Creative types constantly compare their success against their age and fight to stay relevant. Livin’ the Dream conveys this struggle through Kit Scanlon, an eccentric and once-promising filmmaker who is trying to get her dream film off the ground.
Many movies and shorts about film making fall into the trap of being too self-referential and on the nose to be accessible to those outside the industry. Livin’ the Dream side steps this by weaving in other aspects of Kit’s life like her tenuously tight group of film buddies, her hippy-dippy, child-rearing younger sister, and her fling with a handsome and more successful film maker.
The series is quickly paced (5~ minutes per episode), showing the audience the repeated rises and falls (mostly falls) of Kit’s film project “Blood Into Tears”, based on her own award winning screenplay. The seriousness of her plight is leveled out by the series’ dry and occasionally odd-ball sense of humor. This is best exemplified by Kit’s SAV (self-actualizing voodoo) doll, a gift given to her by her sister that she uses to talk out her problems and envision her success. As Kit stumbles through professional and personal missteps, the doll finds itself in similarly compromised positions.
Main actress Laura Campbell brings a real sense of familiarity to Kit. When Kit’s perfectionism morphs into procrastination, I get it. The fear of failure looms over her head as she tries to make her dream a reality. We get to see it manifest in bad audition sessions and rough patches with her friends and producer. Despite the fact that Kit gets in her own way more than anyone or anything else, I still find myself rooting for her.
The chemistry among the cast is palpable, though some of Kit’s friends can feel extraneous at times. The humor usually hits the mark with a few exceptions. The greatest risk of using dry humor is the silence that follows and the reliance on reaction shots. If an awkward silence goes on for too long, it turns into dead air. Luckily, this only happens a few times, and those instances are sandwiched between funnier sections of dialogue.
Only 8 episodes are available right now, with a Season 2 lined up for the future (Season 1 ends on a cliff hanger). You’ll get more mileage out of this series if you’re in the film industry yourself, but anyone who has ever worried about getting old without making a difference will enjoy this series. Livin’ the Dream is a fun, breezy series that puts a fresh spin on a familiar subject.