Publication: Digital Journal

Date: September 1, 2012

Review: WIGS web series ‘Rochelle,’ a must see

By Anca Dumitru

Written by Scott Turow and directed by Rose Troche, ‘Rochelle’ is the latest three-part series of filmmakers Jon Avnet and Rodrigo Garcia’s YouTube channel WIGS, and stars Pulp Fiction’s Rosanna Arquette.
A couple of weeks ago, Digital Journal reviewed Lauren, another successful WIGS production, raising attention on the quality of female scripted characters, which are the foundation of every series, short film and documentary made under the leadership of Avnet and Garcia, and the talent portraying such characters.

Rochelle premiered on August 27 and is the story of a divorcée who hires an escort to break her ex-husband’s heart. The woman wants revenge. Charlie, her ex, has been lucky in everything his entire life. Now it would be the right time for him to feel loss. The second and third episodes aired last Wednesday and Friday.

Arquette does a fantastic job while bringing an authentic representation of Rochelle’s pain in her calculated need for retribution. Her screen partner, Panna, is played by Nazanin Boniadi (How I Met Your Mother). Panna is a “rare commodity” as she likes to call herself. She has style, reads The Wall Street Journal every morning, and doesn’t deal with anybody without a reference. She’s a pro.


The two women seal the deal. Panna gets a job at Charlie’s office. Later, Rochelle swings by the office pretending to drop off something from her lawyer. In fact, she was dying to see how her plan was coming along. Panna makes it a point in that she doesn’t like to be checked up on, since she takes pride in being the best in her business. Rochelle admires the young and gorgeous prostitute for being powerful and independent, by comparison to how her own life turned out to be. Spot on performance by Boniadi.

Whether Panna accomplishes her mission is revealed in the last episode.

Rose Troche directed the series exquisitely, just like any other of her previous works. She was introduced to WIGS by her fellow Chicagoan, Jennifer Beals, who worked with Troche on a few episodes of The L Word, and was on board right away. Her view as a director gelled immediately with Turow’s writing process despite this being his first script originally written for the screen.

From the visual point of view, Rochelle is shot in a stylized way through split screens, to always show both women’s expressions as they interact with each other. Together with Troche, Alison Kelly, the Director of Photography, embraced the nifty idea of using split screens to also make some static scenes – like two people sitting in front of each other – more visually dynamic.

All three episodes of Rochelle can be watched on WIGS YouTube channel.

For more details visit WIGS official website.

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