The web series is a difficult format to get right. Too short, and it can feel unsatisfying to viewers used to binging longer-form television; too long, and it can seem like there just wasn’t quite enough there to make a full-on TV show. The new Canadian series Avocado Toast the series, available on OUTtvGo in Canada and coming soon to Amazon Prime worldwide, manages to almost find a sweet spot: creators/writers/stars Perrie Voss and Heidi Lynch have mastered short-form episodic storytelling, but the “season” overall feels somewhat unsatisfying. In other words, I want more!
The show is about two millennial friends, Molly (Lynch) and Ellie (Voss), who move back in together after Molly’s stint teaching abroad ends in heartbreak. For the first time, Molly has found herself in love with a woman, so she’s ever so slightly spiralling as she’s trying to figure out what that means for her identity. Ellie is the more carefree weirdo of the duo, on the other hand, sleeping with a string of clients to help her mom’s business, where she works. As both girls reevaluate their own lives, they come to find out their parents have sexual secrets too; Ellie’s mom is leaving her father for a much younger man, whereas Molly learns that her parents have an open marriage and are, in fact, swingers.
The two leads have a brilliant chemistry that immediately makes us care about both characters individually and as a duo. They clearly love one another, even if they’re somewhat at odds; Ellie’s upset because Molly barely reached out to her the whole time she was abroad, but she’s willing to put that aside to help her friend get settled again. Their banter is quick and witty, likely helped by the fact that both actresses are also writers, and it’s easy to pick up on the rhythm of the show right away despite the fact that the first episode is only about twelve minutes long.
The cast around them are compelling, too, including Faye Marsay (Game of Thrones) and a particularly great turn by Kristian Bruun (Orphan Black) as the sarcastic bartender of Molly and Ellie’s favorite watering hole. The rapport between everyone is great; whereas quippy web series can sometimes feel try-hard, you completely believe that this is a group of witty, funny people who exist in each other’s orbits and enjoy each other’s company, even as they’re gently ribbing one another.
My biggest complaint is that the season feels too short and some of the conflicts remain unresolved at the end. It’s easy to be cynical and write off a cliffhanger like this as a play for a second season, but it does sort of work as a narrative choice, a fitting end to a show about not-exactly-young-anymore people realizing that they still have a lot of growing up to do. At a little over two hours total, I fully recommend giving the show a shot. It’s an easy binge, and no matter whether you like where the story ends up, you won’t regret having spent time with these characters in the hands of writers this capable.
By Eric Langberg
Read more about the series and the various streaming and VOD options for your region at the official website.
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