Cazzie David has a lot of opinions.
She directs these — mostly negative, mostly hilarious — opinions at millennials and social media in her web series 86ed, which debuts exclusively its final two episodes Friday, September 8 over at Paper. The series focusses on Remi (David herself) whose love life has recently been eighty-sixed. (“Eighty-sixed” is restaurant code for something being out of stock.)
But the show is less about romance than it is about self-obsession. Remi’s erstwhile boyfriend is nameless and faceless. He manifests instead as an extreme social paranoia in Remi — she needs to know what he’s doing, but he can’t know that she wants to know, you know? In episode seven, Remi’s desperate to watch his new Instagram story. Trouble is, Instagram curates a tidy little list of everyone who’s watched your story. What’s a modern girl to do?
These are the conundrums that drive David crazy. In a lot of ways, David herself embodies the puzzles 86ed presents.The 23-year-old is new to fame — New York Magazine profiled her in July, and her Instagram went viral earlier this year — but she already seems jaded. She says she hates people, but is concerned that she might lose Instagram followers if she’s not careful. Social media tends to hamper her self-confidence, but she cares less about her image on the platform than she used to. She's a millennial, but she hates millennials. (It's worth noting that everyone who worked on the series is below the age of 25.) Perhaps it’s all part of the David disposition; Larry David isn’t a stranger to contradictions, either.
Now that 86ed is over, David is ready to move onto the next project. There's no room in the budget for a cast party, David says, but the small crew of people who worked on 86ed is trying to come up with something. In anticipation of the show's finale, Refinery29 spoke to the budding misanthrope about comedy, tech, and how millennials might suck, but also don't.
Refinery29: You're done with 86ed! Congrats! What's next for Cazzie David? More writing?
Cazzie David: "Yeah, I'm trying to find the right writing format for me. I'm trying to write a bunch of different things. I guess I'll see which one someone will be willing to take a chance on."
Does this mean you're working on a pilot script?
"I'll probably try to write most formats of writing. I'm going to write a few essays, and I have a feature that I've shelved. So, yes, I will probably try my hand at a pilot."
Would you ever be in a writer's room?
"I haven't found myself to be too good at writing for other people's ideas. I wish I could, it's just not something I've found myself to be good at. I'll probably only write stuff for myself."
So you're definitely thinking writing. Would you ever act again?
"I'll probably only act in stuff I write myself, because I don't want to ruin anyone else's project. [Laughs] I don't think I'm good at it quite yet."
Have you ever taken acting classes?
"No, and that's probably one of the reasons why I'll never be good at it. I refuse to partake in an acting class. I find the whole thing a little bit embarrassing. [Laughs.] Obviously, the profession is acting, so it's all really fake. I am really bad at reciting anything that's fake, and that's pretty much what [acting] is."
In episode seven, Remi makes a fake Instagram account — a finsta, for those who know the lingo. Are you aware of finsta culture?
"I have. My friend said something super funny — their finsta started getting too many followers, and it became not a finsta anymore and they were really upset. It's a whole subculture of Instagram that I find really interesting."
Do you have a fake Instagram?
"No, but I have thought of making a fake account to do all things you wouldn't be able to do on your own Instagram. My sister has a fake account to check what her 'float' looks like when she uploads new pictures."
You met your co-creator, Elisa Kalani, in college. Is this an idea you guys concocted in school then enacted in the real world?
"No, but when I got out of college, it was something that I wanted to do, so we called on people who we met in college. Everyone we met in school majored in one of the essential things we needed. It was convenient. I didn't make a lot of friends of college, so I was very fortunate to have Elisa. She brought in everyone."
You said in an earlier interview that you bonded with Elisa because you both "hate people." We'll narrow that down. What do you hate the most about millennials specifically?
"Oh my gosh, we're so annoying. There's so much I could say. I think one thing that's kind of interesting is that all of us are trying to do what we want to do instead of what we're supposed to be doing, me included. I find that to be self-involved. So, a more succinct answer would be our self-involvement."
Can you list your top three pet peeves?
"Yes, I have a million. A top one would be ignorance. And I hate receiving a notification of a Snapchat from someone in the same room as you. I think that's so annoying. And I really hate when people stall their cars. I'll sometimes ask strangers to turn their cars off. It's just so inconsiderate."
The heterosexual men — Remi's love interests — in the series are totally anonymous. They're like Sally's faceless man in When Harry Met Sally. Why?
"That's because the premise is really just about the absurdities of dealing with those situations, outside of [the men] being a part of it. They're not in it because it's not actually about them at all. It's about how ridiculous this girl is, trying to navigate dating and her breakup. And none of those really take place with those people."
In episode 8, Remi does the unforgivable: She double-texts a new love interest. What's your stance on double-texting a hookup?
"I have such strong opinions on texting someone you're just starting a thing with. I feel like so much can go wrong in just one text message. I feel like a lot of girls feel that way, so I just wanted to portray an exaggeration of that situation — when you're so casually texting someone. Remi always does the worst thing imaginable in that situation, so she double texts. In her situation the double-text is bad. In others, it might be acceptable."
So, what's the general protocol?
"When it's the beginning of something and you don't even know if it's going to be anything, people try to be super careful on text. Everything can go super wrong on text. [On the show] it's like [should she text] 'What's up?' or 'what's up' no question mark. It's specific. A double text would be fine if you sent two texts in a row. But sending a text and then sending a follow-up question hours later after no response is definitely known to be embarrassing."
Remi says at one point that she hates Taylor Swift. But she still listens to Taylor Swift. Do you share this opinion?
"No, that's a joke on how everyone hates her but then listens to her no matter what. Because she's obviously amazing. I love Taylor Swift. I think she's great, and extremely talented."
Your Instagram went viral a while ago, courtesy of your father, and now you sport over 91,700 followers — have you changed your Instagram style since accruing such attention?
"My Instagram before I had any followers at all — I would post once a month, if that. I had a good collection of really good Instagrams, but I was waiting for the best picturesque moment for them. So, it looked like that's what you do all the time. I definitely post more now and I'm a little more relaxed about when I'm posting. I don't wait for something spectacular. I'm definitely scared to post any more or less than I do. Because I don't want anyone to unfollow me."
Do you feel pressured to use social media for political reasons, given the climate?
"Yeah, kind of. Definitely since Trump has taken office I post about political stuff way more than I would like to. Whether it's tweeting something I think everyone should know, or calling your representative, I'll post about it so everyone can see it. There's so much going on. It's pretty much the least anyone can do — I'm happy to do it. People are so lazy when it comes to clicking. The less clicks, the better. If I can post a donation link, and someone clicks it and donates just because they saw it, that would definitely be worth it."
How do you think women and social media are related? If at all?
"For me, it's become a place to look at hot female models and see how hot they're being that day. I have no idea why or how that happened, but I hope I'm not alone. It's definitely a very competitive place. A competitive, insecure place. I don't know how it became that, but it definitely feels way more like a feminine medium.
"Social media is super contradictory, especially for women. It's a tool that can help boost your ego, while simultaneously destroying it. You can feel so good about a post, but if you look at it too long, you'll hate yourself and want to delete your online presence.
"If you're as insecure a woman as I am, it can negatively affect [self-confidence]. But also positively. It's just weird."
Remi's room is very millennial pink. You're aware of millennial pink, right?
"I loved millennial pink, until I found out it was called millennial pink, and now I don't even know what to do with my love for it."
Okay, who do you think is the king of the Hollywood Chrises?
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