555 drops you in the middle of a stark, humid, surreal version of Hollywood. Your guides? A motley cast of characters played entirely by comedians Kate Berlant and John Early. Director Andrew DeYoung rounds out the trio of creators who put their minds together to birth this hilariously cutting new miniseries (and freshest Vimeo Original). In five short films, they show us the struggle of trying to achieve big Tinseltown dreams, in a town built on power.

It feels like a big treat to have these twisted comedy brains all in one place because they’re each having individual creative successes right now. We’re longtime fans of Andy, who has three Staff Picks under his belt and great shorts on Vimeo. And if you haven’t heard of Kate Berlant and John Early, you’ve been living under a dark, dark, humorless rock. Both are rising comedic actors and wrote their own half-hour specials for Netflix Presents: The Characters. Kate co-wrote the fantastic “Shopping,” and has many solo pursuits (take a minute to appreciate). And John recently starred in the TBS show Search Party, and continues to delight the internet with his characters.

Each individual narrative of 555 comedically explores the overarching question: “What happens when your dreams don't answer your call?’ Watching the films, it’s easy to see that the creators are drawing from experience to build these characters. They have grappled with their cosmic Hollywood dreams and sometimes lost. So it only made sense to ask them to describe those un-dreamiest memories.

Five Times Our Hollywood Dreams Did Not Return Our Calls
By Kate Berlant, Andrew DeYoung, and John Early

  1. When I was dropped from a teen management company after bombing a That’s So Raven audition. (Kate Berlant)
  2. When there wasn’t enough interest at my high school to mount The Laramie Project so four other girls and I did the whole play, each person playing multiple roles. (Kate Berlant)
  3. When I was in my early 20s but had an agent who only represented children and always had an open bottle of salad dressing on her desk. (John Early)
  4. When I had one line on 30 Rock but the TV-14 logo was positioned squarely over my face when it aired. (John Early)
  5. When I had my first commercial audition. It was for Captain Morgan and they asked me to do crunches with my shirt off. I told them I didn’t prepare for that and they asked me to leave. I had a gorgeous ticket waiting for me on my car. It was my last audition. (Andrew DeYoung)

Buy the biting and beautifully funny new series 555, now on Vimeo.