Little Horribles, a web series created and produced by Amy York Rubin, is about a thirty-something queer woman navigating life and love in Los Angeles. The series, which has been called “the lesbian answer to Girls” by the Huffington Post, travels to that raw and awkward place that only a web-series can reach. In the seven episodes that have been released so far, we have seen the main character, Amy, at work, on a first date, and negotiating a morning-after break up with a surprisingly emotional sex partner. Each episode, whether it is exploring vehicular masturbation, farting, binge eating, Facebook stalking or IM etiquette is, at once, uncomfortably familiar and curiously distinct. Rubin, founder of Barnacle Studios (a crowdsourced based production and distribution start up in Los Angeles) previously produced commercials, comedy and social change campaigns. Yet, when I had the opportunity to chat with Rubin about the impetus for this new venture, she admitted that working with clients was sometimes frustrating, as she had to be creative within prescribed boundaries. “I just really, you know, wanted to do something with my own voice,” Rubin said, “and really figure out the best format for my voice. So that was a big motivation. I just felt like, to be happy, I needed to get this out of me.” It all started with the first episode about a post-coital experience, which was, in Rubin’s words “a real true to life experience:” “I remember that sort of happening and being so upset about it. And I never cry or get upset. And I was really upset about that. And I was recounting that story for my mom and my sister and they were both like, hysterically laughing,” Rubin said. “They thought it was so funny. And I was getting mad that they thought it was so funny. I was really upset! So, I don’t know, it just made me realize that that experience must be universal, more universal than I thought. And it was funnier that I thought. And I just really like that intersection of how painful it was for me and how funny it was to them. So I went out and filmed it and it was so fun. I thought: I have to do a million of these.”
The hilarious series is gaining popularity quickly with new fans discovering the show with the help of celebrity followers. In August, Sarah Silverman tweeted the link to the first episode, announcing it as her “new fave web series.” Kali Hawk (who played Kerry Washington’s lesbian sister in Peeples) is guest-starring in episode nine along with Sue Galloway (30 Rock) and posted behind-the-scenes photos on Instagram. And let’s not forget about the talented and prolific Issa Rae, a long-time friend and executive producer on the show. Yet, even with all the star power supporting the show, it is the character of Amy–awkward, honest and relatable–that has viewers hooked. We can’t help but be enthralled by the mess Amy creates as she navigates the gray areas of identity and relationships. “Gray areas are more interesting. More true to life,” Rubin explains. She goes on to say that although she is a fan of the show Girls and is flattered by the comparison of her show to Lena Dunham’s work, she feels that in terms of the structure of the show and style of humor, it is actually more akin to Louie or Curb Your Enthusiasm. When I asked Rubin about her vision for the web series she did confess that she wouldn’t mind seeing Little Horribles produced and distributed as a short-format television show in the future. “I’ve written a pilot, to be honest,” she said. “I would really like to expand the world a little bit. But I don’t think those two are mutually exclusive anymore. What I think is really cool and what I’m really interested in is making stuff that can be watched and consumed across all the screens. I think they both have potential. I think it can be TV and web.” In the meantime, fans can look forward to Kali Hawk’s special appearance in episode nine of the web series where she plays a character that might complicate and distract Amy from the unhealthy relationship dragging out with “Emily” from episodes one and seven. Watch Little Horribles right here on AfterEllen.com.