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.
In 2000, two years after news broke of her inappropriate relationship with President Bill Clinton, Monica Lewinsky moved to New York City, where she looked to reinvent herself. That time in Lewinsky’s life is the inspiration for Monica, a clever web series that has recently turned a lot of heads in the blogging world.
Monica follows its titular heroine, played by Lily Marotta, as she moves into a West Village apartment attempts to start a new life. Of course, this proves rather difficult, as the people she encounters can help by pry into her famous back story. In the first episode, for example, she meets with a yoga teacher who is eager to address “that elephant that is stomping around this studio right now.”
What makes Monica so smart is creator Doron Max Hagay‘s ability to balance his gimmick with a more usual web series setup. Monica, at its heart, is another web series about a young person trying to make it in the big city, but by focusing on a real person and her intriguing story, Hagay adds an important wrinkle. “I began to empathize with Monica, whom I saw as gravely hurt and misunderstood,” he told Fader.
At the same time, Hagay doesn’t spend the whole series cracking jokes at Lewinsky’s expense. While that may disappoint Jay Leno, it’s good news for Monica, which is equal parts witty and relatable. The first six-episode season will be released on Hagay’s Vimeo channel.
OTHER UNDER-THE-RADAR SERIES TO CHECK OUT
- BedHead. Things get (sorta) hot between two friends when they sleep in bed together.
- Ackee & Saltfish. Two friends banter in this series based off a short film.
- The Court Supreme. Comic book-style characters take their battles to the courtroom.
- That Squirrel Did What? Can a squirrel make it in Hollywood? This web series searches for the answer.
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