By Emily Morita
Flat 3 follows the adventures of three Kiwi-Chinese females from New Zealand, trying to find their place in this world. Called his “favorite new comedy” by Angry Asian Man, this web series – which can be found on YouTube – follows the adventures of Lee, Jessica, and Perlina as they traverse through the typical adventures found in a romantic comedy: work, life, romance, and awkward situations. In fact, their tag line is “Sometimes smart, often silly, a little rude and a lot awkward.”
Flat 3 was screened at the NY’s Friars Film Festival, and since then has slowly amassed a regular following.
Flat 3‘s six episodes from Season 1 are all up, and Season 2 recently premiered on October 25th. With a great mix of regularly posted episodal and behind-the-scenes videos, Flat 3 is filling a surprisingly large void on YouTube: that of the episodal comedy. There are several vloggers, ranters, and comedy sketches, but rarely does one come across an installment series (with the exception of the Lizzie Bennet Diaries, which are in an adorable class all their own) that’s fictional and well-written.
Maybe that’s what makes these girls stand out. While not 100% comedic in nature, Flat 3 has gone the route of most female-heavy comedies like Bridesmaids and New Girl: that of the awkward situation accompanied by raunchy costars. The formula is pretty simple: put your characters, typically female, into an awkward situation and see how it plays out.
The three protagonists are atypical: Jessica, the pretty, oblivious one; Lee, the nerdy, introverted one; and Perlina, the awkward, slightly OCD one. The girls take their turns as protagonists of each episode – a trope not typically seen on video. It’s an interesting characteristic that allows the audience to see the previous episode’s affects from another point-of-view, but also pulls away from the narrative. As there were only two episodes from each girls’ point of view in the first season, it’s easy to forget the plot arc of each character.
Jessica, Lee, and Perlina are, above all else, roommates. They’re friends, yes, but if it weren’t for the close proximity of sharing a flat, these three vastly different girls might not be as close as they end up being in the show. The flatmate situation starts like this: Lee wants badly to move out of the home she shares with her mother – and Jessica and Perlina are conducting roommate interviews when Lee shows up. What follows are the three girls’ relationships with their other friends, coworkers, and significant others – not necessarily the roommates’ relationship with each other. This is an interesting twist that allows for strong character development. It’s surprising, since shows like this usually have all three protagonist best friends against the world, with very few recurring characters.
Overall, what Flat 3 has is sincerity and heart, and that plays out in every scene. Sure, there few raunchy jokes, and it’s a mess – but it’s a hot mess. There’s something about Flat 3 that sucks you in. And at 5-7 minutes an episode, it’s the perfect mini break. Keep in mind that it will start out rough, but it gets better with each episode.
Check out the official Flat 3 website here. And watch the first episode below: