I’ve had an account on YouTube since 2006, but I’ve had my current account since December of 2009. Since then I’ve used it mostly as a subscription box for tracking different YouTubers’ content. Which basically means that I’ve been around long enough to have tracked the development of different online communities and to have followed them through various stages of their creative processes. A lot of people who’ve been on YouTube for years continue to surprise me by breaking into new mediums that they’ve never tried before. One such example is the Web Series.
So today I’m going to give you a list of my “Top 5 Favorite Web Series.” Some of these you might have heard of, while others might be new to you, but all of them are excellent and you should definitely give them a try. As a brief reminder, my top five lists are not ranked by order of preference. Number five is equally as important as number one.
Summary: Job Hunters is a comedic web series about roommates set in a near-future dystopian society. After college, citizens are sent off to fight in an arena from 9am – 5pm daily where they compete against one another for job offers by demonstrating strategic thinking, high kill ratios, or medical knowledge. The series focuses mostly on one “rag-tag” group of hunters during their down time spent in a government-sanctioned safe house, but does occasionally follow them directly into the arena.
Kristina Horner of italktosnakes, FiveAwesomeGirls, Wonderly, AllCaps, the Parselmouths, etc.
Tara of The Geeky Hostess
My Thoughts: This show came about during the peak of the Hunger Games fandom. It’s funny, its well scripted, and the production value is excellent for a series that’s almost entirely crowd-funded. The characters are brilliant and you can really tell how much work was put into the plot because of some major twists built in from the very beginning. Job Hunters is in the middle of season two right now and I can’t wait to see where things are going!
The Lizzie Bennett Diaries
Summary: The Lizzie Bennett Diaries is a retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. The main character, Lizzie Bennett, engages directly with her audience through a series of “vlog” style episodes and costume theatre reenactments of her life.
Mary Kate Wiles of Squaresville, School of Thrones, I Ship It, Muzzled the Musical, etc.
Laura Spencer of Wigs, Bones, etc.
My Thoughts: What I really love about this show is how it adapted to fit the current time period. Lizzie becomes a grad student working on a communications degree, Lydia a rowdy community college student, and Mr. Darcy a tech mogul. They fit into the modern world without ever losing the unique traits of their original source material and it plays out wonderfully on screen. If you haven’t seen this show yet, you can watch it for free online or purchase the DVD collection from DFTBA.com
The New Adventures of Peter and Wendy
Summary: What if Peter and Wendy and the rest of the Darling family were all grown up? What if they actually lived in Neverland, Ohio? This web series is a retelling of JM Barry’s Peter Pan, but captured in a whole new way.
Paula Rhodes of various voice overs and guest appearances
Kyle Walters of Welcome to Sanditon
My Thoughts: This was a web series that I stumbled across accidently, but kind of fell in love with. It has a similar vlog style to the Lizzie Bennett Diaries, but instead of just a camera the cast talks directly to Tinkerbell. You get to see just about everything from her point of view, which is pretty freaking cool if you ask me. Currently I believe the show is crowd-sourcing more funds for season two, but season one is already available for free online.
Summary: Emma Approved features the well-known story of the young lady who believes she is an excellent matchmaker, but retold in a modern setting. In this version, Emma Woodhouse is re-imagined as a bold, smart, idealistic, and audacious young female entrepreneur with an expertise in life coaching and matchmaking. She partners with lifelong friend Alex Knightley, whose logical, business mind tempers her wild and creative ideas, and her assistant Harriet throughout the series.
Joanna Sotomura of Video Game High School
My Thoughts: Ok, I’ll admit it. It took me a while to get into this show. Even though it was produced and written by the same people who made the Lizzie Bennett Diaries, it wasn’t quite as catchy. The sets were amazing and the actors were great, but Emma’s character is a little less loveable personality wise. She does grow on you though, and so I would definitely encourage you to stick with it past those first few weird episodes. Because by the end, it’s totally worth it. The entire show is currently available for free online.
Chronicles of Syntax
Summary: The journey of Syntax and the identity struggles of those living in an uncertain and harsh reality. Syntax must choose between salvation and destruction. She is forced to choose to live to fight or fight to live.
Liam Dryden of Chameleon Circuit
My Thoughts: This is one of the only truly well-funded science fiction web series on the Internet right now. Its unique, its impressive, and the actors are great. Plus, its UK based which gives it an automatic Doctor Who vibe for me. Love it! The second season is currently still crowd sourcing funding, but it’s a truly impressive show and I can’t wait to see where it takes us next.