Before As If started, the New York City subways were plastered with ads -- a closeup on a character, with a provocative quote offering insight into his or her personality. Sooz, the tough-looking girl with dyed hair, said "Creating awkward moments is what I do best." Sasha proclaimed, "If a guy is cute, sexy and intelligent he's got to be gay," and Jamie showed his softer side with the line "I'd body pierce my heart for that woman."
The only strange thing about these ads? Each character's poster also featured his or her email address. I'm not talking about the actors. I mean email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, and so on. Every time I saw an As If ad I wondered, "What kind of person sends email to a fictional character?" But eventually I realized -- me!
I emailed each of the six main characters. In an hour or so, they had all written back. But this was no UPN mailing list sending out six of the same message. Each character sent me a friendly email sharing thoughts or joking around.
Sooz's email came first, and included big news:
I just got my nose pierced today.
Before I could write a fake reply asking how it went, she wrote again (the only member of the cast to send me two messages so far). This one had some trash talkin':
I happen to know all about Nicki's little plan with Jamie
By show time (9:30 p.m., right after Buffy) Sooz's nose looked fine, and I totally saw what she meant about Nicki. She's so self-centered!
Since the other characters only emailed me once, and Sooz really confided in me, I decided she can be my As If best friend. I hope she writes again soon. And I hope she gets over her crush on Rob. His email didn't make the best first impression on me:
So...how do you get to those XXX websites anyway?
I'm definitely not writing back to that one! Sooz needs to take my advice, and go after Jamie instead. He seems like a really cool guy, and I think deep inside she knows he's something special. Why else would she get so overprotective when Nikki tried to take advantage of him?Well that's enough about my inbox! If you want a fake friend of your own, email email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fake friends won't go out clubbing with you, and they'll never lend you $5 to do laundry, but you'll always know where to find them -- on UPN! And the best thing about having fictional characters for friends? If you get sick of reading their emails, you don't have to feel guilty. Just click on the link at the bottom and unsubscribe.
Photos: Jaimie Trueblood