“Yikes” is a comedy-drama web series created and set in Corpus Christi that premiered in October 2020. Roommates Ryan and Ricky get into unexpected situations while dealing with early adulthood turbulence. Their friend, Cris (whom they do not like very much), both helps and worsens these situations while also having his own side quests. The show features a heavy amount of what it is like to be a young adult. You learn to deal with things on your own. Phones complicate dating and dwelling on old pictures you should have deleted months ago is easier than ever. Your friends become a second family lifting you up, but calling you out when necessary.
I got the chance to chat with writer-director Cris Olvera about the show, its inspirations and future projects. Olvera is joined by Ryan Monroy and Ricky Martinez in the lead roles. They developed the concept for the series together in the summer of 2020. Olvera continued to write the first four episodes by September, just a month before the premiere.
Olvera drew inspiration from Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s “Fleabag” on Amazon and Issa Rae’s “Insecure” on HBO. The main cast plays dramatized versions of themselves to play up a sitcom feel.
“That type of writing was to simply convince an audience that a best friend would get into a David Fincher-style sprawl over a (penis) pic to get a little closer to a friend,” Olvera said.
He was referring to an episode in which his character goes on a mission to retrieve YuGiOh cards that, when put together, have a picture of his friend’s little friend. While this B story may make the series sound extremely crass, the episode’s main storyline sees Ryan struggling emotionally after a breakup.
The newest episode, “MÁS DEPRESIÓN,” shows off the writing chops of Olvera and veers further toward the drama side of its genre. The episode focuses on dissecting why Ryan is depressed and so hung up on his ex-girlfriend. It is moody and frustrating, but funny right when things get too uneasy. Olvera said the group “never wanted to stay in one place, we always wanted to move into differing emotions and genres.” Humor reeled in an audience. Drama kept a fanbase. He goes on to explain “we wanted to bring a perspective that wasn’t up our ass, but not exactly shy of what’s really on the minds of awkward nerdy Mexican young adults.”
The series takes a look at what is happening after high school and post-COVID. The first few episodes even include tons of facemask cameos. Olvera draws inspiration from his own life, and as a Corpus Christi native, uses the city as another character. You can see the familiar interior of local small businesses like House of Rock, Produce Goods and Fresco all throughout the series. Tejano star Freddie Martinez Jr.’s home was also a setting in one episode. Many of the actors are local artists too, such as Quentin Arispe and Grammy nominated DJ El Dusty.
As far as future projects, Olvera has something planned to start shooting next summer. He states it will be more humorous, romantic, and focused than “Yikes.” The group has a few documentaries ready to be released after the series finale, so stay tuned.
You can find Yikes by going to youtube.com/@basiccableproductions8215 or by searching “Yikes web series” on YouTube.