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Femme TV: Sketch comedy tunes into a feminist network - Brooklyn Paper

Femme TV: Sketch comedy tunes into a feminist network

Lights, camera, action: The cast of a new sketch comedy show “HPV: Her Point of View Network” rehearse for their opening night on May 5.
Photo by Caleb Caldwell

The laughter is infectious!

A new sketch comedy show will offer a rapid-fire look at the lineup of a fictional feminist television network — named after the sexually transmitted disease that all young adults seem to have. “HPV: Her Point of View Network” launching at Williamsburg’s Brick Theater on May 5, provides a female-focused spoof of the garbage that is really playing on our television sets, said the show’s director.

“We’re looking at how our culture is changing, and what voices are represented — specifically within comedy,” said Amanda Xeller, who lives in Greenpoint.

The hour-long show will give viewers short glimpses of the network’s hit shows — including a feminist spin on “The Bachelor” in which the ladies kick the man to the curb and become friends, rather than competing for him.

“We’re using those cliches and tropes, using that show format, for girls to connect and hang out and reject the guy,” she said.

The show will also offer a behind-the-scenes look at the network’s control room, as the producers deal with crises on and off the camera, said Xeller, who took inspiration from the show “30 Rock.”

“We’re treating the whole show as if it’s one night of programing,” said Xeller. “And also [showing] the backstage, trying to fix whatever issues arise, trying to come up with a solution, and then seeing whatever is happening to the network professionally and how it affects people personally.”

In one sketch, a famous talk show host makes insensitive comments about a natural disaster in the Midwest, said Xeller, and the executives must scramble to do damage control.

“Our big star insults the catastrophe and puts down all these people,” she said. “The network is in a lot of trouble.”

And in another backstage look, the producers are forced by HPV’s parent company “MBC: Male Based Content” to invite a straight white dude on the show to counter all the voices of women and people of color, said Xeller.

“We’re getting a demand that HPV is showcasing all of these types of people, where is the straight while male voice within whole thing?” she said. “We have to have the perspective of one white male.”

The show is currently booked for one night at Brick, but if it is successful, Xeller hopes to return to the network each month.

“HPV: Her Point of View Network” at the Brick Theater (579 Metropolitan Ave. between Union Avenue and Lorimer Street in Williamsburg, www.bricktheater.com). May 5 at 11 pm. $5.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.

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