Archive for the ‘Web Shows’ Category
There isn’t much to explain about the premise of The Booth at the End. A weird, nameless dude sits in a booth — at the end — in a diner and gives people cryptic assignments to complete in order to obtain things they want. It’s like The Wizard telling Dorothy to kill the witch, whom she’s never met and has no beef with, in order to go home.
Booth is a Hulu original series, but the episodes run the length of an ordinary televised show. That’s probably a bit long for a series of basically all bottle episodes. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted September 11, 2012on:
“This is the best show I’ve ever seen in my entire life,” is what Abed said when he saw his first thirty seconds of Inspector Spacetime. If he was impressed with that, he should see Travis Richey’s Untitled Web Series About a Space Traveler Who Can Also Travel Through Time. For starters, the production values are much better. And if you think that the low production values are what gives Inspector Spacetime its charm, don’t worry — you won’t be starved for camp. Read the rest of this entry »
I’ve been hearing about the web series Shelf Life* for a while now at cons and such and keep meaning to check it out — already, it’s in its third season. Thank you to AProblemShared for blogging about the show and thus reminding me!
Shelf Life opens with a catchy speed metal theme song as we fly in through a window to a child’s bedroom and four superhero figures standing on a shelf. For a split second you could almost mistake this for animation, and when the characters first start to speak you hardly see the mouths move. But when their owner leaves the room, the action starts. Read the rest of this entry »
UPDATE: 7/22/12 I wrote the analysis below having only watched the first episode of Battleground. I don’t usually approach these posts as recommendations for or against watching a show. Having now completed the first season, I say “Watch it. Watch it now.” This is one of those shows that the pilot does not do justice to until you can appreciate it as part of the larger picture.
For example, some of the stuff that makes you scratch your head in the pilot (like just when are these interviews supposed to have been recorded, and what the hell is Cole wearing?) are ambiguous on purpose. The final episode has me dying for season 2.
If you happened upon the pilot episode of Battleground, you might think you were watching a documentary. For a few minutes at least, Battleground defies the obvious comparisons to Parks and Recreation or The Office. As mockumentaries go, this one opens on a more serious note. There is a film-like look about it. Amber waves of grain and small hometown businesses flavor the opening credits. It’s a bit like the tour of Scranton that opens The Office, but without the underlying sense of sarcasm. Then… we meet Jordan T. Mosley, the show’s Dwight Schrute. But I’ll come back to him. Read the rest of this entry »
In case we weren’t already excited enough about the return of Community on March 15, the fine folks at NBC have decided to whet our whistle with some animated shorts. The obvious question: Why didn’t they think of this a long time ago? That animated holiday special in 2010 (has it been that long?) rocked.
The pilot episode of Abed’s Master Key is only a precious minute and 56 seconds long, but to fans so long deprived of a meal, these are succulent little crumbs. The episode just gives us a quick look at all of the main characters–the study group and Dean Pelton–hanging out in their usual spot, the study room that has seen everything from a zombie uprising to some Jeff-Britta coitus. Read the rest of this entry »
I thought a post on the original Crackle series The Writers Room would be a nice complement to my last post on 30 Rock. The Writers Room, which debuted in 2008 is what you would get if you distilled 30 Rock down to just the scenes in the writer’s room and shot it with a handheld camera. And took out all the humor. No, I’m kidding. Sort of. But there is an episode of Louie, where a group of writers has been gathered to doctor a screenplay, which packs more humor into 2-3 minutes that this web show exhibits in its whole pilot. I’m sure that its writers would say that’s because I just don’t get it.
The scribes of the web series work for a sketch comedy show hosted by Kevin Pollack (as himself). You may not know the name Kevin Pollack, but you’ve seen him. See? An interesting twist of this is that all of the writers play themselves. Read the rest of this entry »
Bloomers is a web series, set in contemporary L.A., which debuted a couple of weeks ago. You can watch the episodes that have aired thus far here.
The pilot introduces all seven members of the ensemble cast, though the one we get to know best is Francesca (Fernanda Espindola), a fashion designer. Fancesca comes off like an uber-bitch, but we’re able to forgive her in short order when we learn she’s not feeling so well. Her mid-day barf break ends with her hand resting on her lower abdomen–TV shorthand for “Oh shit, I’m pregnant.” Read the rest of this entry »
Husbands, the Series premiered via UStream tonight at 6:30 PST. “Why now?” co-writer and star Cheeks was asked. “Why not?” he replied.
Whether or not you think the world is ready for a series starring a gay married couple, it is here. And when you think about it, it’s kind of hard to believe it hasn’t been done before. Prior to the premiere, Executive Producer Jane Espenson, a woman with serious geek cred (Buffy, Angel, Dollhouse, Warehouse 13, Battlestar Galactica…), and stars Cheeks and Sean Hemeon, gave a little sneak-peek. They discussed what prompted Espenson to create this show, on her own dime, for the web. In a nutshell, she felt that this show needed to exist, and the web gave her the right outlet for it. “If Joss hadn’t done [Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog], I wouldn’t have done this,” she said.
