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.
Within every subculture there exist moments, characters, and relationships that are ripe for parody, and for the world of the Renaissance Faire, Knights of New Jersey puts those moments on display. Creator Mike Hadley‘s web series about the men and women who act as Medieval-era individuals is both a mocking satire of Ren Faire nerds and a loving tribute to them.
At the center of Knights of New Jersey is a timeless story, even if the setting may not be a typical one. The titular knights, who wave their blunted swords, wear their pauldrons, and get stuck in traffic on the New Jersey Turnpike, must defend their turf from a group of Game of Thrones fans who don’t appreciate their period-appropriate costumes to a sufficient degree. The leader of that Westerosi bunch is a Daenerys cosplayer who steals the heart of Knightly protagonist. It’s Romeo and Juliet, but with its own brand of arcane dialect.
While watching the series, it would be easy to assume Hadley himself is a former Ren Faire employee, but that’s not the case. Instead, he is a simple observer who has discovered all the fun characters who inhabit the Ren Faire and rendered them in loving detail. “Some of them are very open-minded about people who come to the fair, and then there’s other Rennies who are a little more hardcore,” he told the Star Ledger.
His attention has paid off. The personalities in play here are large and engaging, and the comedy is a delightful mix of high fantasy and low Jersey. Come, thee, and check out Knights of New Jersey. If you like what you see, you can also look at All’s Faire, which was one of (if not) the first web series to take a comedic look at the subculture.
OTHER UNDER-THE-RADAR SERIES TO CHECK OUT
- Henry Haus. Australian roommates attempt to deal with one another.
- The Cure. Macabre experiments mark this moody web series.
- Pink Places. Ladies chat about single life with few filters included.
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