Friday, March 27, 2009
Since tomorrow is the last day of voting for the Audience Choice Streamy Award, I thought I'd throw in my two cents.
No doubt, there is lots of love out there for shows like Dr. Horrible, The Shatner Project & The Guild not only because they're great, but because of the well-known people behind them. So I wanted to take this opportunity to pimp out my favorite web series, which has no ties to anyone famous whatsoever, it's just simply and purely AWESOME and deserves more viewers.
The show is called Dorm-Life and from what I can gather, it came about when a group called Attention Span Media gave some uber talented UCLA kids full creative control to develop & star in their own web series. I'm not even entirely sure how I started watching in the first place. I don't go to UCLA and while I know people who did, none of them are involved with Dorm-Life. But however I discovered the series, I'm glad I did, because it makes me laugh out loud more than almost every comedy currently on TV and certainly more than any web series I've regularly watched.
The premise is that a documentary film crew is following the lives of ten new college students who all live on the same floor in their dorm. There's Mike, the all American type, mostly playing Tina Fey to everyone else's Tracey Jordan, the two boys who party all the time, Gopher, who always wears shirts featuring pictures of himself, and Shane, who never takes off his "My Friend Sam is 50" shirt and provides a bulk of the show's laugh with his endless dim-wittedness, the sorority girls, one of whom, Brittany, brinks on normal, while the other, Courtney, brinks on a particularly hilarious brand of insane, Steph, the annoying over-achiever, Marshall, the so egotistical he doesn't know how lame he is RA, Abby, the girl who never speaks, Josh, the weird, artsy drama kid who marks the middle of the first season with his inspired one man show, and Daniel, the dorky kid who is a complete virgin to all Freshman year has to offer.
Dorm-Life has the perfect blend of characters types and even though only two of them (Mike & Brit) are ever really playing the straight man, the show never feels overwhelming. It never tries too hard. The comedy comes to these kids with an odd ease, the kind you expect in seasoned pros, not recent college grads.
What makes this show extra special is the fine line it walks - while it never has and never will have a "very special episode", it still stays grounded enough in reality to avoid ever becoming a straight up farce. You still care about the characters and their relationships to each other, which makes it even more enjoyable to see them go through the usual college rituals including, but not limited to, the first party, the first time getting wasted, the first Halloween, the hook-ups, the breaking up with the high school girlfriend, relatives visiting the dorm, running for school office, pulling pranks, the talent show, staying up all night to study for midterms and more. The show is familiar, yet fresh at the same time. In fact, I find it odd that these guys haven't been popping up anywhere else or that this show hasn't gotten any attention from the television sphere.
Another great thing about the show is that it goes beyond just posting 20 episodes a season. The website is incredibly interactive and lets you get as involved as you want to be. Each character is "required" to record their own web-cam bits as part of the filmmaking process, so if you are a big fan of one character in particular, there's a lot more of their story you can enjoy. There are also photos that go along with each episode, music recommendations (I heard Lady Danville for the first time through the show, who I quite enjoy), merchandise you can buy, a map of the floor, character profiles, and more. And mark my words, these actors are the comedy stars of tomorrow. Just...no one has any clue yet.
So I ask you to please give the show a chance. Head to Dorm-Life.com and watch the first season or at the very least head to the Streamy's site, watch their clip and consider giving them your vote.
Or you COULD check out the first episode of season 2 right here and get a taste of what you're missing!
And hey, just for the hell of it, season one's Halloween episode.