Web Series Wednesday: Hookups, Beauty Pageants, and Art Projects
Sometimes confining premises pave the way for the most interesting exploration of artistic license. Most of this week’s web series exemplify this. All of the episodes of one, for instance, take place exclusively in the moments following a casual sexual encounter from an online dating app–yet each episode really pushes the bounds of what can happen in those moments. Another gives viewers a different, challenging “art assignment” to take on with every installment.
If you’ve seen any other web series that embody true, creative spirit recently, we’d love to watch them. You can send them over to us at [email protected]. For now, take a look at these:
Exploring all kinds of scenarios that arise from “hookup apps,” this series is not afraid to get weird. It’s an interesting idea that each episode, all of which last for about five minutes, takes place right after a casual sexual encounter. Both gay and straight sex partners are featured, and the episodes range from funny to uncomfortable to downright disturbing.
The Vlogbrothers’ John Green and his wife, Sarah Urist Green, created this art-appreciating weekly series with PBS Digital Studios. Each episode focuses on a different artist who provides a challenging “art assignment” for viewers to upload to their social media accounts (certain completed assignments by viewers show up in subsequent episodes of the show). The assignments range from taking emotive photos of furniture to tracking down formerly unknown family members to capture in portrait form (from artists like Christoph Neimann and Laurel Nakadate, respectively). Sarah Green narrates, which she’s more than equipped to do as a contemporary art curator.
This web series is very funny, from the adult woman playing a five-year-old pageant participant to the kind of surreal song that plays over the closing credits about a unicorn named Gumdrop who “likes to eat jellybean pizza for breakfast”…which turns out to be the five-year-old’s pageant talent (singing the song, that is). Meanwhile, the mother smokes cigarettes for a living (as a “tester”), is dubious about her status as the girl’s mother, and carries on an affair with the uncle because her husband is rather clearly gay. All of this on top of the comedy that comes from child pageant spoofing is more than enough to entertain.
Having gotten off to a very clever start, this web series proves highly promising even though only one episode has been released thus far (the cleverness continues in the form of the placeholders for future episodes on its website—“Confidential Until February 2015,” and so on). The production quality is very high, and you can tell the creators did a lot with a relatively small budget, as the first episode takes place on just one, simple set with only four actors. The twist at the end of the episode is what should really give viewers hope that it will stay interesting.
Short and sweet and a little hokey, this branded series of video clips plays on the whole Mac vs. PC commercial campaign in which Justin Long personified the “young, hip” Mac, while John Hodgman stood in for the suit-wearing, “out-of-date” PC. Yes, “Web vs. TV” episodes are commercials themselves (made by Yashi, a digital video ad tech company), but they’re surprisingly fun to watch, especially if you’re involved in the ever-growing digital video space—and they’re so short you can hardly say you wasted time watching them…until you realize you’ve watched all 19 because the guy who plays “TV” is somehow the perfect personification of that living room entertainment staple.