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.
When I reviewed ‘The Awesomes‘, Seth Meyers’ animated superhero web series, I noted how superhero comedy is an easy target because it can easily for the skeleton for workable, funny comedy scenarios. A fairly recent debut has now hit home my point. It’s called Neighborhood Watchmen, and it’s a case study in the ways the superhero genre can be seamlessly worked into a familiar comedy scenario.
In this case, the comedy scenario of choice is The Office. With its use of documentary-style handheld camerawork, its affably human cast of supporting characters, and a bumbling goof in the manager’s chair, Neighborhood Watchmen is clearly reminiscent of the now-classic cringe comedy, but with dorky superheroes in the place of paper salesmen.
It must’ve been a lot of fun for writers Dash Kwiatkowski, Stephen Ku, and David Studebaker to come up with the irreconcilable flaws for each of their superheroes. Neighborhood Watch has a very colorful cast of characters, from a loose cannon who insists he is from the future to an omnilinguist who enjoys talking to everything but humans to my personal favorite, a mind reader who uses his psychic powers to be as incredibly lazy as possible.
Again, the de-constructive superhero comedy is a well-worn genre because it works. It remains an extremely likable concept, and all it needs to succeed are some well-constructed characters and funny dialogue choices. Neighborhood Watch has both–and the result is a welcome addition to a crowded field.
OTHER UNDER-THE-RADAR SERIES TO CHECK OUT:
- Horror Hotel. A macabre web series inspired by Twilight Zone and Alfred Hitchcock Presents.
- Read the Signs. A clever comedy seeking funds on Indiegogo about a meek man who has an affair with his psychiatrist.
- #MurderProject. A crazy interactive series where viewers choose their route through a murder mystery by clicking around on chapter menus.
- Shadazzle. A web series inspired by soap operas that is currently in its third season.
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