Myah Hollis – Creator, Executive Producer, Writer, Actor
Sarah Hawkins – Producer, Actor
Chelsea London Lloyd – Co-Producer, Actor
Jenny Austin – Co-Producer, Actor
Jessica Toscano – Producer
Camila Martins – Director
Main Cast: Sarah Hawkins, Chelsea London Lloyd, Myah Hollis, Jenny Austin, Eric Mitro, Mitch Westphal
Or Die Trying is a series that tells the story of a group of 20 something year old women who struggle to fulfill their dreams of making it big in LA. There’s Ellie (Sarah Hawkins), an actress who has trouble finding work largely in part because she’s worried about selling out. In addition, Ellie has some pressing family matters that weigh on her mind, and when offered the role of a lifetime, she faces the dilemma of taking the job just to earn money or turn it down and retain her creative integrity. Bailey (Chelsea London Lloyd) is a bartender and struggling actress who also has trouble finding work. She is very laid back and nonchalant about most things, excluding her mother’s refusal to accept her chosen career path. Throughout the series we see her constantly dodging her mother’s many attempts to have her married off and saddled with kids. As the series progresses, we see Bailey’s self-confidence and blasé attitude waver a bit after a series of events and the arrival of some shocking news.
Amelia (Jenny Austin) is also an actress, however, she put her acting career on hold to focus on her relationship and subsequent engagement to her boyfriend James (Eric Mitro), who also happens to be Bailey’s brother. After the relationship turns sour and ends in betrayal, Amelia begins to think about her future and how it will be nothing like the one she had previously planned. She has not been in the acting scene for a while, so she has lost touch with important contacts and is now struggling to bring to fruition a dream she had before her failed relationship. Finally, there is Raegan, who is played by series creator Myah Hollis. Raegan is career driven and focused; she is a strong independent woman who created her own show. Raegan is not as upbeat and peppy as the other girls. She seems to have it all but always seems so sad and distant. She has not gotten over the death of her mother ten years ago and it seems to be the reason she is afraid and unwilling to commit to her on-again-off-again boyfriend Miles (Mitch Westphal).
As a viewer, it is very frustrating to watch Ellie, she is so emotional, indecisive, and nervous about everything. This behavior would be more forgivable in Amelia since her whirlwind romance caused her to take her eye off the ball. However, she mourns the loss of what was and never again can be, picks her self-up, and tries to get back into the acting world. I look forward to seeing what happens with her in season 2. Raegan is cool but annoying, her dry and humorless attitude is sometimes off putting, but I must say I admire her for being the glue that holds her friends together. Bailey talks like she’s always bored, which makes me bored; I can overlook that, though, because her scenes are funny. The guys on the show are complete chumps; James cheated on a woman who loved him and then repeatedly tries to win her back….. not happening, maybe!?! Miles hopelessly clings to the hope that Raegan will come around and pledge her undying love and commitment to him, again, not happening! On second thought, James is a chump and Miles is just a sweetheart who fell in love with an emotionally unavailable woman.
Or Die Trying has an interesting storyline but lacks a certain amount of substance. The characters are not always able deliver on their potential, this is at least partly the result of each episode being about 6-8 minutes long. The series, therefore, is made to be binge watched curled up on your couch with a glass of wine or during a long subway ride. The production quality is good, the optics are just right, and the acting is believable. I am intrigued to see what season two has to offer. If you are interested in work that puts women in the forefront, romantic dramas, and friendship then this is for you.