Rich Mathis, the red-blooded male publisher at “chick lit” haven, Vanity Press, is having some problems “launching his rocket.” Caroline Boyd, the not unpromiscious editor at Shout! Magazine asks if he’s taking meds for his soft problem. Rich gets defensive.

“What am I a circus freak?” emasculated Mathis shouts. “I have gills and three nipples? No! I eat meat, watch football, pray to Baby Jesus and like the vagina, kapish? Apple pie is less normal than me.” Boyd responds, “Yep, but apple pie could fill a woman up.”

That characteristically creative and sexually-oriented quip begins the fifth season of Something to Be Desired (Tilzy.TV page), the unpredictable Internet series about hapless post-college twentysomethings in Pittsburgh trying to figure out wtf it is they’re supposed to be doing with their lives. ###

 

After a summer break, the show’s creator/writer/producer/director/editor Justin Kownacki released the premiere episode of StBD’s latest season last Monday. Since the summer of 2003, he’s posted over 130 episodes, orchestrated a volunteer cast that numbers in the few dozens, and told an affable, humorous story that’s gotten better with age.

 

“What began as a small, focused show about a group of DJs at a struggling radio station has grown over the years into an interlocking ensemble dramedy about life, love, sex, politics and friendship,” Kownacki said in an e-mail conversation, “all told with our frequently skewed (and non-worksafe) sense of humor.”

For season five, Kownacki will add a little more structure to the arcs of his stories. “We’ll still release a new episode every Monday.  However, instead of creating 30 or 40 episodes in a row, as we’ve done in the past, we’re now creating three 10-episode arcs, with brief (3 week) breaks between arcs. Each 10-episode arc will run near 100 minutes — or the equivalent of a feature film.”

StDB has always solicited viewer input for the show, but a new community-based site where fans can talk shop, offer script ideas, and create mash-ups will be fresh this season. Contests are also promised for the near future as well as more cast participation in the show’s behind-the-scenes blog, so you can get a more well-rounded view of the machinations involved in creating an episodic series that Kownacki tells me consumes 20 to 40 hours of production time per week.

Taking place in Steel City, the series has an obvious appeal to ‘burghers and ex-‘burghers, but with such familiar themes as jobs, sex, relationships, and finding yourself handled in cleverly likable ways, it’s easy for anyone to become a fan, even if the Steelers have never been your home team.

“And yes, STBD has a “b” in it. And no, we’ve never heard any jokes about our acronym, ever, in 4 years,” Kownacki notes.

Catch the all new season five of Something to Be Desired here, with new episodes on Mondays.
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