John Doyle: Online and on TV, April is the coolest month

My Roommate’s an Escort (on YouTube) launched on Monday. It is one of those rather brave entrepreneurial productions that the Web allows to flourish, and, in turn, the series allows some talent to get down and dirty. Created by and starring Katie Uhlmann and Trish Rainone, it is a droll, daft little comedy about what the title suggests – the suspicion that a new roommate is working as an escort. But is she?

Rainone plays Heather, who advertises for a new roommate and along comes Kesha (Uhlmann) who announces she is an entrepreneur. When Heather asks if she’s, you know, a clean or a messy person, Kesha is all, “Oh, I’m really clean. I go to the walk-in clinic like twice a week.” Heather, being naive and from “The Soo,” which Kesha thinks is “the zoo,” lets a lot of things slide in this conversation. Even Kesha’s insistence that her room has its own back door does not seem to faze her. Kesha is, after all, in “the box business.”

It’s all wry and a bit bonkers. Both Heather and Kesha are teasing send-ups of very specific urban types. What is endearing and quite funny is the sort-of Greek chorus of guys at a tattoo joint Heather visits. (Not to get tattoos, but to chat with a nice guy there.) It’s the guys who are maternal, longing to settle down and have kids, not the women. The show is highly polished for a low-budget production, and it gives both Uhlmann and Rainone solid work. Both are young actor/writers who have mainly appeared in low-budget horror movies in which their talents are wasted. Uhlmann is also known for the hundreds of online interviews she has done on her series Katie Chats.

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