It’s no coincidence that TheWB.com’s new web series is helmed by former teen heart throb Jason Priestley, this time in the director’s chair. The show is chock full of juicy rich kid/poor kid drama reminiscent of a certain Beverly Hills show, but this time it all goes down by a lake (one excellent excuse to shoot attractive people constantly dressed in bathing suits).
While The Lake is undoubtedly a sudsy Summer soap, it is unapologetic about what it’s all about, making it all the more enjoyable to escape into just like a vacation on a lake. With the first four episodes up today, each handily setting up dating and relationship drama for the next, it’s hard to click away despite the interruption of J&J’s Clean and Clear ads right in the middle (the show’s nicely captured sponsor for a show aiming to capture an O.C. and Gossip Girl type audience).
The show also seems a nice get for writer-creators Meredith Lavender and Marcie Ulin who both served as writers on the short-lived series Eight Days a Week. These gals really know how to tease and pay off juicy teen drama and gossip ala dealing with divorced parents, teen pregnancy, and summer jobs all while looking good in a bathing suit. Heather Ann Davis stars as Olivia, a newcomer to the lake scene which is complete with beach-body teens including queen bee Alexis (Samantha Cope).
It also makes sense the show production of the show was handled by Generate (the studio behind Republicrats and Pink the Series). The company has now been creating web series and other new media solidly for three years with founder Jordan Levin (former TheWB chief) remaining hands on.
While they were shooting, I had a chance to stop by the set of The Lake on an early warm summer day as the show only wrapped about a month ago. (Yes, these guys did operate on a short web television production schedule, with Priestley sounding a bit tired admitting to having struggled to make all those long days).
Nonetheless, Priestley is as charming as ever, and seemed to be thoroughly enjoying his foray into the land of web TV. Here’s what he had to say:
Tubefilter: How would you say working in web television has been different for you versus more traditional mediums?
Jason Priestley: Web TV is a challenge because it’s a new format. You’re always learning about the limitations and ways in which the new format is better, or lacking. So it’s been a challenge and it’s also been a wonderful education for me as to the best ways and most economical ways to shoot… it’s also been a lot of fun.
Tubefilter: Working with a group of upcoming young actors, did you have any words of advice or wisdom to pass on based on your past experiences?
Priestley: I give them a lot of direction and I help them any way I can. That’s my job. That’s why I’m here. There was a time when we were stuck in a hail storm in Big Bear, and I was regaling them with lots of stories about the old days because there wasn’t much else to do while we were waiting for it to stop hailing.
But really, the cast is a wonderful, talented group of young actors that are all going to do just fine and the last thing they need is advice from an old worn-out horse like me.
Tubefilter: What would you say to get people to tune into this web series?
Priestley: Well, we haven’t shot it like a web series. We’ve shot it much more like a TV show, and then chopped it up into 8 to 12 minute episodes so it looks like a TV show. But ultimately it’s just a really great story about these three families that come back to the lake year after year after year… and if people want to be entertained they should tune into this show… moms, dads, kids, everyone.