Tag Archives: web series

On the Web, Anyone Can Be a Star

In this Internet age, it is relatively easy for anyone with a camera, a computer and a few dollars to make his or her own web series. But can the independent ones live up to the web series supported by big dollars?

The two web series, “Oh, Inverted World” and “Suite 7”, are a good example of how indie web series and big-budgeted web series can both have their good and bad.  “Oh, Inverted World” is a low-budget series from Long Island about a young socially-awkward woman along with her three bearded friends dealing with zombies and the crashing of the moon. “Suite 7,” starring Shannen Doherty (“Beverly Hills 90210” and “Charmed”) and Wilson Cleveland, follows a heartbroken hotel guest who finds comfort in an emotionally distant hotel manager.

Visually and story-wise, “Oh, Inverted World,” was on par with larger budget web series. Its use of black-and-white film was aesthetically distinctive and the imagery did not give away at all that this was an independent series. The story line also was different from the norm. The first episode, “Neighborhood,” keeps the audience guessing with a random opening in which a zombie-looking man dies in the first few seconds. The rest of the episode was as puzzling with a bar scene involving the main character, Mina, and her friends, “the bearded three,” but at least it is thought-provoking.

Where the series falls short, however, was in the acting. The problem with independent shows is that because of the low budget, sometimes the best actors are not chosen for the show. Instead it is who the creators are able to get. While the actress who plays Mina had a strong presence, the other actors in the show were awkward in their deliverance of lines.  Often the acting was not convincing; the comical parts were not that .

In “Suite 7,” the emotional interaction between Shannen Doherty and Wilson Cleveland was powerful. However, some people in the class did not agree. “The story was clichéd, stranger meet stranger, and the acting was kind of bland,” said Ying Chan. I agree that the story was typical (it is a mainstream web-series after all), the chemistry between the two actors was there within the intimate setting of the hotel room.

Surprisingly, the bigger-budget web series was visually lacking. The visuals are sort of dull and blurry, and the camera is a little shaky. I do not know if it was meant as a means for the viewers to focus on the two actors or as a reflection of the emotions of Shannen Doherty’s character, but it is not appealing to the eye. The strength of the web-series lies in the words spoken, not the way it looks.

But what is great about the Internet is that “Oh, Inverted World” and other independent web series are given the same chance as more mainstream web series like “Suite 7”. They have equal opportunity for me to play or for me to click away.

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Monochrome Hipsters and a REALLY Lonely Woman

Just because your professor is absent from class doesn’t mean you won’t have work to do. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, its time to elaborate on the assignment the class was assigned with for this particular session. Oh, Inverted World is 13 part web series created by Terence Krey. The first episode features Mina and her three bearded friends returning to their hometown after graduating college. After experiencing the glory that is college life, their hometown seems drab and boring in comparison. In fact, it seems nothing, in their eyes, has changed since high school from the bar they all once thought was cool to getting beat up by the jerk jock. This monotony is broken once the three bearded dudes are taken prisoner by a totally hot seemingly crazy woman in a dress who claims the moon is going to crash. The protagonists remind me of the twenty-something year old hipsters that populate my neighborhood (Williamsburg) and I think I can safely assume that these people are the targeted audience. The type of viewers who would appreciate this series the most are those who associate the word ironic with the concept of humor.

Suite 7…well I’m really biased against Lifetime for certain reasons. This particular episode comes off like a scene from a play. Shannen Doherty, plays the role of an older woman mourning the loss of her significant other. Actually, that statement is a bit misleading. She’s crying over the break up over her younger ex-boyfriend to some poor, hapless hotel manager.

In short, I like Oh, Inverted World much, much more.

“I like the lifetime movie because the actress is really able to express all of the character’s emotions” – Diana Coats, classmate

Well, everyone has their own opinion.

Oh, Inverted World

SPOILER: She doesn't like lamps

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Television Has Finally Become Equipped to Our Attention Span With Web Series

As we continue to innovate and come up with more ways to improve our modern and technologically fast-paced society, a new sensation has been born: the web series.

Comprised of “TV shorts,” web series are usually no more than ten minutes in length each and are available online only. These web series aren’t just your casual Youtuber’s that decided to make series either. Major networks are providing web series, such as a personal favorite of mine, NBC’s The Office Webisodes.

Web series give major networks and independents alike the chance to put their name out there in a cool and modern way. However, can independents compete with major networks in this era of TV? Comparing two web series episodes, the first Company in the web series Suite 7, hosted by My Lifetime network, and Neighborhood #1 of the web series Oh, Inverted World, hosted by New York independent company MovieFilm Productions, it seems like a tough challenge.

Don’t get me wrong, Neighborhood #1 isn’t so bad. It seems to be the beginning of a zombie and monster web series. Of course, since it is an independent web series, the make-up was bad, really bad more specifically. The screenwriting was awkward at times and the actors were clearly novices. But it was something about the raw edge of the episode that captured me and made me want to finish the episode. The entire series is in black and white, which ads to the eeriness of the series. The music was extremely nice and appropriate (I am a huge movie soundtrack fanatic). Even the transition from scene to scene was well made. However, with so-so acting and not so good writing, the series fails to deliver. One student, Sabrina Khan, says, “I thought it was boring. It didn’t lure me in enough.”

Company has an upper hand from the start—it stars actress Shannon Doherty. On top of that, it is obviously much better made and the acting is almost cruelly better. Company takes place in a hotel room, when a manager brings a guest (Doherty) an extra pillow requested and becomes a listening ear to her relationship problems. Yes, it’s a little sappy. But the episode was so enticing it made me want to see more.

Shannon Doherty in Company

Overall, rather it be independents or major networks, web series are making a mark on the web. They are giving a chance for novices to make a name for themselves and for major networks to give their viewers something more. I’d say I’m all for quick TV. What can I say, I’m an American, and I’m just as impatient as the stereotype claims.

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