“L.A. Girls,” the new show on YouTube that purports to be a parody of “Girls” isn’t so much a parody as it is basically a better version of the exact same show. And that’s only a bad thing if you’re Lena Dunham, because it means that your “fresh, unique perspective on life” isn’t so unique after all.
The show, which releases a new episode on Wednesday, builds off the original premise of the HBO series about whiny real girls living in a big city and, you know, doing stuff. Only here, yup, it’s fashion-conscious L.A. girls instead of wannabe-sophisticated New York women. Also, Hannah, the central character has parents that are inexplicably black. I feel like that will get elaborated on in a future episode, but, for the moment, it’s a distracting element. Sure, it’s “progressive,” but why? Other than that (and the “this seems like it will be an annoying distraction” South-African white kid painted up like a Swahili-clicking savage) I am digging on the vibe “L.A. Girls” has set up.
Tiffany Ariany, who plays Shoshana (only a much, much foxier version of her) is also the series creator, writer and executive producer, and admitted that she came up with the show because, as Ariany states: “First off, I’m a huge fan of the show ‘Girls’ and really wanted to spoof it with all of my experiences living the post college life in Los Angeles. I graduated from Cal State Northridge with a B.A. in cinema, television, and arts and studied comedy writing and improv by taking classes at The Groundlings and Upright Citizens Brigade. I wanted to do something that put both things to use and found that web-series is the best outlet that allows the most creative freedom.”
When “Girls” initially premiered, I tuned in and was a fan as well (take that, people who claim I’m a misogynist), but the show quickly delved into the sort of whiny meandering that series trying to fill a number of one-hour episodes often resort to — bullshit plot points that go nowhere. “L.A. Girls” has the benefit of being only five minutes long so we get tight storylines and none of the unnecessary self-indulgence that bogs down Dunham’s series. Of course, considering we only have one episode of “L.A. Girls” to work with so far, we’ll see how long they can keep the joke going and if they can do something more bold than simply recreate “Girls” with more L.A. vapidness. If not, that’s okay too, I suppose.
The series, which stars Kylie Sparks, Ariany and a host of others, keeps the names of the original “Girls” cast along with key plot points and character flourishes, but as it’s on YouTube, expect none of the nudity (so much for that “not misogynist” thing). That alone shouldn’t preclude you from tuning in (guys or girls) though. I asked Ariany to give me one reason people should watch and she came back with the adorably sensible “If you want to see cute girls saying inappropriate things, then ‘L.A. Girls’ is the show for you! This raunchy, female-driven web series is not only a spoof, but also a spin-off. One of the best aspects of the series is the fact you don’t need to see a single episode of the original show to follow the crazy plot lines of ‘L.A. Girls.’ And who doesn’t like making fun of Los Angeles?”