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Second story: Gentrification comedy series returns for new season

Culture clash: Rappers face off with medieval cosplayers for control of a public park in the second season of “Brooklynification,” a comedy series about gentrification in the borough, returning on May 7.
for Brooklyn Paper
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This show is on the house.

A comedy series about the hustle for housing in the rapidly-gentrifying borough of Kings will launch its second season of 10-minute episodes next week. “Brooklynif­ication,” launching on May 7 and produced by Bric TV, offers a funny take on what can be a serious topic, said the show’s director.

“We don’t want to make Brooklyn precious; we just want to present it as real,” said Keith Miller. ”

The first season of the scripted comedy followed characters on a brownstone block, including a black couple trying to sell their house, their neighbors, the broker, their friends, and various house hunters. Season Two weaves the characters together and expands on their stories. Much of the humor comes from the collision of different cultures, such as when a senior citizen moves in with a group of socially-conscious youth, or when a black couple deals with their son’s idealistic white teacher. Almost all the episodes are based on real-life incidents, said the show’s writer and co-creator.

“The parent-teacher conference happened to me and my wife,” said Chris Poindexter. “I went to a predominately black public school, and my kids attend a predominately white private school. I’m fighting to give my kids the same cultural experience I had, and it’s a challenge. Some things you have to fight for, and some you have to just let go.”

The focus on race and gentrification can push viewers into an awkward place, he said.

“We want to make people laugh — and also to feel slightly uncomforta­ble,” said Poindexter.

The new season also features a character who just got out of jail and returns to a Brooklyn he does not recognize — an idea conceived long before Tracy Morgan played a similar character on the TBS sitcom “The Last O.G.” The similarities show that the local series is ahead of the curve, said Poindexter.

“It shows me that we’re on the right track and tapping into the front end of something people are looking for,” he said.

That character reappears in another upcoming episode, as part of an impromptu group of rap battlers challenging medieval cosplayers over park space — an episode that exemplifies the way that different groups manage to get along.

“Shooting that episode was interesting because I was expecting more tension and conflict between the different groups, but they actually got along very well,” said Poindexter. “I thought [the rappers] would have to be more menacing, but what naturally occurred was they found a way to coexist in a way that was not necessarily in the script.”

“Brooklynif­ication” airs weekly on Mondays starting May 7 at 9 pm on Time Warner Cable 756, Cablevision 70, and Verizon 46. www.bricartsmedia.org/brooklynification. Free.

Updated 5:58 pm, May 7, 2018
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