Written by Charlie Hewit
Bros, beer, skateboarding, and “chicks” - Real Bros of Simi Valley has everything the ideal reality TV show junkie would want. But, Real Bros isn’t reality TV; it's a satire of the entire reality genre and “bro culture.” The show follows the classic formula for any successful reality show: lots of fighting, drama, and headshots. But Real Bros uses all of these elements to an exaggerated degree, emphasizing how ridiculous the genre can be.
For those of you that have been Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Real Bros imitates the same style. For example, whenever the bros are fighting or being passive aggressive, there will be a cut to one of the characters who reveals their feelings inside, which are absurd in some fashion. These headshots and interviews typically build up to a final fight or confrontation, which evokes the same feelings in the audience as the Kardashian reality TV or other shows like The Jersey Shore. What makes Real Bros different than these is that it realizes how obnoxious it truly is and uses this absurdity to its advantage.
Created by Jimmy Tatro, who also headlined American Vandal, Modern Family, and Stuber, Real Bros of Simi Valley is a beautiful tale of going from nothing to something. Originally, it started off as an extremely low-budget production on Jimmy’s YouTube channel, and when it started getting millions of views per episode, it was picked up by Facebook Watch. With the resources of Facebook Watch, season 2 of Real Bros not only had more expensive sets but longer episodes to dive further into the characters. Season 3 is currently on Facebook Watch as well, and new episodes drop every Friday.
Real Bros follows four dudes: Xander, Wade, Duncan, and Bryce. Xander is the leader of the group, sporting a classic frat boy aesthetic and the lexicon of one. Many of the dudes follow his lead, with Wade as Xander’s younger brother and Bryce and Duncan as friends of Xander’s since high school.
The cast is as follows: Jimmy Tatro is Xander, Nick Colleti is Duncan, Cody Ko is Wade, and Getter is Bryce. These are not notable stars. In fact, most of them are popular on either YouTube or the deceased Vine, but that’s what makes this show even funnier. You’ll go in with no expectations and leave surprised at how hard this show makes you laugh.
Each of the bros have their own unique mannerisms despite coming from the same town: Simi Valley. These different ways of expressing themselves add to the show’s goofiness. For example, Xander says “fer sherrrr” like so. Duncan says “taught,” meaning tight. Bryce curls his lips inwards to create a look of anger, love, or even curiosity, depending on the situation. Wade pretty much is the most normal, so he doesn’t have any farfetch'd catch phrases and gestures. Other phrases include, “You tryna throw,” “bro offs,” “burn,” and “steez.” Steez is by far the most popular term from the show; it basically means cool. For people that watch the show, these sayings are extremely mainstream and popular to say to other people that watch the show. That’s how much of an effect it has on a viewer.
As of now, I’ve rewatched the entire series about three times through, and it maintains the same level of humor each time. The constant banter and blatant mockery of reality television never gets old. You may be thinking that this show is made for an extremely niche audience because of the bro, frat boy nature, but the opposite is the case. While the loudest supporters of the show tend to be guys, I have many female friends who are in love with the show as much as me.
The characters’ arcs are also very interesting. While many of their hobbies seem like throw-away jokes, the writers are always very deliberate about what the characters tend to do because something that is as small as a facial can either make, or break, a relationship. The biggest arcs of the show involve Wade’s photography, Xander’s relationship with Molly (his girlfriend), Duncan’s job at a surf-skate shop, and Bryce’s epic tales of “shredding it” (skateboarding).
Throughout the series, there are celebrity cameos and surprises from the likes of Christopher MacDonald (Shooter McGavin from Happy Gilmore), King Bach, and Pete Davidson (both Bach and Davidson are in season 3). Since Tatro recently acted in The King of Staten Island with Davidson and that he’s making a special appearance, I am not ruling out any surprise cameos from more celebrities throughout season 3.
Perhaps the best change from season 1 to season 2 was also the increased role of “the girls” in the story. While the dudes are beefing, the girls are usually the voice of reason but can also break out into their own squirmishes. The girl’s drama is as hilarious to watch as the guys because of the extreme stereotypical nature in which they “beef” with each other; it also Reb minds me of the reality stars of The Real Housewives and The Kardashians.
Real Bros is goofy, hilarious, and extreme. It takes us out of our reality and places us into one where these bros seem to rule an entire town. There aren’t major philosophical themes throughout the show, other than the power of friendships is everything. That’s all we need from this show. Real Bros isn’t meant to show us a deeper image in life or the world. It’s meant for a good laugh, and sometimes that’s all we need.