Quote of the Day

"We're only here briefly, and while I'm here I want to allow myself joy. So fuck it."
- Amy, Her.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

2012: The Year of The Web Show?

When the internet started way back in the 90s, they had one goal in mind: to connect people. Plain and simple. Now, fast forward almost 20 years, and that goal has been surpassed in every way possible. I need not remind you all the ways in which this happens, because we live it everyday, nearly every moment of our lives, thanks to the implications of Internet technology.

     And every so often, it evolves, absorbing elements of physical being and rebooting them with far greater capabilities. Radio Shows became Podcasts, allowing anyone with a mic and PC to make their own, Journals and Articles became Blogs, enabling an easy way to get writing and get your name heard (believe me, I know), and now our good friend TV, having served for 8 decades, is slowly succumbing to the ways of the Web.
The Guild's even moved on
 to it's very own
line of comic books

  But I'm not talking about streaming sites like Hulu, iPlayer or Netflix, although they do dabble in the creative aspect of which this is focused. For my point here is that this year just may well see a real overhaul in terms of the way shows get made, produced and distributed among the masses (that's us!). Sure, plenty of web series' have been made and released up until this point, such as The Guild (which I'll be coming back to) and animated comedy/sadistic slaughter show, Happy Tree Friends, to name but a mere ounce of their slice in the internet market

 Because what's really happening now is individual platforms are being created for the sole purpose of providing original web content - like networks and studios in their own, un-messed-with right. Basically, it's what every creative type dreams of, finally coming to a reality near you.

   Specifically, this comes on the news that two giant geek personalities, made famous largely thanks to the web, are launching such platforms. Felicia Day, creator and star of The Guild as well as tons of other internetty stuff, has lifted the veil on the much anticipated Geek & Sundry, which will play host to a number of indie-geek-culture shows, ranging from Felicia and her buds doing awesome things in "The Flog", to the one and only Wil Wheaton doing his own show where he and special guests play classic board and card games in "TableTop", and there's even kids ad libbing their own stories to get brought to life by a slew of directors in "Written by a Kid". Here's a trailerific overview:

Meanwhile, stand-up comedian and founder of The Nerdist site and podcast-network, Chris Hardwick, has announced The Nerdist Channel - taking his nerd-branded sensibilities to the next level with the proposed menagerie of crazawesome shows on offer. Want Chris bowling with famous people? Check. Want an entire Weird Al show? Check. Want Neil Patrick Harris playing with puppets? Check. Whatever your unearthly desire, it's sure to be addressed in what these guys have in store:

But this is not just a bunch of new shows coming. This is not just an exercise in the entertainment business "branching out". And although awesome, this is not just  Nerd culture being fully realised and implemented. Because this is more. This an opportunity. And this, my friends, is the future.

  Imagine it; a world where the majority of the things we love to watch exist purely on the web - made exclusively for the web with platforms like this to get it out there. Originality levels are going to sky-rocket, as we get to see things just as the creators intended, as well as tsunami of newbies emerging who've never had the big-budget chances of network and production institutes.

A Brand New Day for Dr Horrible
  And even those who have made it big realise the potential, and I mean REALLY BIG. Take Joss Whedon, who's work on Dr Horrible 2 begins tantalisingly soon, with a possible release of this Summer. Would you ever see a Superhero musical, with the villain as protagonist, featuring stars like Neil Patrick Harris, Nathan Fillion AND Felicia Day on traditional network schedules? And further more, would you see a sequel of that there? Plus remember that Joss is literally going to be fresh off The Avengers; possibly the biggest superhero movie to date, and yet he goes straight back into a humbling, low budget web project.

   Or how about a show about Gay Marriage Equality in Brad Bell and Jane Espenson's Husbands, also heading toward a second outing for a season 2 later this year. I need not remind how I've supported the show before, and now they even have their own KickStarter to help fund the new episodes, which in itself is extraordinary seeing how they've reached the $50,000 goal in merely a week. You can still donate yourself here (regardless of location) and walk away with some nifty incentive rewards and the feeling that you've just contributed to the world of tomorrow (and we may even see some of these come to fruition) . Because the world is ready for this stuff, even laying down money for external web-content to feed their needs of innovation and revitalisation.

  In years to come we could see that the greatest actors/writers/directors of that future generation did in fact have a breakthrough via the web, a la Neill Blomkamp of District 9 fame. What does this mean? More deserving talents coming forward, previously unheard and unnoticed stars getting an opportunity to break in and become something amazing. And it all starts here, 2012, where the web-ground will be pushed to new heights and be recognised as being just as big a market for entertainment as TV and Film.

So, are you ready?


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