To say that the world of television is changing would be an understatement. Streaming sites like Netflix and Hulu are being blamed (and praised) for the death of cable television.
But there is another player in this game: the web series – scripted videos released online in episodic format. Some of these series are big time, produced by large production companies, starring well-known celebrities. Others are small fry independents that are just getting noticed.
If you are interested in getting into web series, here are 11 to start off with:
Collective Arts Black Box Sessions
We don’t mean to toot our own horn, ok we do, but the Collective Arts Black Box Sessions are a must-watch for any music fan. Bands of all different shapes and sizes enter the tiny but mighty studio here at Indie88 to play stripped-down versions of their songs. Check out intimate performances from City and Colour, July Talk, Spoon, Vance Joy, Sam Roberts Band, Mounties, and so many more.
Vice teamed up with Arts & Crafts, Field Trip and FACTOR to travel all around Canada with Mac DeMarco, Kevin Drew, Tommy Kruise, and Rich Kidd for their new web series, Tripping Out. In each episode, the artists embed themselves in the local arts community, chat with interesting creative people, and at the end of it all they play a show.
Neil’s Puppet Dreams
The Jim Hensen Company created this series that stars Neil Patrick Harris alongside a cast of puppets. Do we even need to say more? Harris lives with his partner David Burtka and each night he goes to sleep he dreams in puppet. The series takes viewers into Neil’s subconscious dreaming life.
Have you ever wanted to know where the Indie88 on-air team lurks when they aren’t behind the mic? You’re in luck. In our video series CRUBS, we take a sneak peek into the glorious abodes of all our announcers. So far Raina, Matt and Carlin have invited us into their homes. Take a look!
Fans of cult hits Wet Hot American Summer and Wanderlust might be happy to know that director David Wain is making a web series loosely based on his own attempts to meet women in New York City. Expect Wain’s trademark awkward humour and many celebrity cameos (Elizabeth Banks and Jason Sudekis, among many others).
Explaining Things to My Grandfather
Slow Clap videos was created by Torontoians Ethan Cole and Josh Shultz. The team has created a YouTube web series that draws humour from gaps in generational understanding between Cole and his grandfather. In each episode, Cole explains aspects of modern life to his open-minded grandfather. These include things like cockblocking, molly, and sexting. Most recently, they talked Toronto politics, with porn star and Toronto mayoral wannabe Niki Benz.
Very Mary Kate
This comedy series is the unofficial biography of the infamous Olsen twin. The show was created by and stars comedian Elaine Carroll. The hilarious short episodes can be watched on YouTube or CollegeHumor.
Sugarboy was created by Above Average, a production company associated with Saturday Night Live and many of the show’s actors. They’ve done many web series but a standout is Sugarboy. The storylines are imagined by an adorable little boy with boundless energy – aka he is hopped up on sugar. His overactive imaginations are then rendered into slick productions, sometimes featuring SNL alumni.
This Canadian-made series chronicles a young priest in the midst of a spiritual crisis after witnessing the resurrection of a divine being. It features awesome special effects and stunts which is rare for a web series as they’re typically made at the lowest budget possible.
Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee
It’s so simple and maybe that’s why it’s so good. In each episode, Jerry Seinfeld drives a classic car with a famous friend passenger, to simply get coffee. The cameras roll the whole time as hilarity ensues.
Keep It Canada
Matty Matheson (outspoken chef/owner of Parts & Labour) teamed up with Vice Magazine to create the Keep It Canada web series. The show takes Matheson cross country to experience food culture around the nation. It’s like Lynn Crawford’s Pitchin’ In, but with more swearing and more tattoos.