‘Whatever this is’: A Better Kind of Web Series

/ Dec 10, 2013

WhateverThisIs

We ranked it:

B

 

 

 

Whatever this is,” like the recent crop of Millennial-focused TV comedy/dramas (dramedies if you will), examines life after college. Those formidable years where food is paid for with change from under your couch cushions and one stroke of bad luck is all it takes to put you on a road of financial ruin for at least the next year. If this sounds familiar, it’s because you’ve probably been there. Hell, we’ve all been there, yet watching it, watching other people suffer the same way, is somehow compelling. Maybe the knowledge that other people (fictional or otherwise) are going through, or have gone through, the same thing makes us feel better about the sorry hand we sometimes are dealt.

But as hit cable shows like HBO’s “Girls” blends the stark reality of being young and down on your luck with the absurd, “Whatever this is” does its best not to wallow in joylessness and ends up delivering a charming, sometimes flawed, web series.

The series from production company Rascal Department, follows Sam, Ari, and Lisa: three broke young people slugging out life in New York. Sam and Ari work a terrible job as production assistants, which degrades and humiliates them on a daily basis. “Whatever this is” examines what it’s like working a lame, thankless just so you can scrape by and be poor at the end of the day. Do you wait it out until it gets better or do you start over and try something new? It’s not an easy question to answer, but “Whatever this is” tries to answer it the best it can.

The series, much like its financially-drained leads, does lack some direction. While it may be a directorial choice, many scenes in “Whatever this is” drag on for far too long. In one scene, Lisa, a teacher by trade, discusses running into the father of a student. From start to finish Lisa’s dialogue runs around one minute and thirty seconds. Although long tracking shots featuring complex dialogue work in a Tarantino or McQueen film, these lengthy sidebars often fall flat. Exposition can be stunning when done correctly; it can flesh out a world and characters in vivid detail, but only if it is done with razor precision. It’s not that Lisa’s speech is unnecessary, it just paints her complexities too fast and too wide.

Despite some missteps, “Whatever this is” takes risks that few modern web shows take. The golden ticket to web series stardom seems to be parody rap songs and slapstick sketches, which is why it’s so refreshing to watch a show that asks questions of its audiences. Sure, it’s not perfect, but it’s a damn good start.

 

Tags: , , , ,


  • alexmac84

    Honestly, I think it’s better than Girls in depicting the Gen Y, broke in NYC experience. Bravo!

lyor-cohen-youtube-music

Pioneering Hip Hop Exec Lyor Cohen Joins YouTube as Global Head...

 
alpha-legendary-digital

Legendary Digital Reveals Alpha Subscription Service Launch...

 
time-inc-jash

Time Inc. Teams with Digital Comedy Producers Jash for Branded Content

 
Amazon Logo

Amazon Greenlights Three Comedy Pilots as Series

 
Industry Tickets Selling Fast!
Click above to lock in your registration for VidCon 2015!
 
cartoon-network-app

How the Cartoon Network Combined the Best of VOD and Linear TV...

 
jukin-media-ethos

Jukin Media Goes Viral for Brands with Ethos Division Launch

 
Streamy Awards

Streamy Awards Trade In VH1 for YouTube, Again

 
zefr-alignment-report

Matching Ads to Videos Not So Simple, According to Zefr’s...

 
shomi

Plug Pulled on Canadian SVOD Service Shomi

 
Twitter

What’s Trending on the Twitter Sale

 
Machinima Logo

Machinima Teams with SiriusXM for Daily Esports Radio Show

 
Hearst

AwesomenessTV, Vice, Complex to Power New HearstLive...

 
dirty-30-hannah-hart-mamrie-hart-grace-helbig

VIDEO: ‘Dirty 30’ Confessions with Stars Hart,...

 
facebook-thumbs-down

Facebook Says It’s Sorry It Vastly Overestimated Video...

 
craig-piligian-pilgrim-media-group

Pilgrim Media Group CEO Craig Piligian (‘The...

 
youtube-heroes-for-change

Heroes or Rats?: YouTube Unveils New Program for Creators Who...

 
Vessel says it's doing well in its first month

Why Verizon is Pursuing Vessel, the...

 
jared-feldman-and-sam-hui-ph-d-at-the-2014-canvs-launch

How Canvs Media is Harvesting Emotional Insights on YouTube,...

 
marlon-wayans

Marlon Wayans Getting ‘Naked’ for Netflix with Regina Hall

 
huffpost-ryot-aol

HuffPost RYOT Launching Virtual Reality Comedy Series and News...

 
youtube-vote-irl

YouTube Launches #voteIRL Campaign Targeting Digital-First Generation

 
tyler-oakley-camp17

How Top YouTubers (incl. Tyler Oakley & Meghan Rienks)...

 
charlie-sheen-anger-management

Charlie Sheen to Star in Crackle Feature ‘Mad Families’

 
filmbuff_videoink_300x250

Gunpowder & Sky Buys Distributor FilmBuff As Vision for...

 
toy-freaks-youtube

Toy Freaks Top Viewed YouTube Channel in August According to...

 
jeffrey-tambor-transparent-amazon

Emmy Wrap-Up 2016: Jeffrey Tambor (‘Transparent’)...

 
Twitter

Twitter Scores 2.1 Million Viewers for Thursday Night Footall Kickoff

 
youtube-sad-face-error

Vloggers Not Unique Snowflakes: 90 Million Flag YouTube Videos...

 
Mode Media

‘Billion Dollar Startup’ Mode Media Shuts Down

 
raised-firsts-branded-tv

Who Is Winning The Marketing Revolution And Why?

 
shes-gotta-have-it

Netflix Orders ‘She’s Gotta Have It’ Series...

 
swedish-dicks-peter-stormare-keanue-reeves-viaplay

What Is ‘Swedish Dicks’ and Who Is Selling It?

 
seamlessly-she-monica-potter-aol-partner-studio-gmc-acadia

How GMC is Using the AOL Series ‘Seamlessly She’...

 
Netflix_new

Liberty Global to Put Netflix on Set-Top Boxes in 30 Countries

 
vincent-cacace-vertebrae

Getting to the Spine of VR’s Monetization Challenges with...

 
meredith_brandfront_videoink_300x250

Meredith Hosted Its Own “Front” Stacked with 20 New Series

 
complex-networks-hearst-verizon

Verizon and Hearst Move RatedRed.com and Seriously.TV Under...

 
Twitter

Twitter Launches Live Streaming Apps for Amazon Fire, Apple TV...

 
YouTube Community

YouTube Fights Back Against Social Media Rivals with Community Feature

 
Casual Hulu

Vimeo Opening Television Store with Lionsgate Content, Launching...