I have always loved stories and storytelling more than anything else in this world. Well in the last few years a new way of telling stories has emerged and has garnered some real credit as well as my adoration. Web Series are here and they are being watched by thousands, if you don’t believe me go check out some of those view numbers on YouTube. They’re short little snippets of storytelling being brought to us once or maybe twice a week. You’ve probably heard of the Lizzie Bennet Diaries the success story of this genre. This modern adaptation of Austen’s Pride and Prejudice won an Emmy and launched Pemberley Digital as a leading company in the productions of web series. What is interesting with a lot of web series is that they live beyond the screen. Although the audience may see the characters for four minutes on screen the characters may interact on platforms such as Tumblr and Twitter, which makes them able to interact with each other as well as the audience outside the screen time and therefore more lifelike.
Since its success with The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, Pemberley digital has continued with its adaptations with Welcome to Sanditon and Emma Approved both based on Austen’s works. However these aren’t the only web series out there. I’d like to take a moment to highlight some of my favorites that you may not have heard of both finished and ongoing.
- Jules and Monty.
So this web series is a modern adaptation of Romeo and Juliet. It has the unique ability of mixing verse and normal speech in a way that makes you smile. Its puns and modern funny tricks are amusing to watch and the actors are super endearing. Jules and Monty (short for Romeo Montgomery) are part of rival fraternities, it’s pretty clever as Jules’ older brother is “Lord” of Kappa Alpha Psi (Get it? kappa…Capulet!). My personal favorite play on the original text is Jules’ brother trying to set her up with Pierre the exchange student from Paris (get it?). This is definitely my new obsession in terms of Web Series.
- Kissing in the Rain.
The first season just wrapped up, but this stars the web series queen Mary Kate Wiles (The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, School of Thrones, etc.). The series follows two actors who are continually hired to…you’ve guessed it: kiss in the rain. Although they both start off not liking each other too much this may change as they keep having to kiss…in the rain. Beautifully shot, so romantic, this is definitely fun to watch! This has a lot of the story on Tumblr too so don’t forget to follow them there as well.
- Classic Alice.
Classic Alice revolves around a university student who, for the first time doesn’t do very well on a school paper. So she decides to live her life the way the characters in classic literature novels do. I’ve got to admit, this didn’t grab my attention right away but it was the character of Andrew that I really made me catch on. He’s super into her and its super adorable. The series isn’t afraid of going places you wouldn’t expect, Alice’s crime for Crime and Punishment is a big deal, and I like Alice would have been very very scared.
- The Autobiography of Jane Eyre.
Okay, here’s a confession about me: I am a true Austen fan so much so that Jane Eyre just, in my opinion isn’t as great. I know, I know! I am sorry! But it is true, so this web series took a while for me to actually watch. Although I knew of its existence I didn’t watch it until one day I was bored and figured what the hell! I still do not think it’s as good as the Lizzie Bennet Diaries (I am certainly biased when it comes to the male protagonist) however this Canadian web series makes St. John (Simon in this adaptation) adorable, and dateable and almost makes me team Simon instead of team Rochester.
This series also stars Mary Kate Wiles, who is slowly becoming one of my favourite actresses. This series doesn’t run so much on plot as it does on authenticity. Being a teenager in the suburbs has never been described so…accurately.
Hopefully you’ll check some of these out. Some of these are written by non-professionals which makes the series that much more awesome and impressive! Have any more recommendations? Comment below, I’m always in search of a new series to watch.