OK, let’s get this out of the way. Disclaimer time: I’m a huge fan of web series.
For those unfamiliar with the genre, web series are an inexpensive and terribly accessible outlet for the rest of us civilians who aren’t rich or connected to the juggernaut known as Hollywood.
Almost anyone can play.
Web series and webisodes are the 21st century equivalent of, “My uncle’s got a barn, let’s put on a show!” And therefore, democratic ground zero of the entertainment world. The good news is that web based series are growing by leaps and bounds. They are the future, and “Lips – Chicks With Licks” is one of the latest offerings.
Created by Flo Vinger, “Lips” is a documentary spoof or, more precisely, a rock-umentary about a struggling all-lesbian rock band in L.A.
Think of Lisa Kudrow and the terribly underappreciated, “The Comeback ,” as a frame of reference, a comedic spoof about a documentary about a real life character(s).
The “documentary” director, Bubba, as played by Brian Jay Ecker, contributes the only testosterone in the cast.
Bubba is in love with London London, the lead singer in the Lips band as played by director Flo Vinger. Poor Bubba. He struggles to keep afloat in the tumultuous Bay of Estrogen.
Bubba’s busted scratching himself, a sort of nervous tic he develops when in proximity of the object of his unrequited love. Of course London London is inspired and seizes the opportunity to write a very special little ballad titled, “Please, Stop Scratching Your Balls.”
“Won’t you please stop scratching your balls, scratching your balls in my face … It’s just nasty (3-part harmony as the rest of the Lips band joins in.)
“If you gotta take a pee, or you got a crab-y, please see a doctor: it’s just nast-y.
“Please stop scratching your balls.”
Lovely: and a wonderful bit of insight into the band’s underappreciated repertoire.
In desperation, the Lips band begrudgingly enlists a manager, an earnest little thinly be-speckled non-lesbian (I think!) named Fiona, as played by Alona Dadiani.
Fiona books Lips their first gig in years. It’s a bris, a ceremonial male circumcision performed by a mohel, a rabbi with an obvious attention deficit disorder.
So off we go: A lesbian rock band entertaining a roomful of practicing Jews in a private home with an under-medicated mohel who’s wielding a very sharp pair of scissors.
What could possibly go wrong?
Perhaps the foreskin flying off the poor babe’s privates and under the foot of the anxious mother who of course, slips and goes down vagina up?
Of course, Mom is wearing no underwear.
I guess the best way to describe “Lips” is “Absolutely Fabulous” meets “I Love Lucy” without Ricky Ricardo and the faux glamour of Patsy and Edina.
And the cast is performing an update of “The Vagina Monologues.”
“Lips – Chicks With Licks” is raunchy, ridiculous and as noted, very vagina-centered. The episodes are offered up in five-minute increments, just enough to make you belly laugh or recoil in horror. Either response is equally entertaining.
In an email, creator Flo Vingar informed me of the pedigree of the cast of “Lips.”
“Hana Mae Lee is in that hit movie ‘Pitch Perfect’ now, Sheetal Sheth is really big in the lesbian community, and Elaine Hendrix has been in very popular movies like ‘Parent Trap’ and ‘Superstar.’”
That’s quite a brew of grrrl power.
One of the best things about web series in general is the lack of commitment required from the viewer. The clips are quick little skits, and if you don’t like what you saw, no biggie. There hasn’t been a big investment.
Web series are a metaphor for the times. They’re short, pithy, frothy and irreverent. Censors are no concern. Kowtowing to advertisers and regional preferences or social conservatives is a thing of the past. In fact, I’d suspect a social conservative would collapse into apoplectic shock within moments of a “Lips” screening. It’s that good.
Web series are both global and personal. They’re the Facebook of media entertainment.
Give it a whirl HERE.
Check out the girls. Love ‘em or loathe ‘em, at least you’ve seen ‘em and I guarantee that you won’t forget them. There’s not much to lose and regardless, get ready.
There’s a lot more of this genre of entertainment to come.
Kurt Niece writes about visual arts for SDGLN. He is a freelance journalist from Lakewood, Ohio. He is the author of "The Breath of Rapture" and an artist who sells his work on his website.