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Film and TV

L.A. Restaurant Staff Makes a Web Series About an L.A. Restaurant Staff

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Fri, Jan 17, 2014 at 4:37 AM
click to enlarge Kate McDaniel, left, Tiffany Ingro and Paul Diaz
  • Kate McDaniel, left, Tiffany Ingro and Paul Diaz

The term 86'd, formerly used by organized crime to refer to murdering someone, has long been co-­opted by restaurants to meansomething cut from the menu. In the first minute of indie web series , a slice-­of-­life comedy set in a corporate, cut-­throat restaurant in the Palisades, two servers find themselves 86'd from their jobs during a pre-­shift lineup.

The series was created by a group of servers at a Santa Monica restaurant, organized and ultimately directed bybartender/writer/director/producer Charles Miller. When Miller moved to L.A. from Boston and joined the staff, he was surprisedto find that his co-­workers also were all aspiring artists. (Duh.)
He encouraged them to get together several hours before their night shifts to brainstorm project ideas. "As it always doeswhen a group of co-­workers hangs out, the conversation eventually turned to work," Miller recalls. "We realized that was thestory we all had inside us and needed to get out."

Despite the fact that the group understaffed the restaurant for three days straight to shoot the series, their managers havebeen supportive. "As it is a large company with an adept legal team, we made sure to draw from broad strokes rather thanspecifically parodying any person or place," Miller says.

The series sports characters you'll recognize in many L.A. hot spots: the drunk patron demanding the server list all theflavored vodkas, ladies picking apart each ingredient due to their gluten allergy, the regular who just has to have her cocktail a few minutes before opening.

But customers are only half the fun. As Miller observes, "[L.A. servers] are an amazingly diverse group of people who all want out."

The Tangled Web We Watch is our column on what's worth watching online. Watch 86'd at 86dtheseries.com. Read Stephanie Carrie's full interview with Charles Miller on her blog, tangledwebwewatch.com.

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