Top Five Short-Form Web Series of 2013
2013 through the lens of streaming video was largely dominated by Netflix’s big two: “House of Cards” and “Orange is the New Black.” As both shows released to critical acclaim, short-form web shows took a back seat, at least in media coverage, to multi-million dollar productions put on by the likes of Hulu, Amazon, and Netflix. But that doesn’t mean that 2013’s web series weren’t of note. In fact, this year has been unparalleled in terms of quality web shows. We’ve seen some amazing series released digitally this year, which is why slimming down this list was tough.
Rest assured though, the five web series represented below are the cream of the crop. These are the shows that pushed the digital medium and silenced web video naysayers worldwide. So dive in and check out the top short-form web series of 2013 below.
5. “Olive Us”
“Olive Us” is a beautifully filmed series about the Blair family who consist of parents Ben and Gabrielle and kids Ralph, Maude, Olive, Oscar, Betty, and Flora June. The series, which is shot by film production company Tiger in a Jar, follows the Blair family as they attempt to live healthy, happy, and sustainable lives. The official “Olive Us” bio reads: “Our family relationships aren’t perfect, but we hope by modeling positive examples in the videos that it will help us practice better relationships in real life.”
4. “Squaresville” (Season 2)
Truly encompassing the indie nature of online video, “Squaresville” has become a genuine cult phenomenon online. The show, created by Matt Enlow, follows two suburban teens as they navigate the rocky landscape that is being an awkward youth. Season two has been no less excellent as the saga of Zelda and Esther continues in all if its off-kilter glory.
Shows are not embeddable, so you can watch them here.
3. “Casualties of the Gridiron”
As football season rages on and the hits become bigger, series like “Casualties of the Gridiron” remind us of the toll that professional athletes pay for our entertainment. Put on by GQ, the series examines life post-NFL and the agony that many ex-footballers live with as a result of concussions and injuries sustained on field. “Casualties of the Gridiron” isn’t fun to watch, but that doesn’t make it any less important.
2. “The Power Inside”
Branded content, no matter how expertly produced, is often cringe-inducing in its tone deaf approach to how often or aggressively a product or service appears within it. A recent “Transformers” film comes to mind in which a Mountain Dew machine openly transforms into a robot and begins fighting a lesser cola bot. Like I said, cringe-inducing. “The Power Inside” is incredible because Intel and Toshiba — the sponsors of the series — took such a hands off approach to the series. Not to mention, with financial backing from tech giants like Toshiba and Intel, “The Power Inside” is incredibly shot, acted, and written.
1. “Ghost Ghirls”
Put out by Yahoo and produced by Jack Black’s Electric Dynamite, “Ghost Ghirls” was a genuinely absurd and brilliant ride. From the show’s hapless ghost hunting heroines to it’s subversive take on crime procedurals, “Ghost Ghirls” showed us what could be done when very funny people were given free reign on a digital platform.