is too bad torch carrying is only an exhibition event at the Olympics, because
Peter Ma would be a cinch to medal. Twelve years after high school graduation,
he still pines for his platonic best friend Joanna. Just as he turns the big
three-oh, she moves back home to Los Angeles. It turns out, she even remembers
their My Best Friend’s Wedding pact
from senior year. In five months, she too will turn thirty, the age when they
agreed to get hitched as a last resort. She revives their compact, as a
motivational device to get them both back out there on the dating scene. At
least, that is what they tell each other in Single
by 30 (trailer
here), the new web-series from Wong Fu Productions,
which premieres on YouTube Red this Wednesday.
knowing Peter and Joanna are each other’s back-up plan will give them the
confidence to take chances, like a safety net for a trapeze artist. When they
similarly motivated each other to ask out homecoming dates, it worked out much
better for her than for him. Yet, he is still down to try. Of course, viewers
can immediately tell they are perfect for each other (and maybe they can too).
to Peter’s great surprise, he has far greater success with the internet dater
Joanna selects for him, than she does with his (deliberately flawed) pick. At
least that is the case in the second and third episodes (out of the initial
three made available to the media). However, she might not be as available as
she lets on. It is clear from the start, she carries her own torch for the ex
now engaged to her former college friend.
this sounds familiar, you might have seen the earlier spec pilot that generated
plenty of views online. They started fresh with the series proper, so Ma’s new
irresponsible best pal from college is now Mark, played by “YouTube star” Eric
Ochoa. In fact, most of the young, attractive cast are ‘net famous through YouTube
or Vine, which should make you feel old, even if you can look past thirty as a
ridiculously ominous deadline.
the cast is admittedly attractive and often pleasantly amusing. Harry Shrum, Jr
is appealingly down-to-earth as Peter M. and musician Kina Grannis is
undeniably charming as Joanna (evidently, she will have to get married if she
ever wants to have a surname). So far, their Moonlighting will-they-or-won’t-they chemistry is quite effective. Ochoa
and Hillary Anne Matthews (two “t’s”) generate a lot of Tinder-Generation
laughs as Mark, the self-styled player and Chloe, Joanna’s game-playing
roommate. Manon Mathews (one “t”) probably contributes the wryest humor as Lisa,
Joanna’s married college bestie and Chloe’s older sister. Anna Akana adds
plenty of attitude as Ma’s DJ sister Grace, but Alexandra Metz’s Sarah just
seems too cool to be interested in a luckless loser like Ma (presumably that
will not last).
might not be enough to justify a YouTube Red
account, but it is an enjoyable way to spend time online. Although Grannis is a
talent in her own right, SB30 clearly
suggests she and her social media-promoted co-stars have some real potential in
front of the camera. Generally speaking, creators Wesley Chan & Philip Wang
stay within safe rom com territory, but their dialogue is surprisingly sharp
and it is well served by the principle cast’s crisp timing. Recommended for those
looking for some of-the-moment relationship comedy, Single by 30 releases this Wednesday (8/24) on YouTube Red.
Labels: Kina Grannis, web-series, YouTube Red