One of the most embarrassing (and best) things a woman can do is open up the journals and diaries she kept when she was a tween, and remember the kids in school you were crushing on, who your BFFs really were, and what you considered to be just THE WORST, like when your mom wouldn’t let you have a sleepover. For creative types, this process also means finding a stash of poems, short stories, and all other kinds of cringe-worthy work your 12-year-old self worked on. That’s exactly what former Parenthood actress Sarah Ramos did when she found a rom-com she wrote when she was 12 years old.
But instead of just laughing at herself for really understanding how the world really works, she turned it into “City Girl,” a web series you *must* watch. She stars as the lead, along with some other famous faces you know like Nick Thorburn, Alia Shawkat, and Esther Povitsky.
Ramos found the script in her closet a few years back while she was looking for a another screenplay she remembered writing (she couldn’t find that one). She immediately knew that was wanted to actually make it, and after filming some episodes with actor friends, finally got it made.
Ramos decided to set the series in 2003, when she wrote it. Which means it looks like it was shot at a suburban mall — everything is pink and has feathers. Ramos and her costume designer bought things at Target and Claire’s and vintage stores (they even tracked down some JNCO jeans for the “bad” boy co-worker), using Reese Witherspooon, the Olsen twins VHS collection, and Lizzie Maguire as a source of inspiration. Ramos told The Hairpin:
“I definitely wrote the part of Casey Jones for Reese Witherspoon.”
Here’s the gist of the whole thing: Casey is the lead character who inexplicably runs a store, gets really bad migraines, and starts dating her doctor. There are already six parts of the series on YouTube and while it’s so bad, it’s good, it’s also just so, so bad at times. Which is part of what makes it worth watching.
Like Casey’s very white-girl, impassioned defense of rap music or other tropes Ramos says she must have “internalized from the ether.” Like, “that women eat salads, that people are insecure about how old they are, and the homophobic idea that gay people are flamboyant givers of makeovers who wreak havoc on doctors’ offices.”
There are also logistical issues that could have only come from a 12-year-old’s daydream.
There are 50 more pages left of “City Girl,” so watch out for more episodes, which, Ramos says, “plays a lot on drag and sexuality.” Oh man, this is going to get weird.