A promising new series shines a light on a popular Brooklyn neighbourhood
To many, Flatbush is a section of Brooklyn that the Dodgers deserted for Los Angeles in 1957. But a new series endeavours to cast it in a much different, more favourable light.
In Flatbush Misdemeanors, a half-hour comedy premiering Sunday, we are introduced to two new residents of the neighbourhood, Dan and Kevin (standup comics and co-creators Dan Perlman and Kevin Iso, playing fictionalized versions of themselves), who are struggling to thrive in these raw surroundings as they try to climb out of their own heads and connect with the outside world.
CraveAnd it’s a varied and diverse cast of characters with whom the pair must interact in this yet-to-be-gentrified area of the city that people from all walks of life call home. Fellow standups Maria Bamford, Yamaneika Saunders, Roy Wood, Jr. and Kareem Green—all good friends of Perlman and Iso—are among those who guest star as fellow Flatbushers.
The show is based on a series of digital shorts that Iso and Perlman produced on a shoestring budget with the intention of giving the neighbourhood where they live some positive notoriety.
“A lot of the cast and crew are [from Brooklyn],” Perlman explains, “so I think hopefully what [viewers] see is that it’s a very beautiful, not gentrified community with a lot of Caribbean people and a lot of just different types of people from all walks of life. And I hope people watch it and see how beautiful the neighbourhood is but still don’t move there because don’t raise the rent to price people out. I hope they see it and love it from afar.”
While it is a comedy, the series will take on issues relevant to life in Flatbush and city life in general. In one early episode, gentrification comes into the crosshairs as Kevin and Dan see an elderly neighbour evicted from his apartment after decades there, an idea that Perlman and Iso got from the 1968 documentary Mingus: Charlie Mingus 1968 about the legendary jazz bassist. “[That film] follows Charles Mingus for a day on the day he gets evicted,” Perlman explains. “So, we have this old jazz musician neighbour who’s getting evicted and we were trying to prevent his eviction. Anyway, we’re just trying to address that stuff in a very natural way and in a way within our characters without sort of preaching or whatever, and having it feel [relevant] within a comedy. And that’s fun to try to find ways to do that.”
Flatbush Misdemeanors airs Sundays at 9:30 p.m. on Crave1