iOS app Android app More

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors
Anam Syed

GET UPDATES FROM Anam Syed
 

Courtship in the Age of Awkward

Posted: 08/21/2012 10:59 am

That was so ironic. In a love story where the leads are pegged as too cool for each other and too awkward for themselves, the new web series Hipsterhood explores a subculture everyone loves to hate and hates to admit they love. Created by the appropriately Silver Lake housed Odd Frames Media the series follows two on-trend young people as they continually cross paths but can't take it to the next level -- actually talking to each other.

Zeroing in on inner dialogue, insecurity, and general 20-something neurosis, the bulk of the series is conducted in voice over. The characters, played by Elizabeth Ferraris and Kit Williamson, always obsess about what to say or do, resulting in awkwardly silent interactions in real life.

Indicative of a modern generation of net-addled young people more adept at web chats than real life ones, creator Shilpi Roy says the series sprung from a style-inspired identity crisis. "After four years in Silver Lake, I realized I had bought a pair of skinny jeans. Was I now a hipster? Everyone makes fun of hipsters; are people going to make fun of me now, or are hipsters normal people like the rest of us?" Perhaps the idea is just that -- hipsters may in fact just be normal people like the rest of us.

What is a hipster anyway? Are they defined by ironic accessories (a pair of bright pink furry earmuffs make an appearance in the series as a jogging outfit staple) or some collection of obscure playlists? The sheer act of viewing everything through a lens of irony? Diving through episodes of Hipsterhood, it becomes clear that qualities of "hipsterdom" are in fact just the de rigueur pretensions of youth compounded by the awkward nerdery of a generation raised by the internet.

In the first episode, the two would-be lovebirds ponder endlessly over which cereal choice best publicly defines their person. Will it be something bran based and adult-sounding? Perhaps something more nostalgic and childlike with a cartoon mascot on the box? The internal monologue this inspires is comically stretched-out, a veritable parade of neuroses all stemming from that universal base need -- to look cool and desirable in front of someone you think is cute.

Shooting the series provided its own unique obstacles. Roy set herself up for a directing challenge with this minimal-dialogue venture. "While shooting, the hardest part was just making sure that both the actors and myself knew where we were in the script at all times. You'd be surprised how hard that is without any dialogue or sound queues alerting us of what needed to happen next."

Overall, the series takes the notorious modern pop cultural anti-icon, The Hipster, and humanizes him (and her). Through the lens of quirky romantic comedy, Hipsterhood exposes hipsters for who they really are -- normal people like you and me. In fact not just like you and me, but who probably are you and me. Isn't that soooo ironic?

 

Follow Anam Syed on Twitter: www.twitter.com/anamarama

FOLLOW LOS ANGELES