One new web series is opening the doors to what it is like to be a tenant in a New York City apartment building.
“Common Charges,” co-created by actors Alison Whitney from Long Island City and Jonathan Zipper of Manhattan, is a series that follows six couples living in a fictional building called The Breaston.
In approximately five-minute confessional-style episodes, the series shows the reactions each pair has to the building’s policies, rules, problems and neighbors.
“It was a unique story we needed to tell, with plenty of ‘only in New York’ experiences to draw from,” Whitney said.
The tenants include a gay couple, a man and his mail-order bride, newlyweds, “unlikely besties,” an on-again, off-again couple and the building’s superintendent, according to creators, who also star in the series.
“In New York City you have all sorts of people coming together and living together,” said Whitney, who has lived in a Long Island City condominium for eight years.
Both Whitney and Zipper said they used their own experiences of living in apartment buildings to create “Common Charges” and relate to viewers.
“New York City is so densely populated and everyone lies on top of one another,” said Zipper, who grew up living in apartments his whole life and believes it has been an integral part of who he has grown up to be. “Everyone’s bound to form an opinion on everyone and everything in the building.”
All seven episodes of the series, described as “an improvised comedy about big personalities living in small spaces,” were filmed in May at a hotel in Manhattan.
“For us, we really want people to connect with the concept and feel a little bit, ‘Yeah, I’ve been there,’” Zipper said.
The series will premiere at the 9th Annual Independent Television and Film Festival (ITVFest) in Vermont later this month and then be shown at the Miami Web Fest in October. It has also been selected for the ATL Web Fest in Atlanta.
The creators said they are currently working on a plan to have an official release of the episodes.