We receive a ton of tips every day from independent creators, unaffiliated with any major motion picture studios, television networks, new media studios, or other well-funded online video entities. The Indie Spotlight is where we’ll write about and shout out to a select few of them and bring you up to speed on the great (and sometimes not-so-great) attention-grabbing series you probably haven’t heard about until now.  Read previous installments here.

Hotels may seem cushy and relaxing, but for the heroines of Hotel Reject, the titular setting is a hellish prison. The comedy web series, released on its own YouTube channel, follows the woes of two stuck-up heiresses as they are trapped in a hotel after losing on a reality show.

The premise is simple: Trust fund babies Jacklyn and Jordan Jensen (played by Scarlett Bermingham and Christine Bullen, respectively) go on a fictional reality show called Marry Fuck Kill, but are eliminated early on thanks to their general incompetence. However, since the show’s producers don’t want any of its secrets spilled, they confine the losers to a hotel and prevent them from contacting the outside world until the show has run its course.

The result is the cleverest spin on the prison break genre I’ve seen since Toy Story 3. As the sisters discover that escape is impossible, they must learn to adapt to the new life imposed on them by watchful, reserved security guard Joie. What follows is a wacky display of social ineptitude with plenty of awkward, cringe-worthy verbal comedy and several inane “would you rather” scenarios.

Hotel Reject has thus far released four episodes, and while the Jensen sisters and Joie are slowly building an unlikely friendship, there’s still plenty of Schadenfreude to go around. As a bonus, anyone who has even been on a family vacation will appreciate how hard it is to pass the time with simple games and mediocre TV. Given that the two leads are basically adult children, it’s a fitting image.

OTHER UNDER-THE-RADAR SERIES TO CHECK OUT:

  • ChilltownTV. An animated series that uses a talented voice cast (two of its performers are Chapelle’s Show alums) to satirize the hip-hop industry and the culture that surrounds it.
  • Gritty Reboots. The titular trend is mocked by applying it to ill-fitting video games. The first episode darkens the twee, cartoony farming fun of Harvest Moon.
  • Tailgate32. A pair of brothers track their journey across the country as they visit all 32 NFL home cities. Unforunately, this means they must go to Cleveland.
  • The New Kind. A mixed media series that combines a live-action dystopian future with some truly amazing 3D animation. The first episode feels like a cross between Firefly and Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers.

Got a series you’d like to see featured in the Indie Spotlight? Be sure to contact us here.