In the spring of 2010, LG Electronics hoped to revive the classic soap opera model.
The third largest mobile phone manufacturer’s overly dramatic daytime series, The Young and the Connected was to air on a major US network, showcasing how unbelievably attractive and incredibly privileged 20-somethings incorporate internet-enabled mobile devices into their lives. But, two days before filming, the network axed the production. LG was left with just enough footage to cobble together a web series that could be broadcast online and in between programs on a major UK network.
At least that’s how the fake press release reads.
In reality, there never was any television production. UK creative agency, RKCR/Y&R specifically created The Young and the Connected to live on YouTube and run as a series of idents for LG on the UK’s channel 4. Directed by Sam Cadman at Rogue Films, the series is meant to show 16 to 24-year-olds how LG is hip to technology, and how the company’s smartphones can make their lives bolder and more beautiful.
Each installment of The young and the Connected lasts less than a minute and utilizes classic soap opera tropes, from cameras zooming into histrionic facial expressions accompanied by foreboding scores, to suggestive dialogue followed by wanton looks of intrigue.
You’ll also see tools of modern communication used as dramatic devices. There’s the other woman who checks into her lover’s flat on Foursquare, the obvious use Facebook’s “poke” as a double entendre, and the question of whether Twitter or Facebook is a better application for marriage proposals.
LG isn’t the first to use the soap opera format in the web series world. In 2008, ESPN’s Endless Drama put professional MLB players on screen with soap opera stars to promote the network’s fantasy baseball league. Also in 2008, My Damn Channel debuted A.D. Miles’ Horrible People, starring Mather Zickel, Kristen Schaal (Flight of the Conchords), Joe Lo Truglio, and Joy Franz as attendees of a cocktail party gone terribly Dynasty.