Coffee shops are the ideal setting for any creative writer, what with the constant coming and going, the diverse range of people, and the sense that, at any minute, you’ll get hot cocoa adorably spilled on you by your soulmate. John Frink, Joel H. Cohen and Rob LaZebnik, three former The Simpsons writers, are channeling that energy into a new animated series produced by Starbucks.
It’s called “1st & Main,” and its seven episodes will track any number of sweet, goofy, and awkward interactions among a motley crew of talking animals. There’s Diego, “a barista cat with a man bun,” Chet, a beagle “who has a kind word for everyone,” and a couple of lovestruck porcupines. No word yet on if Poochie will have a cameo.
“As much as we are supposed to be working, we are even better at procrastinating,” says LaZebnik. “Looking around, you can’t help but see the vibe in there—the partners (employees), the regular customers, the flow of morning traffic. We thought we could bring that to life in a really fun way.”
The whole endeavor seems like a clever, low-stakes way for Starbucks to broaden its brand and perpetuate the folksy, “local java shop” feel the chain has long tried to convey. Also, episodes only run 90 seconds (“about the length of time it takes to place a Starbucks order”).
Watch the trailer below, and catch the first episode here this Friday.