The Independent Film Channel (IFC) is best known as the cable broadcaster of uncensored and uninterrupted independent films. Along with their main competitor, the Sundance Channel, they have sought to bring the latest indie productions, as well their own original content, into the mainstream.
As far as web content goes, IFC.com has kept the same approach. The selection of IFC’s online video, a fair amount of which is dedicated to original web series, is as eclectic as the movies on IFC–from the Australian comedy Wilfred featuring a man in a dog costume, to the darker, dramatic Four Eyed Monsters about the rocky relationship between two young filmmakers.
For the most part, you’ll find a fair representation of genres in the web series world. There’s Lunchbox, your standard video blog highlighting the latest in pop culture trends; R. Kelly’s hip-hopera project Trapped in the Closet, last year’s ridiculously epic 22-part drama about gangsters, midgets, old people, and the hilarity that ensues when their lives are thrown together; and Good Morning, Internet! which is as dull as Trapped in the Closet is absurd. It mocks morning news shows such as The Today Show, and although it gets a few laughs, after a couple of episodes it begins to feel more like a drawn out MadTV sketch rather than a full-blown series.
Getting Away with Murder, from creative team Test Pattern (Hot Hot Los Angeles, Party Animals), tells the story of a hit man living at home with his over-bearing mother and struggling to have a love life. It’s an original idea, and while it’s not the funniest show on IFC, it stands out for its production value. When watching it, you can’t help but admire how professional it looks. If one of these shows had to be broadcast on network television, I think the public would be most likely to tune in to this show.
Young American Bodies is an edgy new series (via Nerve.com) that tells the story of six twenty-somethings and their love lives. The concept itself is overdone, but its edginess comes from its raw portrayal of sexuality; YAB shows the most nudity of any web show I’ve seen, and even though I greatly respect their attempt to push the boundaries of web content, at times it comes across as forced.