A new Portland-based web series called Blue Fiddles has arrived, and it's set to premiere on January 25th. Written, directed, and produced by Portland local Nena Botto (who also stars in the series), the show follows the lives of three 30-something women in Portland, each struggling with their own range of issues. According to the website, the series is a "mix of comedy and drama that has aims to be glamorous through honesty—women who have scars from life experiences, not from numerous Botox sessions."

I saw the first three episodes yesterday, and I will say this: The people who made Blue Fiddles are lovely people. Kind, friendly people who are very excited about their project. Sadly, the writing was... well, bad, and the acting was... well, bad. When I started watching the trailer the other day, I thought, "Hey, this might be good!" because I thought it was being purposefully over-the-top, but after watching the first three episodes, it became clear that it was, in fact, being totally serious. The trailer isn't actually embeddable, but you can see it here, and here's the first minute or so of the first episode, which doesn't actually give you much to go on:

The characters must deal with some pretty serious issues—divorce, depression, sexual harassment—but Blue Fiddles' episodes (or the first three episodes, at least) include moments of humor that aren't actually funny but which do detract from the importance of what these women are dealing with. The characters' plights are undermined by the series' lighthearted tone, and you don't end up much caring what happens to them. Another point of concern is that the series' target audience is women aged 32-45—not exactly the web-series-viewing demographic. On the bright side, if the tone could solidify a bit more—either going full-on into comedy, or approaching the drama without the clunky comedy that's already there—the series could definitely improve.

There will be a free premiere of the first three episodes at the Hollywood Theatre on January 25th at 7pm, and the first episode will be available online that day as well.