Alisha B Woods as Sam, Lauren Augarten as Aviva and Kelly Sebastian as Emily in web series Same Same. Image credit: Gabby Kirschberg
Same Same is your new lesbian web series and it's out now.
Talented Aussies Lauren Augarten, Stephanie Begg and Josh Mawer all found themselves working in New York and wanting to tell stories that reflect the real-life experiences of the LGBTQ community.
The result is Same Same: the story of Emily, Aviva & Sam, three very different Brooklyn girls who meet on the social networking app Same Same. The very relatable Aviva, played by Augarten, has just come out and doesn’t really know what she’s doing, Sam’s big mouth is complicating her dating life and Emily may need to move to Manhattan because she's slept with just about everyone in Brooklyn.
When I spoke to show creator, writer, director and producer Lauren Augarten in 2015 for lotl.com, she was working 60 hr weeks crewing on a TV show and spending her nights and weekends focussed on her passion project, which at the time was called Scissr.
She was critical of the lack of diversity on TV and was excited to tell stories “about attraction and fear, about family and religion, and of course about sexuality, sexual preferences, and what that means for the girls.”
She mined her own life and the lives of her friends for storylines that honestly reflect the LGBTQ community that Lauren was newly navigating and, for added authenticity, bought in people who were more experienced in that world.
Together with editor and producer Mawer and writer, director, producer and actor Begg, Augarten made sure the cast were all members of the LGBTQ community and pulled together a talented bunch of LGBTQ and straight crew.
The result is an instantly relatable web series with characters and situations that will make you laugh. Parts of the series are semi-improvised and some scenes work better than others, with episode three being my personal favourite because Aviva is so hilariously out of her depth. In later episodes, the scenes with Aviva's Jewish parents are an absolute delight to watch.
“Josh Lewis, who plays Aviva's Dad, was actually my improv teacher in acting school,” Augarten told me from LA, where she now lives.
“He and Maggie Reed, who plays Aviva's mum, just bounced off each other wonderfully. It was such a coup that they both agreed to be in the series, and it felt like a very real and funny overbearing family dynamic to be in.”
There has been a lot of buzz around this series on the festival circuit and this year it was chosen for the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival Creators Market. The pilot episode Scissr has had 261,436 views since it was released on YouTube in 2014 and it’s this success which led to the crowdfunding campaign that made this 12 episode season a reality.
“There's still work to do to make sure we can reach the audience we intended Same Same for. But I'm loving that it's finally out in the world, and the responses we're getting are so fun and meaningful,” said Augarten.
“There are a lot of people that have been waiting an age since the pilot was released to see the rest of the season, and it feels amazing to finally be able to give it to them.”
So head to the Same Same website to watch the series, tell your friends about it and share it on your socials. This is a total labour of love for Lauren and I’m so happy for her that it’s finally a reality!