Ever sat at home and tried watching television, but found that your Cap’n Crunch-addled Generation Y brain just couldn’t sit through a full television show episode? Even with the advent of DVR, staying still for 22 minutes of uninterrupted television programming is an unreasonable demand. We have other very, very important things to do with our lives, like playing on the Internet, playing on our smart phones and then laying down while playing on the Internet on our smart phones. Whew! And you fat cat television executives expect us to squeeze in television shows that are funded with network money so that they have well-written scripts, believable acting and high quality production values? Ha!
We’ll be watching wannabe television on the Internet aka web series, thank you very much. And we’ll be able to perfectly squeeze webisodes, which are minutes-long episodes of web series, in between our daily Instagram-ing of perfectly good photos so that they look burnt and/or waterlogged. If someone told you that one day a program that makes your photos look like they’ve been taken with a camera that you passed over because it was older, cheaper and just plain shittier than the camera you actually paid more for would hit it big, would you believe them? Yeah, I guess you would. Anyway, here are some of the some of the most watched and best current web series:
Now in its fifth season, “The Guild” is a comedic “web series for gamers,” as its website pronounces. It centers around Codex, a MMORPG character, who is played by a girl that prefers the comfort and community of her video gaming world over the difficulties and complexities of her real life world. Her character is a “priestess” who is part of an online guild called “The Knights of Good,” which consists of members Zaboo, Vork, Clara, Bladezz and Tinerballa. Hold up a second while I take a shower to clear the extreme nerd contamination I just sullied myself with. Usually, I only have to do this after interacting with my NMR coworkers (I love them as intensely as they hate me). Watch it because this series, written by and starring its creator, Felicia Day, is so good that it inspired Joss Whedon’s own web miniseries, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog.
A documentary style web series from Craigslist and documentary filmmaking company Brownstone Entertainment, each webisode focuses on one unique Craigslist poster and the adventure that ensues after their Craigslist post. The series is a well-shot, fascinating look into people’s motivations when posting on Craigslist and how those posts play out in their lives. How do they decide who to feature in each webisode? In March of 2010, Craigslist added an opt-in feature for site posters who wanted their Craigslist adventures chronicled, so remember to opt-in next time you post your daily “IN DESPERATE NEED OF ANY FRIENDS” ad in the “strictly platonic” section of Craigslist’s classifieds.
A truly hilarious web series that features Friends’ Lisa Kudrow as Fiona Wallace, a therapist who conducts the titular “web therapy,” Wallace’s unique concept of counseling that consists of minutes-a-session webcam chats. The result is a mostly low-key, brilliantly written and acted web show that’s a must watch, especially if neurotic, dark comedy is your thing. Besides your computer, also look for it on Showtime, which began airing the show with extra scenes last year.
Chad Vader, younger brother of Darth Vader, is the manager of Empire Market, where he has employees to manage and customers to serve, all while trying to steer his Empire Market to grocery store dominance. “Chad Vader” found its popular footing on YouTube channel blamesocietyfilms, which has almost 100 million channel views. Check it out, younglings.
Rooster Teeth Production’s “Red vs. Blue” is a machinima super series about two teams of soldiers (Red and Blue) fighting over a worthless box canyon known as “Blood Gulch.” A send up of first-person shooter video games with heavy elements of science fiction, “Red vs. Blue” spans 9 seasons and 3 miniseries. If your girlfriend drags you away from your week-long “Halo” binge for some “alone time,” have her watch this with you while you break out the Cheetos. She’ll be thrilled.
There are a lot of worthy web series out there. Which ones do you watch?