It was only a matter of time.
Creator Anthony DiMieri has picked a low-hanging fruit by bringing us Bros, a broad, unsubtle parody of Lena Dunham’s Girls. The popular HBO series is ripe for mockery, and a male-centered version is the easiest way to add a twist. It’s an inevitable web series, but is it a good one?
Bros opens in the same manner as Girls, with a single twentysomething getting cut off by his parents over a meal. That’s where the similarities end. While Dunham’s work is a quiet, witty attempt to speak for an entire generation, Bros takes a more MacFarlane-esque approach, seeking to ridicule anything related to modern New York City culture. In the first episode, which shows its four male leads travelling across the East River in an attempt to pick up girls in Williamsburg, DiMieri hits every stereotype, from bros to hipsters to gay men.
There are some winning bits, such as a bartender who mocks the foursome for attempting to order long island iced teas at a “hip” bar. Still, Bros‘ potential is held back by its strict adherence to usual comedy. Girls‘ appeal, for those who enjoy it, comes from the way in which is grasps for truth in a way usually absent from TV. Bros, on the other hand, retreads the same old territory: bros are bros because they play beer pong and Madden, hipsters are hipsters because they wear glasses and drink PBR, and gay men are gay men because they stare at male butts. The result is a parody that’s more stale than it should be, considering how fresh its inspiration is.
I think DiMieri has the chops to make Bros work, given his intimate knowledge of urban geography and young people happenings. All he needs to is break free from the chains of tired jokes. Anthony, bro, I believe you can do it.