It’s summer, which is mating season in New York. The flowers bloom, the clothes are more revealing, the outside tables are reserved, and the city dwellers exchange eye contact, phone numbers, and bodily fluids, usually, but not always, in that order. I guess what I’m trying to say is that in a city with over 8 million people, their sex lives can fuel some rich storytelling, and if someone put the topic of sex together with the city they might have a major hit on their hands. A real water cooler show, maybe even a movie.
Okay, so sex and the city might already be mined territory, but the new web series Brooklyn is for Lovers has little to do with the Carrie Bradshaw.
Created by Shandor Garrison, Brooklyn lays out the intersecting sex lives of five main characters. Dee and Annie are a straight couple so sputtering in their relationship they contemplate having a 3-way with an androgynous lesbian named Ash. Ash performs at a LGBT-friendly burlesque show attended by Casey who has the hots for his co-worker and new roommate Riggles.
The episodes play out like snapshots of the lives of each character, and by filming in the slightly more subdued neighborhoods of Brooklyn, the story is captured against a quaint backdrop, rather than the manic pace of Manhattan. Against such a setting the humor on the show is allowed to play itself out.
Instead of a series of simple gag jokes, Garrison presents each episode as a character study and allows his very spirited cast to find the comedy as much through behavior as with words. It amounts to something reminiscent of Garrison’s early work in the short Jim the Rapist
In the first scene of Episode 1 we meet the character of Casey, played by Paul Case. He’s gay, provocative, and in most other stories he’d be way over the top, but Case is nimble in the role and his advances towards his co-worker Riggles are as dry as they are absurd.
You get the feeling watching Brooklyn is for Lovers that the storytelling owes a debt to the sharp, eclectic New York indie films of the 1990’s. Films like Party Girl, Henry Fool, and The Daytrippers were low budget, but charming enough to overcame minor imperfections (they all also had Parker Posey, which doesn’t hurt). That is not to suggest that the show looks low budget. It’s shot in HD with good sound and lighting, and even has a snappy theme song. Sure it was made for the web, but Brooklyn is for Lovers would improve on almost any basic cable network’s programming schedule.