Written, directed, produced, and edited by the team at Kownacki Productions (a team which primarily consists of Justin Kownacki along with a few dozen actors and a handful of crew members), the fictional series has created buzz because of its originality and its impressive ability to stand the test of time, making over 60 full-length episodes. Its blog-friendly crew contributes to STBD’s Behind The Scenes blog while characters Leo, Caroline, and Jack each have their own respective (if infrequently updated) blogs.
Focusing on the lives of the youthful WANT FM crew, a fictional radio station based in Pittsburg, STBD showcases individuals who have all reached that stage in life where adulthood is not quite the satisfying good time that they had anticipated.
Working for little pay and dating with moderate success, the characters mix comedy and drama in their day-to-day lives caught on tape in quick, well-edited five minutes segments. Episode 13 of season 4, “If the Shoe Fits,” is the perfect example of the show’s blend of humor and character conflict.
The cast has multiplied over the years, but the core group of Jack, Dean, Leo, and Caroline has persevered. And while the episodes haven’t gotten any longer, all aspects of production have become more sophisticated. By the third season, the writing had reached a consistent level of competency with actual plot arcs and colloquial dialogue. It was also then that the cast settled into their roles and began to act with confidence and believability. This made the series much more fun than the first few episodes, when the show was still struggling to combine its crew’s talents into a cohesive product.
Just check out this episode from the first season, where the WANT FM crew has their annual office party, and this episode from season four, where everybody learns a little too much awkward information about everybody else.
The most noticeable shift is the fact that the stalwart characters have actually become good actors, but better editing allots for more episodic storytelling than the scattered themes of the first season. Where stilted dialogue was the norm, there are now writers and actors who are comfortable enough with their well-developed characters to make the show feel less like a vlog and more like a series. It’s an impressive shift.