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Y2K Babes

By Josiah Teal | June 1, 2023

The first episode of Y2K Babes packs a considerable punch. Trying to break into entertainment is challenging work. It is even more difficult in an industry, such as television, that places importance on “vibes,” frowns at networking during a funeral, and constantly says, “Women just aren’t funny.” At least those are Jaden (Jaden Lebel) and Mashka’s (Mashka Wolfe ) hardships as they attempt to take Hollywood by storm.

Shifting from sketch to sketch at a breakneck pace, the comedy series features many fictional shows starring Wolfe and Lebel as they navigate the entertainment industry. With show names like Doctor BabeMudman, and Cancel Island (a show canceled by celebrities fighting for survival on a tropical island), it’s easy to see why the two friends find themselves down on their luck. Y2K Babes is super meta from the start and openly acknowledges how meta and subversive they are trying to be.

“…features many fictional shows starring Wolfe and Lebel as they navigate the entertainment industry.”

The 18-minute runtime of this episode is wall-to-wall sketches and rapid transitions without a traditional story. The writers even recognize and joke about the severe lack of “plot, narrative, or arc.” But like Mashka says in the show, “We do whatever the f**k we want,” and it mostly works. Though, I must admit it was shocking after the first jarring transition. Lebel and Wolfe have a ton of chemistry, and through that, the strange, off-beat comedy prevails through every weird scenario or reference to incest p*rn.

Despite the almost complete lack of narrative, the series is weird, raunchy, clever, and super fun. As with any anthology or episodic venture, some sketches work better than others, and a few transitions need to be more coherent. Sometimes, it feels like chaos for the sake of chaos. Still, Y2K Babes works well as a web series and, with more episodes or segments, could have a lot of creative choices (or some creative lack of narrative choices).

Many of the jokes land even after a rewatch, and the callbacks to previous bits show off its They Came Together brand of comedy in the best way. Though it seems unsure if future episodes or projects are on the horizon, more of Y2K Babes could give viewers a lot of laughs and a few cringes. In addition, it would be delightful to see the leads play off each other more.

Y2K Babes (2021)

Directed: Caroline Parker-Stark, Andy Riesmeyer

Written: Brain Gilmore, Jaden Lebel, Sara Pearce, Mashka Wolfe

Starring: Andy Riesmeyer, Jaden Lebel, Mashka Wolfe, etc.

Movie score: 7/10

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"…Lebel and Wolfe have a ton of chemistry..."

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