PRODUCER: Josh Schwartz
STARRING: Alexandra Chando, Andrew West
Here is some pop culture math: Take Josh Schwartz’s late television show “The O.C.,” divided by Mischa Barton’s skeletor angst, minus sunbathing and Peter Gallagher’s eyebrows, times the way-cool hangout The Bait Shop. What could that possibly equal? Nothing less than the new webcast television show by the WB , “Rockville, CA.”
Set entirely in an indie-rock venue in East Los Angeles, “Rockville, CA” is about the complex parallels between vying for love and getting a hipster band off the ground. Each show features the performance of a different team of shouting songsters, like the oh-so-Swedish Lykke Li , Passion Pit and The Republic Tigers [along with some indie bands from angsty teen dramas past, like Phantom Planet and The Kaiser Chiefs ].
Alexandra Chando , who plays Deb, a young rep that signs bands to a big-name record corporation, says “[the show] is such an innovative idea. [The website] is completely interactive.” Chando is no newbie to the television scene. Last year, she nabbed an Emmy nomination for her work on “As the World Turns.”
She says that though most of the cast felt the taping took place quickly [a full season in a little over a month], “this is slow compared to “As the World Turns,” but the quality is different. [The cast] had the luxury of taking as much time as we needed.”
Since scenes are set in an actual music venue, the production was rushed along so bands could set up before their actual evening performances.
Andrew J. West (“Privileged ,” “Greek”) is introduced in the show’s trailer as Hunter, the club’s “resident music geek,” to which he responds, “Wow, what an incredibly sexy introduction. In-house eunuch wouldn’t suffice?” Let the snappy sarcasm ensue.
When speaking of the show’s speeding production, West says, “We were doing five pages a night of script, but it was never too overwhelming. When you’re working, you fall into a groove.”
“Rockville” centers its focus on the warring love-hate relationship between the two music enthusiasts, but also includes a few nondescript side-characters, who reel us into their love toils as well.
The two “Rockville” stars are no strangers to indie music. West cites White Lies and The Kooks as some of his current favorite bands. Chando sings praises of Dave Matthews Band and Radiohead . Though he hadn’t heard of many of the bands before production began, West says, “Some of them have turned out to be my favorites.”
The show’s main love tension between Deb and Hunter most likely takes the entire first season to develop, but with witty banter between two abrasive Seth Cohen lookalikes, it’s a wait that seems enjoyable. But will the season finale complete the love-music parallel? Do marriage vows equal record deals? We’re still waiting on that geometric proof.