‘Squaresville’’s Tiffany Ariany and Kylie Sparks Reunite for ‘Girls’ Parody
“LA Girls,” a new web series from Tiffany Ariany and Matt Blessing moves the setting of Lena Dunham’s HBO comedy, “Girls,” to the opposite coast and begins its five-episode run today on YouTube. Written by Ariany and directed by Blessing, the show stars Ariany as the Shoshana character and YouTube star Kylie Sparks as Hanna, the main character.
“I’m a huge fan of the show ‘Girls’ and really wanted to spoof it with all of my experiences living the post-college life in Los Angeles,” says Ariany. “‘LA Girls’ is both a parody and a spin-off.” While some of the storylines will be immediately recognizable to “Girls” fans, she says the show is also friendly to unfamiliar viewers since it “goes on its own distinct direction, especially after the first episode.”
Make no mistake, this series is very much Ariany’s own. After graduating from Cal State Northridge with a major in Cinema, Television, and Arts, she studied comedy at UCBLA and The Groundlings. “I wanted to do something that put both things to use,” she says. So she wrote original drafts, got notes from Blessing, and reworked the series until the duo were ready to start filming.
Kylie Sparks, who holds a producer credit on “LA Girls,” says she met Ariany while the two worked together on “Squaresville.” “It was during what we in ‘Squaresville’-land call the ‘Season Zero’ episodes — the very, very beginning before we even had a structured show. I knew right away this girl was hilarious.” The sentiment goes both ways, as Ariany effused, “She’s absolutely hilarious and one of the most talented actresses I’ve ever had the pleasure and honor to work with.”
That friendship and mutual respect was definitely a major part of the joy of working together again, both women say, but Sparks also pointed out that each party brought something different to the table: “Tiff went to film school and I’ve been around the biz since I was a kid, so between our web knowledge we learned with ‘Squaresville,’ Tiffany’s creativity, and my business/PR experience, it was a no-brainer to take our acting-slash-hangout friendship to a producing-partner friendship… with Chipotle.”
But say the words “no-brainer” around the VideoInk offices, and our, uh, brains, go right to the recent successful Kickstarter campaign for “The Walking Tedd,” a web series that parodies AMC’s “The Walking Dead.” Sparks, who is set to star in the parody, gushed, “I am super-stoked for ‘The Walking Tedd” getting funded, and we’ll be doing eight episodes sometime in September,” musing that Olivia, who she plays, “is a character to say the least — completely different than Esther, Hanna, and every other gal I’ve been able to play with over the past several years. The ensemble is great and it’ll be a fun and very physical shoot, so I am really jazzed.”
“LA Girls” was funded entirely by Ariany and Blessing, who serve as the show’s executive producers. New episodes will be released each Wednesday on the show’s YouTube channel.
As for the show’s future beyond the first, five-episode season, Ariany said, “It’s just a matter of seeing how these first five episodes are received in order for us to see which direction to take.” Sparks agreed: “I’d love to do a second season, but the three of us decided that if we get to do another five episodes, we want to do it the way we envision it so we can go one step further.”