From music to fashion to art of all kinds, doing it yourself is a way of life in the South Sound.
Monday, a group of creative and dedicated folks unveils Olympia’s latest DIY creation, a sitcom called “Bing Bong TV.”
The show, produced at Thurston County Television, follows the adventures of two women who are producing their own public-access show, also called “Bing Bong TV.”
The first six episodes will premiere at the Capitol Theater, then be available both on TCTV, where air dates have yet to be scheduled, and at bingbongtv.com.
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“Bing Bong TV” involves the unlikely duo of sweet and not too bright Quimby (Eli Evans) and cynical goth Sam (Ari Rogers). The pair produces the fictional show, which is in danger of being canceled due to funding cuts at Boggs Prairie Public Access.
Only brief trailers are available, but it’s clearly self-referential and not for the easily offended. And Olympia plays a prominent role, with the trailers showing such locations as Ralph’s Thriftway and Rainy Day Records.
“It started off as a joke,” said Rogers, one of the show’s writers and stars. “It was a silly idea.”
From that start, the first season of “Bing Bong TV” turned into a year-and-half-long project that has involved more than 50 people, including actors, artists, comedians, musicians and business owners.
“We wanted to find a way to diversify the arts in Olympia,” Rogers said in an interview last week. “There are a lot of punk shows and house shows, and there’s the arts scene, but they’re all kind of separate. This was a great way to combine a lot of different art forms into one.”
The “Bing Bong” team — led by about a half-dozen diehards who fill multiple off-screen roles — didn’t let the fact that they weren’t filmmakers or screenwriters stop them. The creators joined TCTV, took classes there and got to work.
“We all have experience having watched TV for 20 to 30 years individually and hundreds of years collectively,” Rogers said.
The team also clearly has a high degree of dedication, because programs like “Bing Bong TV” are relatively rare on TCTV.
Most of the station’s content involves coverage of local events, forums about issues and other nonfiction programming, said TCTV chief executive officer Deborah Vinsel.
“It’s a film-style format,” Vinsel said. “It’s very time-consuming. It takes a lot to get a crew and cast together who are willing to spend the time it takes to create a program like that.”
Then there’s the time it took to organize and publicize a premiere, rather than simply debuting the show on TCTV or the internet.
The live event is not just a celebration and fundraiser for season two of “Bing Bong TV.” It’s also a sign of the times.
“In this 21st-century digital age, not many folks actually have television,” Rogers said. “There’s some great archaic artsy thing about having your project be on public-access television.”
TCTV isn’t going anywhere, though. Instead, it’s evolving. Next month, the organization is set to rebrand itself as Thurston Community Media.
“We recognize that there are other ways to get things out there,” Vinsel said. “Many of our members have YouTube channels. TCTV itself has a YouTube channel.
“It’s not that it’s not still community television,” she added. “But it’s more than that now. Television isn’t what it used to be 10 years ago.”
Bing Bong TV premiere
What: Olympia-made sitcom “Bing Bong TV” will premiere at a live event hosted by San Francisco drag and burlesque performer Mary Vice. The show will then run on TCTV, where it was produced, and be available on bingbongtv.com.
When: 6 p.m. Monday.
Where: Capitol Theater, 206 Fifth Ave. SE, Olympia.
Tickets: $8-$15, on a sliding scale.
Also: The event’s Facebook page suggests wearing red-carpet attire to the premiere.