In the aftermath of Vine’s demise, some of its former stars have come together to create a spoof reality show.
Real Bros of Simi Valley, starring Cody Ko, Nick Colletti and creator Jimmy Tatro, has caught the attention of many college students. The Facebook Watch show, with its second season ended three weeks ago, takes place in Simi Valley, California. The four delusional, self-absorbed friends navigate their dead-end careers and faulty relationships by making the worst decisions possible. The show’s first episode garnered over 4 million views on YouTube and remained consistent throughout the season.
As with any reality show, the characters are what appeal to viewers. Journalism sophomore Sam Bellessa had never heard of any of the cast before watching but finds similarities of these characters with people he sees on campus.
“I think it’s the perfect blend of us knowing people like that and that we all like to make fun of reality TV shows,” Bellessa said.
This show’s popularity is not just because of its content, however. Unlike Bellessa, people said they were drawn to Real Bros because of the familiar names in the cast. Public health sophomore Jenna Guzman points to her Colletti and Ko fandom being a reason she decided to tune in.
“A part of it is hanging on to what used to be Vine. We love those creators so much, and now they have this platform where we can see them for longer than six seconds,” Guzman said. “It’s just something that is really enjoyable for people who loved them from where they started.”
Radio-television-film junior Max Lopez said he agrees with this sentiment. Lopez said that his favorite Nick Colletti Vine is “When you text bae and it says ‘read’ and doesn’t text you back.” Lopez also explained how Real Bros separates itself from other mock type shows.
“I’m a huge mockumentary fan, and a lot of the mockumentaries that are on right now aren’t that good,” Lopez said. “‘The Real Bros of Simi Valley’ doesn’t try to replicate anything — It’s just them acting stupid, which is what makes it natural.”
This “natural” sense that Lopez describes is what attracts many viewers to the show. Fans of the show say they find pleasure in how effortless this form of comedy is.
“It’s just a form of escapism for me, because the comedy is so mindless, it doesn’t have to be clever or quick to be funny. It just is, which I think is what draws me to it, and I guess a lot of other people too,” Guzman said.
After season one debuted on YouTube, the show made the transition to Facebook Watch and doubled the length of its episodes. Since the conclusion of its second season, viewers are recommending it to their friends, which is how Bellessa discovered the show.
“My buddy showed me a clip of one of the episodes, and I was like ‘We’re watching this, this is happening.’ It was one of those things where we had a break between classes and we watched the entire thing,” Bellessa said.
Even though the episode runtimes have increased, they are still compact enough to binge quickly, which made it easy for Bellessa to watch it all in one sitting.