There’s nothing different or clever about the premise of Flip and Glib, a sparkling new webseries.
The universal theme of opposites attract is tried and true and has been played for laughs, tears and every emotion in-between. What separates this veteran playwright Richard Martin Hirsch‘s effort from the pack is the writing, which delivers smart dialog delivered by veteran actors who possess superb timing and great chemistry.
Officially titled Flip and Glib and the Theory of Everything, the show centers on the relationship between a somewhat askew starry eyed Midwesterner, Glib (Annie Abrams), and acerbic, recently divorced Flip (Stephanie Erb). After a chance meeting, Flip takes Glib under her wing and into her house. The pair became friends, sisters, and even mother and daughter as the first handful of episodes evolve. Both Erb and Abrams bring a wealth of stage experience to the show, which dovetails with Hirsch’s success in the Los Angeles theater scene.
Much like other talented artists who are attracted by the siren song of creating a webseries, Hirsch brings a strong writing background to the medium, but he knew he was moving into a totally new creative area that would require a steep learning curve.
“I found that many webseries featured shallow writing,” Hirsch told the Daily Dot. “I come from a place that features strong writing. It was my goal to go a little deeper and be more substantive.” In addition, Hirsch said his experience writing about strong female characters was something rarely found to date in Web-based video and would make his new show resonate with viewers.
To complement his accomplishment with dialog, Hirsch said he began taking classes in creating video and has even started developing his editing skills. By mastering editing, he said, it allowed him to better understand how to write for the Web, which requires a more compact form of verbal interaction.
Considered one of Los Angeles’s more prolific playwrights, Hirsch’s The Restoration of Sight, a play about a renown ophthamologist facing an emotional crisis, won the Stanley Drama Award in 2010. Among his others works are London’s Scars, The Concept of Remainders, and Memorizing Rome. He also is a member of the Ensemble Theater Company, which is where he met many of the of cast featured in Flip and Glib.
Hirsch’s decision to tackle the Web as a platform for his work was born out of the need to break out of his routine. He was familiar with the power of the Web as a communications tool, having used it to enter his plays in a number of competitions. Working with his long-time collaborator, director Mark L. Taylor, the pair put the show together more than a year ago, but life got in the way of its premiere.
The original pilot featured a different actress in the role of Glib, but her pregnancy threw a monkey wrench into the shooting schedule and distribution plans. Scheduling conflicts and health issues followed, so that pilot was never released. A reboot led to a 2014 filming of six episodes that are released every two weeks. Hirsch said he plans to also shoot some extras to add to the mix of content that supports Flip and Glib’s narrative.
Despite a wealth of experience in the commercial side of theatrical productions, Hirsch said it’s difficult to plan the future of his new show. “There’s what I’d like to happen, and then there’s reality,” he said. The two best routes to sustainability for the webseries would be either to find a sponsor to underwrite the costs (to date, the show is self-funded) or attract a distributor such as Netflix or Hulu, Hirsch added.
Hirsch is following the path of others wanting to conquer this new medium by submitting Flip and Glib to a number of webseries festivals where it is likely to gain the attention of key influencers. “Our goal is not so much to win awards,” he said. “It’s to gain exposure and allow us to go to the next level.”
Until the Netflixes of the world discover Flip and Glib, Hirsch is content to hone his work and master the art of the webseries much as he has the stage.
“Right now, our intent is to have fun, create and learn,” he said.
Screengrab via Coffeehouse Productions/YouTube