Sometimes they sparkle; sometimes they brood; sometimes they have great hair; but vampires always suck blood, and they’ll always be a major factor in the popular imagination. This is why I’m going to spotlight three of the most recent independent web series to explore the world of undead exsanguinators from a comedy perspective.
A lot of vampire series tend to blend together, but I like Suck and Moan‘s extremely high-concept premise: What happens to the vampires in a zombie apocalypse?
Production values are decent, but the show’s focus on its premise at times comes off as somewhat one note, given that it comes at the expense of fully developing characters. However, the material creator Brendon Fong finds in mocking not just the vampire world, but zombies, does keep things lively. (So to speak.) (Sorry about that.)
Blood Light puts its premise like this: “This is NOT a show about vampires, it’s a show about people who happen to be vampires.” The first episode, which focuses on a vampire support group meeting, takes the opportunity to get a bunch of vampire satire out of the way. And although the Angel bit doesn’t quite work, its take on Twilight is laugh-inspiring, especially when the discussion turns to the inappropriate age gap between Bella and Edward.
Beyond the main narrative, there are also Blood Light PSAs, featuring two secondary characters attempting to explain the show’s premise — and why it’s different from other vampire franchises.
This show, created by
Adam Lash Jared Stern, might be the least-polished of these shows, but it’s also the funniest, with sharp parody moments, great dialogue and a talented, high-energy cast.
This show is by far the slickest of these three productions, with strong cinematography, production design and a professional feel. It’s also by far the most meta, telling the story of a web series producer (played by show creator Robb Padgett) who goes to visit the potential executive producers of a new project… who have a secret. What’s the secret? Take a look at the title, then make a guess.
The first episode has funny moments, but is a bit slow pace-wise and leans really heavily on the web series satire angle, almost to excess. And there’s something about the way the web series is depicted that just feels off. For example, $50,000 is played as being a ridiculously high budget for a web series — which is less funny when you can think of many examples of web shows that cost that or more.
Every time I do a post like this — like, say, when I wrote about a bunch of different roommate comedies — there’s a part of me that hopes that having a critical mass of content from one genre is a sign of the genre being completely exhausted.
But when it comes to vampires, I DEFINITELY know better.
Related GigaOm Pro Content (subscription required):
- By The Numbers: Budget Analysis of a Web Series
- Fact or Fiction: Where Is Branded Online Video Going?
- Shattering the Fourth Wall To Find Web Audiences