I’m always getting pitched web series. Being just one person, I never have the time to write about all of them. In the past I’ve tried to spotlight interesting shows and cover crowdfunding campaigns. I’ll still do that, but I’m looking for more ways to cover what’s coming out.
So I’d like to introduce another semi-regular feature: Start or Finish This Web Series! In it I will showcase the premieres and finales of interesting new shows.
It being the new year, a lot of new stuff is coming out!
Learning Town is a fascinating new project from YouTube’s Geek & Sundry, the channel brought to you by the producers of The Guild. Learning Town is a musical sitcom that satires the children’s television business, told from the perspective of Paul and Storm, playing versions of themselves.
In the series, a popular television host a la Mr. Rogers dies, leaving the fate of his show, Learning Town, in limbo. Hipster duo Hikky Burr — a spoof on Yo Gabba Gabba and also the theme song to The Bill Cosby Show — is in line to take his place. But Paul and Storm decide to take his place. And the end result is pretty funny!
The show features original music from Paul and Storm, available for download each episode. Learning Town has an amazing group of guests and collaborators, including Weird Al Yankovic; The Guild‘s award-winning director Sean Becker; Maurissa Tancharoen, co-producer of Joss Whedon projects Dr. Horrible and much-buzzed ABC series S.H.I.E.L.D.; and YouTube’s Greg Benson. For their part, Paul and Storm’s music has been featured on such classic web projects at Homestar Runner, The Guild and Legend of Neil.
Check out episode 1 below. Subscribe to Geek and Sundry to get new episodes every Tuesday for the next ten weeks.
With Awkward Black Girl wrapping up its second season on i am OTHER, some are waiting for the next great series about an awkward woman of color. There are many candidates, and Famous Farrah might just be it.
Famous Farrah follows Farrah, an infectious disease researcher turning 26, as she accidentally joins a hip hop group, Cake Boyz. Farrah (Kathreen Khavari) is a nerd who is bored with her life. Her sister, party girl Ava, takes Farrah out for a crazy night of drinking and strip-clubbing to distract Farrah from her unintelligent boyfriend and mundane nine-to-five. That night Farrah meets the Cake Boyz, who have been dropped from their label. The Boyz take an interest in her, for reasons unexplained, and Farrah begins an strange transformation.
The writing is brisk and direction sharp for this New York City-set series. Directed by Columbia graduate student Talibah Newman, whose short film, Busted on Brigham Lane, is headed to HBO next month and screening in Chicago next week, Farrah was written and created by newcomer Chuck Neal and produced by Khalilah Neal, a coordinator at Focus Features.
Check out the pilot below. Visit the show’s website for more episodes, released monthly for nine episodes.
Small business is ripe for satire. Among them, auto sales might be the ripest.
Coogan Auto‘s first episode begins as the car dealership embarks on making its first commercial, after owner Jerry Coogan (comedian Rob Riggle) and his right-hand man Del (JB Smoove) return from Vegas with $100,000 in winnings. They get some ridiculous pitches, including one for a porn commercial, pitched by Tony (Horatio Sanz, of SNL and his short-lived UCB web series, Espanto).
The first of six episodes is below. Subscribe to LOUD to get more.
Chloe and Zoë
Chloe and Zoë is a bright new web series from newcomers Chloe Searcy and Zoë Worth I recently named among my best of 2012. The show follows the misadventures of semi-likable do-nothings Chloe and Zoë.
The finale concludes the season’s arc involving Chloe, her ex, Josh, and his new girlfriend, Other Chloe, who we met in episode two. When last we checked in with Chloe and Zoë, the un-dynamic duo were
humiliating helping Chloe 2 start her acting career on YouTube. Chloe 2 had been having some doubts about her relationship with Josh, who is a film aficionado, while she is not.
In the finale, Josh and Chloe finally hash it out. And we learn why — rather, that — everyone hates our heroines. The pair take life’s lemons and…well, you’ll just have to watch.
Below are the last two episodes of season one. The team started writing season two this week, so subscribe to their YouTube channel for updates!