In the incestuous, frenemy-filled New York bubble of cewebrity and pseudo-stardom-turned-kinda-almost-real-but-still-niche-stardom it’s refreshing to hear people on screen discuss something other than a scene. Something outside the realm of insular or mainstream pop news. Something that’s about…well…nothing.
Show hosts Alisa Leonard-Hansen (of Socialized and digital marketing shop iCrossing), Jackie Johnson (who writes Some Notes on Napkins), and Kristen Vang (who’s in charge of the I’m Just Sayin’ Blog) take their cues more from Alex Albrecht and Kevin Rose than Barbara Walters and Joy Behar. It’s an unscripted, casual conversation amongst friends, with alcohol, about whatever comes to mind, and everyone’s having a good time.
It certainly doesn’t hurt that the trio in front of the camera is easy on the eyes, but the appeal lies in their accessibility (okay, it’s about 60-40 looks-accessibility).
They’re all in the running for Amateur Miss Awesome Girl in America. Attractive young ladies into the internet and seemingly down to earth. If they were super famous, you could picture them in candid photos in Us Weekly, if Us Weekly ever had a internet culture edition (These stars of an online talk show are just like us!). But for now, they’re climbing the ranks of micro-fame. And they are just like us, maybe just a little bit cooler/nerdier/whateverier (at least on camera).
I never quite understood the appeal of Diggnation, but now I get it. A show starring people who you think you could (and actually want to) befriend is the basis for an engaging piece of entertainment.
Don’t get me wrong though. I’m Just Sayin’ may have an every-hipster-on-the-web attraction, but with its tumblr page and alt aesthetic, it’s certainly trying to court the blogerati. And what better man to navigate the way than the scene’s own ultimate outsider/insider and student of online celebrity, Rex Sorgatz.
The dude behind the lists of lists and one of the web’s first link blogs (Fimoculous) produces the show from his digs in way downtown Manhattan. I’m always curious to see where online video ventures will go when experts in social and online media are the ones creating them. Is all this knowhow as easy to practice as it is to preach? It’ll be interesting to find out.
I recently caught up with Rex to ask him a few questions about what I’m Just Sayin’ is all about:
Tilzy.TV: What’s the show about? What topics will the girls cover?
Rex Sorgatz: The show is made for 18-30-year-old girls, and people who like 18-30-year-old girls. It’s very conversational — we have no scripts. The girls just sit down and talk about stuff they like. Topics will be all over the place: fashion, music, tv, the internet.
Tilzy.TV: Who are these girls? Did you find them on tumblr?
Rex: The girls found me! When I moved to New York last year, Alisa was one of the first people I became friends with. I was developing an online video startup at the time, and wanted her as a host. I shot some demo reels for the startup with Jackie and Alisa, but the economy didn’t play nice with my plans.
After the startup was put on hold, Jackie suggested this show. She designed the site while Kristen did all the programming. We turned it around in less than a week. It’s really a collaborative project among close friends — all of us work in online media and hang out all the time.
Rex: No way, it’s actually a hipster version of Golden Girls! But seriously, we think a better comparison is Diggnation – a girl’s version of that. Comparing us to NonSociety probably makes sense in the way that comparing NonSociety to The View did. But the topics will be significantly different, with very little audience crossover.
(Editor’s Note: Interesting Aside – The View, TMI Weekly, and The I’m Just Sayin’ Show all put the blond on the far right. Diggnation puts the blond on the left.)
Tilzy.TV: Does the web really need more attractive girls having casual conversations in front of a camera?
Rex: Um… doy!
Tilzy.TV: Is that your CD collection in the background of the first few episodes? What’re you still doing with those things?
Rex: Jackie thinks my old media collection is hilarious. (“Books? What are those”) It was her idea to shoot the beta with that backdrop. We’ve already started to mix it up this week.
Tilzy.tv: Who’s going to be in charge of the girls’ wardrobes? Can we expect to see them sporting some awesome t-shirts (most of which with text) in the future?
Rex: This show is waaaaaay too casual for us to be talking about wardrobes! The girls are clearly fashion-conscious, but we’ve never had a single conversation about what to wear. (Except for Halloween, when Kristen raided my closet for her costume — Samantha Ronson! And Jackie went as Lohan.)
Now that you mention it, an entire episode with them making fun of my wardrobe might be a good idea.
Check out all the girls’ casual convos at ImJustSayinShow.TV.