Yesterday, the webverse was rocked by the discovery of The Bedford Stop, a webseries about young Williamsburgian Millennials that was perhaps the most frightening North Brooklyn-related Internet thing since 2014's nefarious "Brooklyn Girls" music video. The Tinder-and-brunch-based adventures of stars Alex, Olena, Kait, and some other people (Sarah? Persephone? Melindzzzzsa?) was about as scintillating as, well, overhearing a conversation about Tinder at the brunch table next to you. And indeed, while The Bedford Stop made me want to move the Upper West Side, buy a North Face jacket and call it a day, perhaps the most frightening thing about the show is that you can't help but suspect that you too would sound like a complete idiot if someone recorded all of your most inane day-to-day conversations and spliced them together into one viral YouTube video.
Anyway, today we caught up with 24-year-old star Alex Sosner, a four-year Williamsburg resident and merchandise marketing coordinator who is aware that the 16-minute pilot doesn't necessarily portray her and her friends in the most flattering light. Still, Sosner, who is perfectly lovely on the phone, says the show is "relevant" and offers at least some glimpse at "reality" as it exists today, which is probably true and may or may not mean we're all doomed.
Have you seen the response to the show?
I have, I have, and I cannot lie, I knew this was going to happen. But I'm actually just happy that people are seeing it. It's one episode and what came out is definitely an exaggerated version of our lives. You are not going to see the day-to-day. We took what we knew was relevant and we lived it. It's definitely our lives but it's exaggerated, and I knew this was going to be the response, but at the same time, I think it's amazing that it got out there.
You say the show's exaggerated—can you elaborate on that?
Ok, so, of course we talk about Tinder, of course we go to brunch, we go to Brooklyn Bowl. [The pilot] took typical gentrified Williamsburg to an extreme. I actually don't go to brunch all the time. I don't love brunch. I actually prefer to have drinks and cook. That one episode was taking everything that my friends and I do to an extreme. We definitely do it, but it's exaggerated.
Any reality show is reality twisted with a camera in your face. It's going to be a little bit, I don't want to use the word "parody," but we're feeding off of what's happening and is relevant in our surroundings. Olena, 100 percent, loves Tinder, loves to go on dates, and loves to go to brunch. And I love my friends, I love to go out and I love to do everything that's around my neighborhood, and what New York has to offer. I think what's in that 16-minute clip, it just showed a very materialistic part of our lives. But it's okay, that is definitely part of our lives, and I'm okay with what is happening, because everyone does it. Some of my friends live in Bushwick, some of my friends live in Crown Heights, they go to brunch, they go to thrift stores, they go to Brooklyn Bowl. Everything that was in that 16-minute clip [made] it seem like our lives are a little more elaborate and extravagant than they really are.
So what is a typical Sunday like for you?
I'm an early riser. I probably wake up at like 8:30, with a text from Olena, because she wakes up at probably 6 a.m. She's always texting to gather a group together and go out. I usually, 85 percent of the time, will go to the gym, and I'll meet up with people—usually only Olena, Mikey, and some of my other friends.
I also like to have something else that's a little more culturally relevant that day. Like, I know this Sunday we are going to, our friend owns the Instagram Hotgirlseatingpizza, they're having a charity event at the Refinery Rooftop, so I would do something like that. I love the Whitney, I'd go to the Whitney, or there are different art galleries that I go to, though they're usually closed on Sundays. As much as I like to just hang out with my friends, especially in the colder months I usually sit in my apartment and watch TV. And I will cook, or I will order in.
What do you like about living in Williamsburg?
I lived in the city for three years [before I moved to Williamsburg], and when I moved to Williamsburg I felt it had everything that New York used to have but on a fast track. Williamsburg is becoming an extension of Manhattan, but I like the neighborhood aspect of it. I liked the little streets you can you find, the local stores. And I still love that. I have said this over and over again, I think what is happening to Williamsburg is scary, but it's amazing.
To live in a city and watch it flourish and become profitable and help businesses and grow, it's great. Unfortunately with that, you are going to have local shops shut down. Not all of them, but it happens. It really depends on what you want for your city. I love seeing it grow. I would be afraid if a huge Zara or an IKEA opened in Williamsburg. That would definitely be scary. But I moved here because I felt it was something that was going to grow even more. I'm from a small town, I'm from Florida, and [Williamsburg] just had this small town vibe for me. Of course, now I walk out on my street and everyone is speaking a different language and it's super touristy, but I still think it is really refreshing.
What are a couple Mom and Pop shops that you lament losing?
El Beit shut down, or they have a sign up that says they shut down. Ella Cafe burned down, so that's unfortunate. That's very unfortunate. Off the top of my head, I see a lot of the little bodega stores closed down that I used to run into and grab coffee. I know with Starbucks coming in, that didn't help things. I will not go there. I don't necessarily agree with them opening. But unfortunately, it's packed. I don't know from a business standpoint, of course the locals are going to hate it, but the market, and what Williamsburg is now, is flourishing.
Do you get why there was so much of a negative reaction to the episode, though?
I do have to say that I was shocked at the coverage that it got. I understand that it's culturally relevant right now and that in our generation, once one thing is posted, it's very easy for everyone to catch on, and it goes viral. There's a ton of negative comments on the video. But when we were filming this and editing it—Mikey used to come over and show us edits piece by piece—I knew if anybody saw this, this is what would happen.
But I think people know who we are. We work our asses off, a lot of us. Me, Olena, Kait, Sarah, we all have 9 to 5 jobs. We definitely work for everything. Of course, Mikey didn't film us at work. It's supposed to be a silly pilot. So for what it is right now, I 100 percent understand the negative comments. I'm sure if I saw people speaking the way we did without knowing about them, they're going to have these comments behind them. But when people meet us...we met a girl from New York Magazine, and she was like, "Okay, you actually sound like people now. You're sweet, you're motivated, you're driven."
As much as this is fun for us, we did this because we are a great group of friends, and we're somewhat connected to one another our industries. We work in art, we work music, we work in fashion. We are exposed to so much and we want to show the world that. Mikey filmed this all by himself. He filmed, edited, and put all the music in it, and grabbed us together every weekend to do this show. It's something that is extremely raw, but we all just went with it and worked hard. We did it after work, we did it on the weekend. I get the press, but I hope that we can show them something more next.
How many episodes are there going to be?
This is just a mini webseries, not even. I don't know what it's supposed to be. We had no intention of having a real set, like, "this is what it's supposed to be." We're open to anything. We would love to put out an episode a week, however it works, but it is definitely hard work. We're ready for it.
Have you been approached by any producers or anyone interested in taking this further?
I don't not know anything yet. Mikey has control of the email, he has control of everything. I'm meeting with him later, so hopefully we can get some good news.
Do you watch GIRLS? How do you think The Bedford Stop compares?
I do watch GIRLS, I'm a fan of GIRLS. Hopefully, Lena Dunham does not hate me, but I think it's relatable. I don't think it's the same. This is reality and I think that we are pulling the card of great friends, all trying to work and make it here in Brooklyn. I think that's what is most relatable to it. We're just girls trying to do this in Brooklyn, and we are great friends, and of course we are going to fight, and of course we are going to have ups and downs, we are just trying to show you that we're real people too.