Kate Berlant and John Early—like Nichols and May, but with better haircuts and more jokes about face tattoos—have been creating comedy together for years, but only now, after stints in Netflix’s Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp and The Characters, are they starring in their own miniseries, 555, for Vimeo.
According to the video network, 555, directed by Andrew DeYoung:
...is an anthology miniseries of five short films that unfold in a stark, humid, surreality of Hollywood. These short, cinematic fairy tales are set in tinsel town, where status is everything and the stakes are high. The backdrop is big dreams, and in the foreground, the humiliations of clawing one’s way toward them. Each episode focuses on a fraught relationship between two characters, where ambition prevails over empathy. Among the wildly varied characters: a young Mama Rose type and her mute child, two sensual but ignorant acting students, an agent turned artist by tragedy and his partner who must watch his grotesque fall. Each episode zooms in on characters toiling in different corners of a Hollywood hellscape. Will greed, egotism, ignorance and desire consume them? Or can they escape dark fates by clinging to rare moments of tenderness?
In their previous works, Berlant and Early have excelled at balancing the real and the surreal, creating characters that are simultaneously outlandish and immediately recognizable.
Take their beloved “Paris” sketch, for example:
Or Early’s “Vicky” character, a comedian who—you can count on it—is looking for her denim:
555, executive produced by Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim, premieres on Vimeo January 31.