Easy to Assemble: Illeana Douglas’ Web Series

Illeana Douglas gives up the glamour of Hollywood to work at IKEA in this hilarious web series

Illeana Douglas and Justine Bateman hard at work

Illeana Douglas’ far-fetched comedy Easy to Assemble looks like it’s here to stay

When actress Illeana Douglas launched Easy to Assemble in 2008, it’s unlikely that anyone – including Douglas herself – expected it would still be thriving in 2012. After all, the premise seemed so utterly out there, with Douglas ostensibly giving up Hollywood in favour of a career as an IKEA employee.

Nonetheless, Easy to Assemble not only continues to bring the laughs but, amazingly enough, it does so with financial support from the company that it’s poking fun at.

Throughout the series, Douglas tries — and fails — to escape from the trappings of Hollywood, which isn’t easy when her famous friends perpetually show up at IKEA and stop by for a visit (including fellow actress Justine Bateman, who decides that the store is the perfect place to host her new talk show). In addition, Easy to Assemble also has fun parodying the uniquely Swedish mindset of IKEA, from the company’s oddly named products to its employee training videos.

Douglas has clearly enjoyed the opportunity to indulge her indie sensibilities on the web, which means that the proceedings tend to be more than a little bit eccentric at times, but the familiar faces make it easy to be drawn in. In addition to the aforementioned Ms. Bateman, others who’ve turned up during the course of the series’ run include such stars as Fred Willard, Jane Lynch, Cheri Oteri, Tim Meadows, Ricki Lake, Patricia Heaton and Ed Begley Jr.

“I’d love to get to a point where this becomes a series that starts to reference IKEA less and less but is bridged by an IKEA commercial in between,” Douglas told Advertising Age in 2010. “Eventually all entertainment will just be one big box, and all your entertainment will be taken off that box. But advertisers will still want to come to the best entertainment-providers, and I want us to be one of the best content-providers out there.”

Originally published in TVW. For daily programming updates and on-screen Entertainment news, subscribe to the free TVW e-newsletters, or purchase a subscription to the weekly magazine.