In need of a good laugh? The new comedy web series Codependent promises to deliver. The three-part series follows millennial women of color Deena, Sarah and Percia as they navigate life in Philadelphia. New episodes, each about eight minutes, will be released every Thursday from October 15–29. Head to this YouTube page weekly to access the episodes.
South Brunswick native Deena ElGenaidi is the writer, director and one of the actors in Codependent. Her cousin, Sarah, who also stars in the series, grew up in Linwood. As a nod to their home state, a scene in episode two was filmed at the pet spa and daycare center Mr. Shaggy Chic in Cherry Hill.
We caught up with ElGenaidi via email ahead of the series release. Here’s what she had to say:
How did this web series come to be?
I’ve always been interested in screenwriting and TV writing. I’d been toying with the idea of writing a web series for a couple years. Finally, last September, I decided to just sit down and write something. I wrote three short episodes that I then edited and revised [before] I set up a Kickstarter page to fund the series. We raised over $4,000. Soon after, I was able to put together a film crew, just by reaching out to friends and friends of friends. I’m so grateful for that crew because not having a film background myself, I definitely couldn’t have done this without them. We filmed everything over two weekends in January and February, right before the pandemic. Then, Covid-19 put the editing process on pause for a bit, but by the end of summer, we were back on track.
Is the plot based on your lives?
The plot is loosely based on our lives. When I was in grad school (I attended Rutgers–Camden for creative writing), I lived with my cousin, Sarah, and her friend Percia would come over to hang out all the time. Now Percia is also my friend, but the three of us just spent a lot of time together. So I took certain instances from our lives and made them funnier, exaggerated them, or just made up new scenarios entirely, all while keeping our personalities ultimately intact.
Why the title Codependent?
The show is about three friends whose lives are so intertwined that they’ve become codependent. They do everything together. They consult each other about decisions, and sometimes it can be toxic—just like all codependent relationships. In the end, though, it’s just a comedy about female friendship.
Do you plan to continue it after these three episodes?
I would love to continue the series after these three episodes. I think right now, it’s a matter of getting funding, but if we can do that, then yes, I plan on continuing.
[Editor’s note: Deena ElGenaidi has previously written for New Jersey Monthly.]Click here to leave a comment