ITV’s KoldCast has won the HollyWeb Festival Award for best screenwriting for Those With Class. The comedy is about 2 guys and 2 girls in their twenties as they discuss the kind of topics twenty year olds discuss. It’s a bit beyond “coming of age’ but that would be the best way to describe the genre. Those With Class is set in Los Angles, US.
If there were ever an age group in need of some well-wrought comedic support, it’s twenty-three year-olds. Not quite having emerged from their chrysalis of beer cans and unwashed sheets, these little charmers are truly a misunderstood demographic. But the creators of Those With Class – Mac Brown, Kate Lynn Abigail, and Ian Rice – are able to present them with as much sympathy as hard-edged wit. They’re keen to show us that the road from college to adulthood is fraught with danger, temptation, and cheap hundred-proof booze.
The show, which just won the HollyWeb Festival award for best screenwriting, follows a foursome of roommates as they struggle to find a sense of purpose between drinking binges. There’s Josh, the consummate bro, whose affinity for partying is matched only by his aversion to buttoning his collar. There’s Taylor, the oblivious bombshell with substantially more hair than brains. There’s the clever and boyish Mic, who attempts to pass for the show’s straight man in more than one respect. And there’s the relatively maternal Bridget, whose misfortune it is to experience strange feelings like responsibility and empathy.
Despite their quirkily differentiated attributes, the group feels less like a bunch of odd couples and more like a single-minded crew of pirates, eager to embark upon their next rowdy adventure. The show is set in Los Angeles, but it could take place in any number of hip urban neighborhoods: Williamsburg, Silverlake, the Lower East Side, the Mission, East Austin. While Those With Class takes more pleasure in its foolhardiness than its fashion-sense, there is something undeniably cool about its disregard for good behavior. It’s more than petty waywardness, more than vanity or a carefree sensibility. It may in fact be nothing less than that old-fashioned American sense of rebellion, the same spirit that launched Upright Citizens Brigade and Saturday Night Live.
Those With Class’ Kate Lynn Abigail’s Taylor with some new friends.
Those With Class invites more modern comparisons as well, the most immediate being It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, which has a similarly anarchic tone and utilizes the same choppy shooting style. There’s also a certain existential posture to many of the punch lines, calling to mind Adult Swim and other alternative comedy.
One such moment comes when the impressionable Mic, played by Mac Brown, experiences a euphoric drug trip, only to find out the next day that he didn’t actually take any drugs. He then flashes back to the neon elation of the night before, discovering, in retrospect, that his memories aren’t quite so artistically lit.
This unrepentant edginess lends Those With Class real vitality. At a time when the big dogs of traditional media are taking large strides towards the institutional consolidation of the Internet, and when writers and producers of the old guard are stepping into the forms and forums of the vanguard, it’s the low-budget, short-form, do-it-yourself ITV series that retains authentic, unpolished relevance.
Always Sunny in Philadelphia set the bar for intelligently crass comedy on traditional TV.
Which isn’t to suggest Those With Class isn’t well executed. The title sequence is just one example of the quiet directorial skill that runs throughout the series, softening the sass of the writing. It opens on a group of prematurely mature twenty-somethings sharing a toast with fine stemware. Then, it whip zooms across a pool to reveal the true heroes and heroines of the show, who, it goes without saying, appear slightly less put-together. The contrast is worth a solid laugh every time.
ITV’s Kold Cast has hit the jackpot with their award-winning comedy. “Those with Class.” Are you a fan? The show appeals most to young adults and older adults who still wish they were young. Tell us what you think about it here.