Sam King has a plan: use his position as a lowly runner for Universal Music to find the next big band, while landing the girl of his dreams. Unfortunately, events, as they are wont to do, have other plans for our hero.
This is the teenybopper premise behind The Secret World of Sam King, a joint venture between the anglo-centric, online social networking site Bebo (whose been a home to other teenybopper web series including Sofia’s Diary, Kate Modern, and Gap Year) and Universal Music.
Produced by Globe Productions, a subsidiary of Universal Music’s West London branch, the series features 3-5 minute episodes filmed at the offices of Univeral Music’s West London Branch that capture the ups and downs of Sam’s daily struggles for professional advancement and eternal love.
Each succeeding day, Sam finds new obstacles in front of those dual ambitions.
In terms of the music world, he’s stuck in the mailroom with aspirations to start his own label, but in an adverse position beneath a nemesis’ thumb. That man, A&R scout Greg Parker, is as ambitious as Sam, but compensates for a lack of charm by an overindulgence in arrogance. Moreover, it’s clear from the beginning that Parker doesn’t have the ear for talent that Sam does.
To make matters worse, Parker stifles Sam’s romantic dreams as well. Nary a moment goes by without Greg interrupting Sam from his quest to win the heart of the aptly named Katie Love. She, an up-and-coming VJ, only hangs around Parker, Sam believes, to advance her career.
Sam’s best friend and aspiring radio show, secret admirer and PA to Universal’s CEO, and crack addict brother round out the core cast that helps Sam wade through this hopeful Cinderella story and the professional and relationship land mines that he seems all but intent on hitting.
Spliced between Sam’s narration to the camera and personal follies is a parade of established Universal Music talent (i.e. Amy Winehouse, Bloc Party, Jonas Brothers, The Automatic and Sugababes), as well as the omnipresence of whichever sponsor is featured in the episode, (i.e. Sony Ericsson and Virgin Mobile).
There’s also the longshot but exciting chance that through the course of the series Sam might discover an actual unsigned band on the pages of Bebo and incorporate their tracks into the show. In an effort to make the show interactive, fans can in suggestions about which bands Sam should follow.
Although some of the story elements are unoriginal (we are counting down the days until Sam finds that next cool band) and simply strange (Joe’s drug addiction adds an unwanted layer to this otherwise up-beat comedy), if I were 8-10 years younger I would totally be loving the The Secret World of Sam King.