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Summary:

Last year, I broke my end-of-annum list-making into two categories — overlooked and obvious favorites. But in 2009, the divide in content seemed to be between the independents (those who self-produced and distributed their series and shorts) and the professionals (those who had some sort of […]

garfunkle

Last year, I broke my end-of-annum list-making into two categories — overlooked and obvious favorites. But in 2009, the divide in content seemed to be between the independents (those who self-produced and distributed their series and shorts) and the professionals (those who had some sort of official support network backing them up). So I’ve tried to come up with two lists that honor some of the best of both worlds; today, we have 10 series that represented some of the best in by-their-bootstraps web production over the last 12 months.

  1. Garfunkel and Oates
    Sure, there’s not a lot of competition in the girl comedy folk music scene, but that’s because actor/musicians Riki Lindhome and Kate Micucci dominate it. Politically incorrect, profane and utterly adorable, they’re a duo to be reckoned with.

  1. Acting School Academy
    My No. 1 piece of advice for people thinking about making a web series used to be, “Don’t make a web series about actors trying to make it in Hollywood, because there are too many already and they’re never good.” And then Acting School Academy had to go and be hilarious, well-made and creative, with some impressive social media work and ancillary material. I hate being proven wrong, but in this case I’ll get over it. (Technically, Acting School Academy has a distribution deal with Koldkast, but the series began as an independent.)

  2. If I Made A Commercial for Trader Joe’s
    A heartfelt love letter from a happy customer to his favorite store was the greatest viral ad of the year.

  3. Nostalgia Critic
    Doug Walker brings a nerdy glee to every slightly overlong episode of this series, which breaks down the best and worst of our childhood favorites.
  4. Riese.

  5. Project Rant
    Polished cinematography, editing and acting (including Easy to Assemble star Justine Bateman) bring to life the rants of real people — making for a great series that reveals how strange people are when they’re angry.
  6. losing their virginity.

  7. Oz Girl
    I had a hard time getting into this Australian import initially, but when it took home Best Acting and Best Overall Web Content at this fall’s Independent TV Fest, I started paying attention. A tenderly-crafted documentary-style portrait of a small-town girl in way over her head.

  8. Man Vs. Thing
    A criminally underwatched absurdist sports satire. Every detail, from the commentators’ insights to the on-screen graphics, is honed to comedic perfection.

  9. Zerks Log
    A charming sci-fi series about a lost starship, told via its bumbling captain’s video diary.

Taste is personal, but whether you agree with these picks, or think I’m a moron for overlooking something obvious, the comments are a fine place to say so.

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  1. The first (Riki Lindhome and Kate Micucci) and third (Trader Joe) were really good. I’d pass on the rest.

  2. Actually it’s a very good list. Well done Liz and glad you gave a chance to some shows who deserve a spotlight but lack the big company push.

    I am relieved to now have season one of our show in the can and certainly applaud all of these shows for the work it takes to come into existence.

    Here’s to what the new year brings!

    Tom Konkle
    Producer
    Safety Geeks: SVI
    Invention with Brian Forbes

  3. I’m been going through all the Riki Lindhome and Kate Micucci YouTube videos and these two gals are great. Funny and cute. They should tour colleges.

  4. I was introduced to Garfunkle & Oates through a friend, who was Riki’s former roommate, and had the chance to see them live. I was pleasantly surprised to see them here. Great that they’re receiving some recognition!

  5. David S. Samuels Tuesday, December 29, 2009

    Acting School Academy, Oz Girl and Zerks Log are ALL KoldCast TV shows, under a distribution licensing contract.

    Acting School Academy:
    http://www.koldcast.tv/show/acting_school_academy

    Oz Girl:
    http://www.koldcast.tv/show/ozgirl

    Zerks Log:
    http://www.koldcast.tv/show/zerks_log

    And, we also distribute Patrick Duffy and the Crab, under agreement with Generate. http://www.koldcast.tv/video/discuss_a_threesome

  6. I love Acting School Academy! I didn’t think I would, but I couldn’t help it!

  7. Only 2 maybe 3 true indie shows on this list.

    1. And those are?

      1. I can’t speak for the rest, but Acting School Academy is definitely an independent series. I have the negative bank account to prove it!

  8. Top 10 Professional Favorites from 2009 Tuesday, December 29, 2009

    [...] that most of the great stuff out there was made with the same independent spirit that drove many of my top 10 indie favorites — in fact, at least half of them came very directly from a grassroots background. That said, [...]

  9. Rainbow Bridge would be a great addition to this list. http://www.rainbowbridge.tv I’m waiting hopefully for a winter mini-series that a certain Loki mentioned may be in the works.

    Another new favorite of mine is 0-Cast.

    Incidently, both these series come out of New York and have a mythology-in-the-present motiff (one is Norse, the other Greek).

    As always Ms. Miller has excellent taste. :)

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