What happens when former frat boys trade their popped collars for jean shorts and flannel? What could possibly go wrong when clean-cut bros hop on the L train and venture to Brooklyn in search of hipster girls? Hilarity ensues, as demonstrated in a newly-launched web series inspired by the HBO hit show "Girls" and created by a Williamsburg veteran.
25-year-old video editor Anthony DiMieri had written a sitcom about 20-something guys living in NYC back in 2010, but when "Girls" premiered, the idea for a parody colliding two stereotyped sub-cultures just clicked. [videoembed id=130882]
"When I saw 'Girls,' I thought, 'Holy crap – this is really close to what I was doing,'" DiMieri told Metro. "It’s taking some humor and boiling things down to more sketch comedy. Humor in a web series is different than humor on TV. You have to make people laugh right off the bat."
Thus, "Bros" was born.
He did a casting call in December, pulled a lot of favors for the low-budget production, and put it on on YouTube earlier this week. "Bros" follows a main character who gets cut off by his parents (sound familiar?) after his post-college life is filled with picking up chicks and playing "Call of Duty." His soul-searching is brought to halt when one of his fellow bros reveals the secrets of picking up hipster girls. Observing their friend's outfit — a sparkly t-shirt, a purple winter cap and cut-off shorts — the main character and his bros are at first bewildered that this look could ever attract women.
"You look like you skinned a mermaid," a bro exclaims. "And you took her skin, and fashioned it into a crude shirt."
"You haven't been over there. It's different," the bro-turned-hipster responds of Williamsburg.
"You don't even have lenses in your glasses," another bro rebuts, still in utter shock.
But it is the bro-turned-hipster who gets the last laugh when he returns to the apartment that night with a flannel-wearing hottie. From there, DiMieri's cast embarks on a transformation as they strive to infiltrate Williamsburg and entice female hipsters with mentions of gin distilleries and "obscure" music. Sure, they run into bumps along the way, like being denied a Long Island Iced Tea from the bartender because it is a "stupid drink." Moments like that are reflections of DiMieri's real-life memories from his time in a Williamsburg apartment he shared with three girls.
"The stuff I was writing about, I sort of based on real-life experience," he said. "I definitely lived a similar lifestyle with the Pickleback shots and PBR. There is some truth to the stereotypes, but we really went over the top and made it cartoonish."
DiMieri has gotten a lot of feedback about "Bros" but, predictably, some criticism, too, about poking fun at "Girls."
"My favorite YouTube comment so far is something like, 'You guys are a**holes for ruining such a good thing,'" he said. "They think I am attacking the show, but I am not trying do that."
And the people behind the show itself have already taken notice of "Bros." The official Twitter account for "Girls" started following DiMieri.
"That was a big deal because it was like, 'Ok, the people at HBO are watching this,'" DiMieri said. "I think Lena Dunham and I could probably collaborate and write a really hilarious episode, maybe about bringing the girls to a frat party."
DiMieri, who rejects labels but admitted he is likely part-bro, part-hipster, would like to continue making episodes in the web series, but said it is all based on cost and whether he can find a way to fund the production. Most of the people involved for in the first episode worked for free, including the cast members. He is considering launching a Kickstarter campaign.
Follow Cassandra Garrison on Twitter at @CassieAtMetro