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

A bizarre suburban neighborhood serves as the setting for a unique new web series. The neighborhood, and the series itself, is called The Shades, and its residents practice an eclectic range of alternative religions.

Many of the characters in The Shades are total weirdos, but the two recurring protagonists are a fairly ordinary married couple named John and Hayley. Over the first few installments, they serve as the straight man and woman as they witness a number of unusual religious practices. In one episode, a Buddhist man is so shabby and humble that they mistake him for a homeless man. In another, they encounter the Satanist bros who live down the street. The pilot, however, takes place at a neighbor’s Easter celebration, which includes a hilarious, Pagan twist.

The Shades features commentary on the world’s religions, but it does not skimp on the comedy. Instead, the series features a dry, subtle sense of humor that provides laughs without being too loud. “Religion is something that governs and shapes so many lives. To limit discussion on it is outrageous,” said creator Kevin Davis in a press release.“Looking at issues through a comedic lens allows The Shades to make points and create humor in new ways.” To see how Davis lives up to his words, check out The Shades on YouTube.

OTHER UNDER-THE-RADAR SERIES TO CHECK OUT

  • Hart of America. Archer’s Amber Nash takes the central role in this comedy series.
  • I Gotta Be Me. A washed up soap actor heads overseas to be part of a tribute to the Rat Pack.
  • Girl Night Stand. A woman deals with the awkwardness of her first lesbian sexual experience.
  • Talkin’ Black(ness). This series attempts to look at some interesting examples of the black experience.

Got a series you’d like to see featured in the Indie Spotlight? Be sure to contact us here. For best coverage, please include a full episode in your e-mail.

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