The Wire fans are a fierce breed. Whenever The Wire comes up in passing conversation a fan usually demands that whomever has yet to see the show needs to immediately drop everything and begin from season one. While I have yet to see the show, from it’s sheer cult status, everything The Wire intrigues me, including a new web series from a woman who kept everyone on The Wire well-fed while working in craft services.
Life After Lisa, a new drama web series set in the 80’s, is the brainchild of Maryland-native Elena Moscatt. While working craft services on the show, the indie filmmaker also worked her connections, landing cameos for Lisa from Method Man and Corey Parker Robinson, both actors on The Wire. Lead cast members for the show include Zoe Sloane, Sabrina Kay, and Stephanie Danielson as Jessie Beaumont, the protagonist of the story.
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It’s 1987, and Jessie starts school in Baltimore at Brighton College a semester late. She lucks out and gets her own dorm room, until she discovers she’s occupying the room of a girl named Lisa Shatner who died in a car crash last semester. The show chronicles how each girl’s life has been affected since Lisa’s death. Being the artsy girl she is Jessie almost always has a camera in hand filming everything.
So far, only a video from Jessie’s video diary, and an episode preview have been released, as the series has yet to fully launch. The first season is slated for 22 eight-minute episodes premiering on February 1st. Jessie’s camera is surprisingly mobile for the clunky VHS models of the day, and the quality is also undeniably crisp. Perhaps this was a production choice, but this could have been something fun to play with in the video diary sections, especially since there is such care taken with other tonal details, such as fashion, drink references (Bartle and James), and music (The Cure). The music in the preview videos uses 80’s sounding local Baltimore bands like Ego Likeness, The Perfects, and Australian natives Parralox.provides a creepier tonal soundtrack that feels slickly produced and perhaps suitable for cable television.
While the premise of this one is intriguing, so far I fear it may fall into the trap of being just another video diary series. Additionally, the web site feels like a personal promotional page for each actress rather than a place to get to know and interact with characters and the story. On the other hand, it seems Moscatt, Wire veteran, has picked up a good knack for suspense, even through work in craft services, and for now, that will bring me back to see what’s become of Lisa. This is actually Moscatt’s second stab at a web series, having converted a short film she shot back in 1998, Jamie’s Way, to a four-episode web series earlier this year.