After fans’ loud cry for an encore, comedic genius Jimmy Tatro is reviving his cult-status YouTube series with a move to Facebook Watch. Season 1 of the faux-reality show “The Real Bros of Simi Valley” boasted over 1 million views an episode, but now that Tatro’s career is taking off, his YouTube channel has been understandably dormant. In 2017, he was the star of Netflix breakout series “American Vandal” and his acting gigs don’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.
Tatro’s YouTube channel, LifeAccordingtoJimmy, currently clocks in at 3 million followers. When his entertainment career was still waiting for take-off, the YouTuber was able to post consistently every Monday, but he now goes months without uploading. His biggest gap was a seven-month silence that only ended a mere three months ago, just a few weeks prior to the “Real Bros of Simi Valley” second season reveal. This lengthy absence caused many fans to come to the conclusion that he had quit YouTube entirely or, at the very least, gone on an extended hiatus.
Considering this climate, the announcement of a second series was an obvious a shock to his subscribers, including myself; and the choice of Facebook Watch as the series’s new home-base came as additional shock to followers. Although Facebook Watch is not the ideal platform for many (honestly, I didn’t even know what it was until this series), it is still impressive that Tatro’s YouTube series was picked up by another platform wanting to produce it.
Regardless, the unexpected choice to switch to Facebook Watch will not stop “The Real Bros” fans from flocking to Season 2. I read quite a few comments on Episode 1 where people admitted they created a Facebook account or rebooted their old one just to be able to watch this second season. That is some dedication to a YouTube series made up of four installments that only equal a half-hour in total viewing time.
So, why has this short series created such a cult following? The most obvious reason is its humor. Tatro has adopted the format of “The Real Housewives” series to parody men who live in Simi Valley, California, an area right outside of Los Angeles. The lovably goofy quartet goes through an abundance of drama, including instances such as: Bryce giving up his skateboard career after a boarding accident, Wade pursuing his terrible art while his family wants him to get a real job and the question throughout the whole series: Did Molly really sleep with that DJ in Cancun?
Another reason this series is so popular is due to the casting choices. If you were a fan of the app Vine, you’ll probably recognize at least one of these actors. Tatro plays new dad and soulpatch owner Xander, Cody Ko plays maybe-burner Wade, Tanner Getter is hot-headed ex-skateboarder Bryce and Nick Coletti plays hopeless romantic Duncan. All of these actors found their start on Vine and have since found a home on YouTube or with other acting jobs.
Season 2 has already made an impression, as shown through the viral video clip featuring Bryce as he threatens to fight Xander’s 1-year-old son, which has already garnered 100K likes on Twitter. Fans of the series are also excited to be receiving much more bro content this time around. Episode 1 was already 15 minutes long, significantly longer than any of from the first season. Along with that, there are at least eight episodes according to a tweet from Tatro, which doubles the number of Season 1.
Season 2 begins with the reveal that Xander and Molly have had a baby boy named Hawke. The entire crew is back together (with new characters Andrea, Bryce’s girlfriend, and Dani, a friend who just came back from studying abroad in Italy) to celebrate Hawke’s first birthday. As always in “The Real Bros,” drama rapidly ensues.
What I really appreciate is that this season finally incorporates a look into the lives of the women on the show. In the first season, the girls in the group were minor characters and, although they were definitely funny, they did not have their own drama. In this episode, the girls get their spotlight when they get control of a couple different scenes speaking around a table without the boys. The women quickly warm up to Bryce’s girlfriend after they learn she works at a marijuana shop, despite the fact that just a moment ago she confessed she thinks Bryce would beat 1-year-old Hawke in a fight.
Characters Dani and Molly get in a fight when Dani compliments Xander’s soul patch. Dramatic music follows as Molly confronts her, explaining she does not want anyone saying anything positive about his disgusting facial hair. It is one of the most hilarious fights on the series thus far.
But don’t worry, there are still plenty of quarrels between the guys. Along with Bryce’s challenge to Hawke, the bros ask Bryce if he is dating Andrea, a question that prompts a bickering exchange about what dating is. I found this scene highly relatable, and it speaks to how complicated modern dating can be. Duncan explains that they interact with each other every day, hook up and are seeing each other exclusively, and Bryce adamantly declares that they are not dating, which leads into another fight about Tess not wearing the engagement ring Duncan gave her.
It’s clear that the move to Facebook Watch has only improved the series; “The Real Bros” is higher quality and now utilizes a format closer to “The Real Housewives” series. A worry of fans of “The Real Bros” was that there would not be as much freedom for Tatro to write the series how he wanted. However, it is now clear that this worry was unnecessary, as the series is just as funny and original as its first run. And this time, the show takes a few steps further into the parody genre by mimicking the well-known intros of “The Real Housewives,” where they spin around and pose for the camera. Also, for this season, each character has their own real-life Instagram account that they actively update for fans to follow. It adds a layer of interaction to the show, as the actors reply to fans in the comments in character.
Even though there has only been two episodes released so far, it is clear to see that the second season of “The Real Bros of Simi Valley” will follow in the successful footsteps of the first one. And maybe we will finally get the answer to the question asked every episode: Does Wade burn?