If I asked you to find thirty original web shows in under five minutes, where would you look? You definitely won’t find that many on sites like CollegeHumor or Break.com, at least not easily. You might find some shows on YouTube and MySpaceTV, but you’ll have to dig pretty deep through a lot of amateur content to find anything even watchable. You would probably come back to me and tell me that there’s no way to do it, but you would be wrong. In fact, I could give you a list of of thirty-three original shows, all sponsored by Comedy Central, in less than 10 seconds. How? At the recently relaunched Atom.com, where they appear to be going ahead full steam with web content, much of it featuring well known filmmakers or actors.
This list of shows includes Stickman Exodus and Border Patrol, which were both featured along with the launch of the site, and other series like I Love the ’30s and Monster Ballz. There’s no shortage of original, funny content here; in fact, Atom’s huge selection actually seems detrimental to the viewership. With so many choices, the shows are having a tough time getting together a following. A couple of videos have a large number of views (one episode of Tiny Hands featuring Nick Swardson and David Cross has 245,000 views), but the majority have views in the sub-1,000 range.
Two shows that stand out for their hilarity are Windowseat, brought to us by Radical Axis (of Aqua Teen Hunger Force fame), and Moonwalk 1986, created by Josh Koppel and Matt Peccini. The premise of “Windowseat” is simple; our poor protagonist seems to get screwed over for airline seating every time he flies. He is always forced to sit in the window seat, next to characters who range from a psychic who channels dead spirits to a spoiled 10 year old child actor who insists that his boats and houses make him “a man.” The show is minimalistic, with basic animation, but the script is hilarious and the simply designed characters are fun to watch.
Moonwalk 1986 is about two astronauts who seem to be permanently walking on the Moon’s surface, while having ridiculous conversations about everything from baby names to dreams they’ve had. This is another show that leans heavily on its dialogue, but luckily it’s extremely sharp and well written. In the pilot, we get this insight on why we faked our first landing on the moon in 1969: “It’s the American way, really. We needed to beat the pinkos to the moon, so we did the only thing we’re any good at: we made a B-movie with some sappy dialogue and tacked on a feel good ending.”
Unfortunately for both of these shows, only the first episode of Windowseat has broken 10,000 views so far, but we hope that Atom figures out a way to help viewers sort through the content better; if they don’t, they’ll be letting a lot of great talent will go to waste.