you had a few minutes before it shot to write an ALT to camera set ups, lighting, sound, editing and more.

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Should YouTube be more like Traditional TV?

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Companies like YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon have changed how we watch television. We want to watch what we want whenever we want it and we care much less whether its on a big screen TV or on our phones. We will binge watch an entire season in 2 days or wait months for a new three minute video.

Web innovator Carey Martell wants his online TV platform, Martell TV, to make it easier to find a stream of content you will enjoy on the Internet. He claims his platform will synthesize the best things about cable TV and the best things about Youtube as well as revive local television and allow creators like you to “become your own media tycoon. Build your own version of ABC, HBO or MTV from YouTube videos.” Check out his indiegogo campaign video below. Where do you think media consumption is headed?

AMERICAN KOKO – Web Series Spotlight by TW Guest Writer: Lorelei Ignas

Ever wonder what would happen if Spike Lee and Christopher Guest had a brainchild who wrote a character-driven procedural web series?  Meet Diarra Kilpatrick, creator, writer and star of American Koko, a web series that follows Akosua Miller (Kilpatrick) and her fellow gumshoe “Race Detectives” at the E.A.R. (Everyone’s a Little Racist) agency.

On the surface a procedural about sleuthing out racism and racial ignorance in everyday political incorrectness, American Koko uses its equal-opportunity offensive sense of humor to highlight the many ways in which racism is pre-programmed into today’s American society — an objective that’s flipped delightfully on its head when Main Character Akosua falls for (gasp) a white guy.  Using the microcosm of an 8th grade musical to earnestly yet satirically ask “what’s the appropriate level of blackness?” — and then actually waiting for an answer — is no easy feat.  But, as Diarra so succinctly says, “you can talk about anything if it’s clever and it’s funny, and if you approach it with some irreverence.”

I had the pleasure of sitting down with Diarra and director Miles Orion Feld (both repped by CAA) to drink iced tea, discuss TV, race, making a web series, and the inspirations behind this exciting new serialized-procedural web series, whose humor manages to somehow be both irreverent, indeed — but also equal-opportunity offensive.

How would you define your use of the term “post-racial America” for dumb white folks?

D: When Obama was elected people were trying to peddle this idea that there was no race issue anymore, this was a cornerstone of how far we’d come.  a) we haven’t’ gone that far, we still have a long way to go b) I’m not actually interested in a “post-racial America.”… people’s culture and ethnicity is exciting information about who they are… it’s all a way in which we celebrate life.  Everyone’s culture shapes how they specifically celebrate life… I’m interested in how people do that in their own particular way.  I don’t want to live in a world that’s just beige.

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5 Minute Episode – Behind the Scenes at the LA WEB FEST

Are you considering attending the LA WEB FEST? Watch my 5 minute behind the scenes episode of Hollyweb – the French series on digital hollywood that I host – and get a taste of what it’s like. It’s HUGE and there are lost of interesting panels and speakers as well as creators from around the WORLD.

BUT – as the creator of the series says himself, it’s like the “Public School” of web series. Almost everyone gets in and there is a HUGE range of quality. The screening rooms are not the nicest and you get a feeling its more quantity over quality.

That being said, it’s a great way to get the word out about your series, garner awards and meet other creators and even festival runners from around the world.

I hope this short vid helps you make the decision that’s right for your series.

xo
Steph