The looming question was, is it funny? The pilot, titled Waking Up in Vegas, runs just a minute and a half and, like most webisodes is basically one joke. It opens with the characters, Cheeks and Brady, accompanied by bestie Haley (Alessandra Torresani) talking about their recent secret wedding. They kept it quiet because, we learn, Cheeks is a famous actor while Brady is a professional baseball player. Then we flash back four days to Las Vegas, just following the legalization of gay marriage, and we learn how the blessed union came to be.
The characters live up to a lot of stereotypes in this little snapshot. But it’s interesting that Brady is a professional athlete, an area where, unlike in Hollywood, being gay is still probably taboo. (If you’ve ever seen the hilarious play Take Me Out by Richard Greenberg, you know the potential of this subject matter.) And this is clearly just an introduction. There aren’t any big surprises but it sets us up for situations relate-able to any married couple, as well as those unique to gay men.
My favorite exchange is when Cheeks asks, “Do you have batting rehearsal?” to which Brady replies sweetly, “We call it practice.” So yes, it was funny, as well as quirky and colorful. I look forward to seeing where it goes. We don’t have to wait long. Episode 2 debuts on Thursday.
I saved the best part for last. Nathan Fillion is going to appear on the show!!!
So I’m sitting at Comic-Con singing along to Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog and loving Felicia Day in spite of her questionable singing ability and thinking “How the hell have I not blogged about The Guild“? (Felicia even stopped by to say hi and thank the fans–she’s adorable.)
In case you’re not familiar, The Guild is a web series that’s been running since 2007, about a group on online gamers. It was created by Felicia Day, previously known in the Whedonverse as Vi on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
We meet our heroine as she’s having a bad Friday night. She’s sitting at home alone, unemployed, and having not left the house in a week and recently dumped by her therapist. What we quickly realize, though is this is pretty much a normal Friday night for her.
In this 4-minute episode, titled Wake-Up Call, we have just brief introductions to protagonist Codex and the other players in her guild. We flash back to the phone conversation Codex had wherein her therapist dumped her. As the therapist accuses her of lacking motivation to conquer her addiction, Codex fumbles with the computer, participating in a heated guild run. The game is not named but we assume it’s World of Warcraft. (It probably helps to be a gamer, but you don’t have to be one to get the show.)
Each of the other four players is seen in turn, and the show does not shy away from gamer sterotypes. There’s an overweight woman who’s neglecting her kids, an unattractive guy who eats constantly, a skeevy younger guy who weaves sexual innuendo into all conversation, and a perky Asian girl accessing the web on multiple devices at once. One guy, however, is missing, and we’re about to find out why.
It doesn’t take long to realize that this group of disparate warriors is closeknit in a way that only people who have never seen each other can be. ”I hear them. It’s good enough for the blind,” Codex tells her therapist. This is the perfect example of this show’s wry style of humor.
However, the line that really sums up our heroes’ situation comes a couple of episodes later: “You can’t log off of your own life.”
The Guild, in many ways, set a precedent for web TV, employing strong writing, production values, and acting, while catering to a niche audience. Here’s an interview Felicia did about the show early in its run.
This new web series, produced by Bryan Singer, was teased to minimal fanfare–actually, lumped together in a panel with Mortal Combat: Legacy–but it looks highly promising. The premise is that a good chunk of the world’s population has been tied into some futuristic version of the internet, where information is downloaded straight to your brain. Due to a glitch, a third of those people have dropped dead. Those remaining are left to figure out what the frak happened. Here’s a trailer.
What sounds cool about this series is, you will be able to view the episodes (48 total) in the order of your choosing, organizing them by character, chronologically, or geographically. This approach capitalizes on the uniqueness of the medium, rather than just creating a show as one would for television and throwing it up on the web.
Effin With Tonight
This animated series created by former Tonight Show writer Jim Shaughnessy is set to launch on the web at Crackle.com. They screened a clip and it looks pretty damn funny. It stars Patrick Warburton (The Tick, Family Guy, Venture Bros., etc., etc., etc. This guy is in everything.) as well as Joe Cipriano (the voice of Animation Domination). It’s basically an animated late night talk show that parodies everything that Shaughnessy despised about his old gig. And, in the panel, he made no bones about how much he hated it. They’re hoping to take it to a network, but I can see it being about as successful as the equally irreverent and highly underrated Sit Down, Shut Up.
Writing for TV
This was just a random tidbit I picked up in a panel on writing genre TV. It used to be you needed to write spec scripts of existing shows to break into writing. Now, according to the panelists, there is more demand for scribes who have written their own pilots. Still no solid advice on how the hell you get that script into the hands of anyone who gives a damn, but one writer had an interesting story about how she wooed Joss Whedon.
This was not a pilot, but the first of three-part story arc that will run this September. It was too awesome not to mention. This mini-story takes our hero, “Duchess,” out of his usual surroundings at ISIS and places him on the high seas, and introduces a new character, played by–you guessed it–Patrick Warburton. There are pirates. ‘Nuff said.
Partial or complete pilots of a number of other shows were screened during the Con, including Terra Nova, Alcatraz, Person of Interest, The Secret Circle and Locke & Key. Reviews and opinions abound so I won’t rehash. But the fall season is looking up.