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.
Christmas season is over, and just as January may bring a literal holiday hangover, it is also the perfect time to deconstruct cutesy Yuletide tropes. Enter Avant-Guardians, a web series about a guardian angel who is ordered by God to attend therapy sessions.
Avant-Guardians, directed by Clarence Williams IV, stars Alesia Etinoff as Razz, a heavenly helper whose human charge has seen better days. After he ends up in the hospital, Razz is ordered to sit down with an angelic shrink portrayed by Zainab Johnson. Each episode shows a piece of the conversation between the two leads. In the premiere, they attempt to unpack the unsavory nickname Razz has bestowed upon her human: Creepy Charlie.
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Avant-Guardians isn’t just a satirical take on It’s A Wonderful Life; it’s also a canvas through which Razz and her therapist can explore modern-day social issues. Creepy Charlie’s life inspires conversations about some heavy topics, which are examined with sharp comedy. Johnson’s biting remarks, in particular, keep the laughs coming. That may be unprofessional behavior for a therapist, and especially for a heavenly being, but it’s also very funny, so I’m not going to complain.
Seven episodes of Avant-Guardians are available via YouTube.
OTHER UNDER-THE-RADAR SERIES TO CHECK OUT
- Don’t Tell Larry. Office workers try to figure out how to handle the feelings of a coworker with a short fuse.
- Lucky Us. A pair of Kansan creators have teamed up to fictionalize madcap moments from their friendship.
- Inspired By. Top guitarists and bassists discuss the performers who most influenced their own work.
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