How a good web series can be just as addicting as what's on the ol' boob tube.
By Kimberly Lew (Playwright/Blogger)
I love a good web series. There's something about the medium that is so incredibly democratic, and it's truly amazing what people produce with limited resources and limited time frame for each episode. In fact, because so many productions are bare bones, I've found that a lot of great scripted web shows are better written with stronger characters than a lot of shows on television. Also, as much as I love bite-sized shows like Very Mary Kate, I especially get giddy when I find a web show that really becomes a serial, developing series arcs and letting the characters grow and evolve over time.
Inspired by wonderful web series that play out like mini television shows, I even experimented with the form when I wrote a season of a web series about a girl who is forced to return to her hometown after getting laid off from her job in New York. It was a definite learning experience, not only finding ways of building compelling stories within a 10 minute span, but also working within the budget constraints of getting a project like that on its feet. It truly is a balancing act, and further developing a web series is something that I continue to aspire to and be inspired by.
In the meantime, I have been ecstatic to have found a fantastic web series that represents everything I would like to write/work on someday. In a time where a lot of portrayals of young people on television have come under scrutiny, The Mis-Adventures of AWKWARD Black Girl is a gem of a show with heart, hilarity, and a winning cast of characters. I also see a lot of myself in the show -- which features characters working an unusual job with even more unusual coworkers, stumbling through the dating scene, and exploring race without getting preachy or obvious. Watch the first episode below and check out the rest of the first season. The second season just started, and I can tell it's going to be good.
KIMBERLY LEW is a playwright with two published one-act plays for high schools, as well as full-length Searching for Candi (co-written with Gabriella Miyares), which debuted at Mt. Holyoke college. Her latest play, Other People's Children, was recently featured as a part of The Beautiful Soup Theater Collective's new works reading series and was a semi-finalist for the 2012 O'Neill Playwrights Conference. She also created/manages the Emerging Musical Theatre blog. www.kimberlylew.com
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