Leave it to the entrepreneurial spirit to find solutions to human shortcomings. In Rachel Kay Barclay’s comedy series, Human Telegraphs, Margot, Trisha, and Lily (Kayla Conroy, Fern Lim, and Rachel Kay Barclay) are desperate to find an NYC apartment and the extra income to pay for it. So the trio created Human Telegraphs, a service that delivers messages to friends and loved ones for clients who want someone else to give bad news to folks instead of taking personal responsibility for the potential repercussions.
Each of the eight episodes is often bookended with silly message deliveries. The humor comes in the fact that when one of the three arrives with a message, they start reciting it to the recipient without introduction or context. Messages often involve break-ups (personal and professional), criticisms of a neighbor or co-workers bad habits, or as in the pilot, the delivery of bad news, in this case, a cancer diagnosis, to the wrong person.
“…a service that delivers messages to friends and loved ones for clients who want someone else to give bad news…”
Really though, Human Telegraphs is about three friends trying to make it in the world together. Margot is an aspiring actress whose mother wants her to find a more stable career. Trisha is focused on building this new business venture, and Lily is trying to get her stage play, Vaginal Discharge, produced. Together, the three hope to make Human Telegraphs a successful business and find a new home in the cutthroat world of New York Real Estate.
This is a very light comedy where failure is rarely a matter of life or death, but more in the realm of eviction or going home as failures. First, Trisha looks for love in a self-absorbed health nut who changed his name to Kale. Next, Margot delivers a message to a stand-up comedian before his set and has to take over when he storms off. Finally, Lily has to deal with the addition of a penis to her play about vaginas.
My only real criticism of Human Telegraphs is that I like my comedy much deeper by drawing out humor from deep within the human psyche versus wacky situations and a series of one-liners. But, of course, in comedy, it’s all a matter of preference. That said, this low-budget indie comedy is all about having fun. Conroy, Lim, and Barclay have great chemistry. As friends, they created and produced a solidly structured sitcom series meant for you to simply sit back and enjoy.
Human Telegraphs screened at the 2021 Big Apple Film Festival.
"…this low-budget indie comedy is all about having fun."