Season one of the hit Yahoo web series “Burning Love” was an enormous feather in the cap of comedic web content, which many had written off as a place where Funny or Die dominated and everything else was basically song parodies and people in bad wigs.
The satirical faux-dating show cleaned up at award shows this year, even nabbing a “Best Comedy” award at the third annual Streamys. It proved that with a terrific cast and razor sharp writing, web content could be as good if not better than anything in mainstream media.
“Burning Love” season 2 looks to be no less prolific replacing season one’s “The Bachelor”-themed parody with a female lead and a group of eligible bachelors resembling the bumbling hopeless fare so often found in dating reality shows.
Already on episode 9, this season of “Burning Love” is rapidly approaching its 14th and final episode. We recently caught up with the show’s co-creator and writer Erica Oyama, a talented comedy writer and actress working on shows like “Childrens Hospital,” to talk about comedy on the web and writing for legends like Ken Marino, Rob Huebel and Adam Scott.
Dating reality shows on their own are already known to be ridiculous — did you have to stretch much to make “Burning Love” even more ridiculous? Or was the groundwork already there?
Erica Oyama: I find reality shows to be ridiculously entertaining. I think what I focused on for “Burning Love” was a mixture of stretching and also highlighting what I found to be amazing about the real show.
As a comedy writer, how does writing for shorter, more contained digital shows change your process?
Having shorter digital episodes was helpful in structuring the whole season. Each season is 14 episodes, so I really tried to have a satisfying arc for our main characters just like you would in a traditional movie screenplay.
“Burning Love” season 2 has some incredibly talented comedic actors in it — did you write the suitor’s parts with those actors like Michael Cera and Paul Scheer in mind?
I definitely had Michael Cera, Paul Scheer, Ryan Hansen, Joe Lotruglio and Rob Huebel in mind for their roles. But when we started shooting it was like everyone’s part was written for them. Our cast was so hilarious and talented. We lucked out.
Do you believe that with comedy-style content doing so well online that young writers and comedians should look to the web first before breaking off into mainstream entertainment? Or is web content the new “mainstream”?
I think web is more mainstream than it ever has been. It’s really interesting to see the level of production happening online. I think web is a great introduction to the business for young writers and comedians. It’s a great way to present your voice in an unfiltered way.
Who has been your favorite “Burning Love” season 2 suitor to write for so far?
I really loved them all, but the bad boy Blaze has been really fun to explore, mostly because Julie is just so helpless in his presence. I love Julie so much; she’s my favorite character to write.
If people haven’t checked out “Burning Love” season 2 so far, why should they start now?
People should start watching “Burning Love” because of all the amazing cast members we have! All our episodes will be online, so you can get your friends together and have a nice little marathon around your laptop.