From writer-director Laura Kosann, mockumentary satire The Social Ones takes hilarious aim at the ridiculous extremes of social media, satirizing viral moments in the daily lives of online influencers.
The documentary-style farce is centered around Kosann and her real-life sister and co-producer Danielle, who play ultra-intense editors of an influencer publication preparing for a cover shoot with major social media figures. Their dialogue, filled with buzzwords like “engagement” and “content creation” let viewers know from the beginning that this will be a hilarious and relatable satire – think Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping for the internet set, with funny appearances from Debra Jo Rupp, Richard Kind and Peter Scolari.
“It’s so important these stories are told,” Kosann says alongside her real-life sister and co-producer Danielle Kosann. Their deadpan delivery of this highly important content is an uncanny depiction of the millennial professional, using overplayed cliches like “hit the nail on the head” and “hold onto your hats.”
The influencers are introduced in an equally funny fashion, showing the lengths they go to to get that perfect shot and just how much value they find in their follower counts. There’s a fashion expert whose cheeks can’t be contoured enough; a foodie whose motto is “you can fry anything” and says “avocados are viral on their own.” An insecure teen who takes photos of dogs wearing costumes also posts very important polls, asking followers to vote if she should wear one barrette or two. The Social Ones provides endless examples of the vanity, privilege, and pure vapidity of sharing outfits of the day or dumb outdoor stunts, but in a funny way that anyone with an online profile will recognize.
A couple who met on Instagram discusses the sheer drama and emotional torture that came from him posting a photo of her breakfast without her permission, and how they need to create a hashtag to mend the problem. But that wouldn’t really work, because he just used a hashtag for his “asthma awareness campaign.” The Social Ones endlessly and delightfully mocks what we’re supposed to see as normal and part of our culture, highlighting the randomness of people’s online “success” juxtaposed with how seriously they take their “content.”
Kosann and company don’t just poke fun – they rip apart this practice in the funniest ways possible, showing how dedicated influencers are to their online sharing as “craftsmen” and “modern-day poets.” An especially funny tool in The Social Ones finds the internet stars in therapy sessions with a counselor who knows everything there is to know about “the mental health space” when it comes to online interaction. Her dead-serious analysis of the cycles influencers go through is a highlight of the film, especially when she names disorders they can experience when their follower counts drop.
Released on March 3 by Comedy Dynamics, The Social Ones is a genuinely funny commentary on how we’ve grown to just accept the online way of life, and the pure absurdity at the heart of a multi-million dollar industry. In addition to a good laugh, it serves as a reminder that your phone isn’t everything. But even “unplugging” and social media detoxes are mocked, because “of course you have to share it” when you decide to #TakeABreather from the all-important content creation and follower acquisition.
The Social Ones searingly mocks human behavior – especially the narcissism and phoniness we’ve created in an online world that has altered an entire generation’s view of what they do – and how often they do it solely for the ‘gram. “What you’re doing on social media is who you are,” Kosann says at one point, and her film uses the depths of satirical comedy to expertly prove just how silly that notion really is.
© Georgiana E. Presecky & Brigid K. Presecky (2/27/20) FF2 Media
Photos: Laura and Danielle Kosann play Ava and Mia, intense editors you probably recognize from your own professional life; Colton Ryan and Stephanie March play Snapchat star Dan Summers and mental health expert Dr. Miriam Spacelli.