Comedy Series SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE Releases New Season on Amazon
The second season of the popular short form comedy series Successful People will be released in full exclusively via Amazon on September 17.
Revolving around two unsuccessful songwriters in a world of people who have already made it, the series was created by its stars Artie O'Daly and Theresa Ryan, better known as the YouTube musical duo Skip & Terri.
Season two guest stars include Alec Mapa (Baby Daddy, Ugly Betty, Half & Half), Jeff Meacham (Black-ish, The Thundermans), Brooks Forester (The Bachelorette), Malcolm Foster Smith (The Middle, Modern Family), and Lisa Linke (Teachers, Dog Moms).
Watch the trailer below!
Successful People centers around a songwriting duo - he's naïve, gay, and has failed to launch; she's a new mom trying to hold on to her dreams - and the lengths they go to to find success before the clock runs out. Throughout each season, they encounter a series of "successful people" who, more often than not, lead them astray.
Using YouTube and the festival route to develop an audience for the first season of Successful People, O'Daly and Ryan have opted to distribute solely through Amazon for the eight-episode new season, which will feature high-profile guest stars, musical numbers, and themes tailored to gay audiences, new mothers, and artists alike.
"Our first season of the show was a learning experience," says O'Daly. "That is, we learned being independent showrunners is really, really hard. It's hard to raise the money. It's hard to coordinate the production. But the hardest part of all is trying to find an audience. Amazon makes that a whole lot easier."
With the first season, O'Daly & Ryan's first line of promotion was the most obvious: social media.
"You tell your friends about the show, and you tell them to tell their friends, and for them to tell their friends," says Ryan. "But it's like a game of telephone. Five people down the line, they're saying, 'Your friends created Difficult People?' and they're asking for a selfie with Billy Eichner. We needed something more targeted."
Along came Amazon.
Launching after Successful People's first season had already been rolled out, Amazon Video Direct became another opportunity for O'Daly & Ryan to get their show to the audiences they were looking for.
"A good friend of mine is in a short-form comedy series called The Next Steps, which found a huge audience on Amazon, much larger than the one it had already cultivated on YouTube," says O'Daly. "And just like any other person living in Los Angeles, envy is a huge part of my life. I looked at her and thought, 'I want that to be me.'"<
O'Daly distributed the first eight episodes of Successful People to Amazon in late 2016 and soon saw the show was finding its desired audience - and growing.
"It's like our characters in the show," says O'Daly. "One thing doesn't work out quite as you hoped, you try something else. In real life, that means Amazon. In the show, that means putting a decorated bag over your head and singing for a crowd of gay men."
The new season of Successful People sees the main characters finally getting an opportunity to live their songwriting dreams on the very same day Ryan's character, Laura, has her baby. The one-two punch throws off her focus and results in her choosing an unpredictable course, e.g. the aforementioned bag over her head.
"Laura has always been told she'd be successful and yet has never made it," says Ryan. "So now, even when she's close to her dream, she's going to go along with whatever anyone tells her to do because she's desperate to make sure she's a success. Whether or not that's a wise decision is what the season explores."
O'Daly's character Chet, on the other hand, had been spiraling into depression at the end of season one. At the start of this season, Chet receives life advice from a doctor (played by Black-ish's Jeff Meacham), which isn't the usual helpful sentiment on how to be happy.
"He tells me to become a slut," O'Daly says flatly. "His point is, if you don't use your emotions, you'll never get hurt. And that sounds really good to Chet about now. Plus it gave me a chance to play a scene where I hit on Alec Mapa and call him a slut, so of course I was gonna write that in."
Mapa and Meacham are just two of the more recognizable names the new season has in store. Fans of THE BACHELORETTE will recognize season 9's Brooks Forester in episode 2, and the season overall will feature more detailed storylines, longer episodes, and a full-length music video for an original track entitled "Hag (You Make Me Wish I Was a Gay Man)".
"If we wanna play with the big boys, we need to act like a big boy," says O'Daly. "Which I suppose is ironic since I'm playing a character who sleeps on a couch in a garage."
"He's a struggling artist!" Ryan adds. "It's who our show is for: Anyone who's ever struggled to achieve a dream. And now Amazon will help us get it to them."
"And thankfully," quips O'Daly, "they never ask for a selfie with Billy Eichner."
Successful People. Starring Theresa Ryan and Artie O'Daly. Produced by Theresa Ryan, Artie O'Daly. Directed by Ryan Lagod and Craig Tovey. Director of Photography is Craig Tovey. Editor is Artie O'Daly. Created by Artie O'Daly and Theresa Ryan. Season Two written by Artie O'Daly.
For more about the show, visit www.successfulpeopleseries.com, or follow Successful People on Twitter @SuccessfulShow, Facebook: facebook.com/successfulpeopleseries, and Instagram @SuccessfulPeopleSeries.