Letting a new person live in your home every week can be intimidating. But these close-knit friends will make them feel like anything but strangers.
Strangers, like many shows about being young (Girls, Master of None), is about the inner journey to finding yourself, and of course finding that one special person. Isobel, nearing thirty, is trying to find herself emotionally and sexually. After a painful breakup, caused by Isobel cheating on her boyfriend with a woman, she seeks to start a new chapter. She decides to rent out the spare room in her Los Angeles house to strangers via Airbnb in order to afford the place.
The first episode begins with an ear-piercing screech from Isobel, played by Zoe Chao, who is perched in a tree. Her best friend, Cam, played by Meredith Hagner, supports her Yoko Ono-like scream therapy from the ground, screaming with her. “Let it out,” she says. And throughout the show, Isobel is learning how to let her feelings out.
The show is produced by Jesse Peretz, who previously worked on Girls. Mia Lidofsky, who also worked on Girls with Peretz, created Strangers, and writes and produces it as well. Unlike other shows about youth, Strangers steers clear of characters who mope about the pointlessness of life, and instead focuses on the positive, namely the many relationships that help us through life’s struggles. As a result, Strangers exudes warmth.
Strangers is one of Facebook’s web series, available on their new platform Watch. Each episode’s runtime, which hovers around fifteen minutes, makes binge-watching irresistible, but leaves little room for character development from each of Isobel’s new tenants. From one episode to the next, colorful new faces come to live with Isobel, played by Jemima Kirke (Girls), Shiri Appleby (UnREAL), and Jemaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords). It is sometimes the case that the guest stars are more entertaining than Isobel and Cam, leaving the audience wanting more.
Sexuality is explored in a fresh way, especially due to Isobel’s age. Not fully acknowledging her bisexuality until her 30s, Isobel has insecurities to work through. Mia Lidofsky has called the show’s characters “a loose amalgamation of myself, my closest friends, and lot of women that I’ve known.” Like Isobel’s journey for a better career, or a new love, be it boy or girl, Cam is there to guide her along the way.
This warm-hearted series shows us that strangers are just new friends waiting to be made.
Photo courtesy of Mashable
‘Strangers’ is available now on Facebook Watch