The thing I love about web series (at least the ones I watch) is that, by virtue of being relatively cheap to make and publish, they can afford to be targeted directly to niche markets. But Sri, you might be saying, some regular shows and even entire channels are targeted to niche markets! Fine, smart ass. Let me put it another way - web series are to broadcast TV what blogs are to print magazines.
And for every magazine like Cat Fancy,
there are 1,000 sites like icanhascheezburger.com.
Both blogs and web series are great for the digital generation because they're (a) easily accessible online, (b) published in bite-sized pieces, and (c) tailored to our personal interests. However, there is a wide range in quality of both. The best way to navigate the world of web series is the same as for blogs - links and recommendations. And because I am a selfless person, I volunteer myself to watch minutes upon minutes of web series, in order to bring you the cream of the crop. You're welcome.
I've already blogged about The Guild, featuring my idol Felicia Day and my homeboy Sandeep Parikh. Both are involved in the next web series I'm going to recommend - The Legend of Neil. No bias at all, I swear.
Sandeep writes, directs and produces the show.
As you can imagine, his genius shines throughout.
The story concerns a modern sad-sack (fired, dumped, and evicted all in the same day) named Neil, who tries to drown his woes in a game of Legend of Zelda. And beer. In a rather unmentionable way, he is magically transported into the game. There he staggers through the fantasy realm, focusing a cynical (albeit bleary) eye on all the game conventions that just don't make sense. For example, when the body of his first kill disappears he finds a Heart Cookie (that restores his health) in its place. His deranged mentor Old Man tells him, "Eat up! You deserve it... for committing murder." Fair warning - the humor ranges from other such clever reinterpretations of game logic to cheap toilet humor... but it works. Trust me.
If you like old-school NES games, you'll enjoy The Legend of Neil on an almost spiritual level. But even if you don't have an intimate knowledge of 8-bit, there's a lot in this show to love. Felicia Day as the nymphomaniac fairy - who can heal you with a kiss... and more - is a great combination of good girl image and dirty girl language. The special effects are purposefully bad in some places and pretty decent in others. There's even a musical episode! And even if you watch the entire series in one go, it will take less than three hours. So go ahead - give Neil a chance!
Not that he stands much of one, anyway...