Margot & Marie is a short-form sketch web series with the eponymous Margot and Marie dealing with the everyday problems of the modern young women, like accidentally f—ing a totally too old 35-year-old, or wanting to �?blaze up a J’ and drink whisky while baby-sitting.
Both characters are �?besties’ in the young �?totes OMG!’ style where lives revolve around dating, and then discarding said dates for the smallest of infractions (like being �?super old’). They talk in a non-too subtle sex code, with conversations such as �?Ok, I will not �?S’ his �?D’, but should I �?F’ him?’ Setting themselves up for the special ridicule reserved for the vapidity of youth, Margot & Marie deals with super-fast sketches in which they are almost always the authors of their own misfortune.
The series is created by, written, and staring Margot Rubin and Marie Buck (and hosted on Rubin’s YouTube channel). Direction duties fall to Eric Lombart, who has done a fantastic job considering the show’s hasty run time. Each episode is professionally framed and shot to accentuate the comic performances to the maximum. Good performances too. Rubin and Buck ham it up as the bickering �?besties since 1997’; eye-rolling and scathing one minute, then completely without irony the next. They both display great comic timing and deliver each exasperated exclamation with vigour; perfect performers for sketch comedy; they deliver everything succinctly but with enviable flair.
So what’s the problem? Well, the show struggles with what the joke is actually supposed to be. With such compact space to work in there isn’t a second to waste, but the following decision needs to be made: is this a situational or character comedy? I’m not saying you can’t have both, but I am saying trying for both with a 1:30 minute average run time is a difficult task for anybody.
Without the room to properly expand the characterisation we are left with two cardboard cut-out stereotypes who have no real personality beyond an irksome self-centred attitude. Again, this would be absolutely fine if each episode’s situation was a gag-laden exercise in zingers. Instead Margot & Me mostly tries to rely purely on these characters filling up space under a thin theme per sketch, which, at first, provides nowhere near enough laughs.
Updating twice a month since August 2013, the early efforts are exercises in a lack of strong (albeit fabulously acted) material, as if the movie �?Clueless’ has been crammed into a tiny box with no context given. However, later sketches create better situations for the characters to get their teeth into, providing some really funny results. The last three episodes in particular have been gems. �?BS’ involves a conversation about how Marie wants to try, um, backdoor loving, but is afraid of the potential pain involved. After reeling off a list of apparent cons (and Margot countering with pros) she is questioned by Margot as to why she even asked in the first place. Marie’s response is to pout and reply, �?Sometimes I just feel left out’. With more directed conversations, Margot and Marie’s performances move beyond mere skilled irritations and arrive in a richer comedy vein to mine.
Come the episode �?Talking’ they have developed this to a tee. Margot tries to employ the help of Marie to get rid of her failing date. What then passes is a plethora of silent body language and facial tics through which they can understand each other’s meaning perfectly, much to the bemusement of the man in question. This approach of �?set-up and pay-off’ works much better within the short time frame than �?here are some characters, enjoy’.
It seems to me that Rubin and Buck are learning as they go and getting progressively better with each episode. Excellently filmed and acted with a full-on bravado that is energising to watch, I think Margot & Marie will be a show to watch for the future.
You can follow Margot Rubin and Marie Buck on Twitter (@MargotRubin and @aCozyBoat respectively), and Rubin has a Facebook page which features news on Margot & Marie. Alternatively, Buck has a blog which features photography as well as acting, at A Cozy Boat, whereas Rubin has a business website modestly called ‘f**ck yeah, it’s margot‘.
Margot & Marie: �?Talking’