Series on the internet, or web series if you’re in the camp that still embraces that term, generally fall into one of a few general buckets. There’s all kinds of buckets of branded series, of high-polish dramas, sketch comedies, and at least a dozen or so types native to YouTube. But the bucket that gets the worst wrap of all, and with due cause, is the dreaded made-for-acting-reel series.
That bucket, it turns out, seems to be rampant in actor-heavy enclaves of Los Angeles and New York, and a large chunk of the inbound emails we get every day. Take Self Storage, an indie comedy series on KoldCast TV (and YouTube) that dropped us a review request at the launch of their second season last month. It’s in the bucket for sure, but it’s at least in the better half.
Julie Mann stars alongside Kimberly Trew as Dana and Shoshanna, two down-on-their-luck college grads somehow relegated to shacking up at a self storage facility. I’m still not sure what exactly they do for a living, but their loyalty to each other given the situation is applaudable. I mean even Johnny B Homeless couch surfed solo.
As an overall series, Self Storage is slightly flawed, though not from the likes of Ocean’s Eleven and Hung star Eddie Jemison, Dave Holmes and other very watchable actors here. It struck me a few episodes in that it wasn’t the acting at all that derailed this for me. Mann is every bit adorable and there’s a charm in her and Trew’s desperation as Dana and Shoshanna.
You see, given the simple, yet orignal premise—however implausible it may be—and the cast, I wanted to really like this series. I was rooting for it. Instead I left this one feeling a bit dirty, and not in a Blue Movies type of way, instead resigned to wondering why the quirks of this pair of de facto homeless girls weren’t working for me. (Peeing in a litter box?) That, and the writing is plagued with little room for depth in the curt five-minute episode structure.
Still, Self Storage is finding its way and is now back for a second season (launched August 17), this time with a sponsor on board—StorageOutlet.net, a local Southern California chain of 18 storage facilities. While a major brand would have balked at the racy fare, the local brand saw an opportunity. For a chain that calls itself “outside the box,” I’d have to agree, how many other storage marts have their own scripted internet comedy? It now releases the series on its YouTube channel as well as the show’s own channel.
On the story front, Jemison returns with his Barbie-stroking creeper of a character. The first ep (below) makes a relevant reference to TV’s bid-happy Storage Wars, and the girls are on to a new storage mart, with a handful of new guest stars.