“Everyone is trash. We all have our great qualities, but we also have flaws. Sometimes they’re lovable. Sometimes they’re not. And it’s OK.” So says Hollywood multi-hyphenate Phoebe Robinson of her philosophy on life. The same sentiment is also behind the writer/producer/comedian’s new series, “Everything’s Trash,” in which she plays Phoebe Hill, a fictionalized version of herself who, as she wrote in a recent Elle magazine article, “is inspired by my life as a formerly broke thirtysomething cocoa Khalessi trying to make it in NYC.”
Airing each Wednesday on Freeform (and Thursdays on Hulu), the show, which is largely adapted from Robinson’s 2018 collection of essays titled “Everything’s Trash, But It’s Okay,” shows the Brooklynite podcaster attempting to navigate through her unapologetically “messy” and very public life while her “blerdy” older brother, Jayden (Jordan Carlos), runs for office, a set-up that, of course, provides plenty of comedic fodder.
Robinson described the various storylines to The New York Times as being “a healthy combination of writers’ room and real life.” Yes, Phoebe’s brother is actually in politics. Yes, she was a bit messy in her early thirties, though “TV Phoebe is certainly messier than I ever was.” And yes, she did – and still does – live in Brooklyn. She says, “I’ve been here since I moved out at 17 to go to college, and I really fought for the show to be shot here. Initially, there was some discussion of like, ‘Maybe we could do it in L.A. on soundstages …’ and I was like: ‘No, no, no. New York is in its DNA.’ I’ve lived in Crown Heights, Kensington, Clinton Hill, all those areas. I love all those areas. I want to show actual Brooklyn, not just the parts that have been gentrified.” As such, the Borough of Trees is very finely woven into the fabric of the series.
Production designer Joshua Petersen, who was behind the look of the recent Hulu dramedy “Life & Beth,” was tasked with bringing the Brooklyn scenery authentically to life. To accomplish this, several instantly recognizable local spots were utilized as backdrops, including % Arabica New York Dumbo Roastery, Plymouth Church, Celestine restaurant and Pebble Beach at Brooklyn Bridge Park, a picturesque site overlooking the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges, the East River and the gorgeous NYC skyline.
But thanks to Petersen’s skilled hands, the sets are the series’ real stars.