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Snap judgments - American Hipster Presents

Taylor Wiles | May 17, 2012 | Lifestyle Story City Life Reviews

Known fact in the Bay Area: It’s fun to make fun of hipsters, and there’s no dearth of targets here. But the San Francisco–based YouTube series American Hipster Presents, launched in March by local creative studio Seedwell— one of three original-content shows on the site’s American Hipster channel—hopes to prove that it’s more interesting to try to understand them. The show’s first five episodes each feature a San Francisco “trendsetter,” including Hayes Valley barber Shorty and food and drink consultants the Bon Vivants. But only the profile of Four Barrel coffee’s Jeremy Tooker goes beyond what Tooker himself calls the snobby hipster stereotype; it follows the ultimate bean roaster not just behind the counter and to a favorite surfing spot but into his home, where he plays with his toddler son. The series is beautifully shot and edited, a sort of film-based version of The Bold Italic. On the downside, it’s unclear if the narrator is being intentionally ironic or is just insecure or naturally weird—maybe that’s appropriate, given the subject matter, but it’s also distracting. By the time you read this, the Seedwell crew will have moved on to Austin and Philadelphia. Are hipsters there anything like the Mission/Dogpatch/NoPa subspecies? For the sake of good drama, let’s hope not.

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