If you’re wondering why ABC (DIS) felt the need to have a Grey’s Anatomy spin-off, then you need to get away from the TV and come back to the Internet. A number of talented online videomakers are back, either with a new season, new shows, or new focus. Below is a list of some promising online videomakers returning with their sophomore efforts. Having had a successful first runs, it will be interesting to see these videomakers returning with more resources, sponsorships, and a better understanding of the online video space. Many of these shows have been profiled on NewTeeVee before, so we’re really checking in on how our old favorites are fairing now that they’ve got some experience under their belts.
Most of these series can be enjoyed without catching up on back story. So, queue up a couple, grab some Cheetos, and lean forward.
The nominal “I.” is back in Craig DiFolco’s Kafkaesque life-casting experiment. Season one had the unsuspecting I., and the drudgery of his grad student life, thrust before the constant scrutiny of video commentators. The participatory series uses actual comments from the audience to help shape the story. I., the main character, receives these comments via his Treo on the show. The second season forces I. to constantly face the question: “Is his life worth watching?” The show has great production value, and excellent acting and writing, but it’s the interactive part that makes it unique. “One of the major goals of Season 2 is to find ways to make the audience an even greater part of our narrative,” writer/director Craig DiFolco told NewTeeVee in an email. “The ultimate goal is to create a site where our viewers can help shape the show in more complex and exciting ways.”
Taking his dormitory presidential interviews, political white-boy raps, and perky pencil puppets to the next level, video blogger James Kotecki has moved over to the Politico to host their new daily PoliticoTV show. Touting itself as “the first true multi-platform news source, catering to the needs of the 24-hour political news consumer,” The Politico was founded by Washington Post veterans John Harris and Jim VandeHei and is working to recruit experienced political journalists as well as new talent like Kotecki. Delivering sharp, short, daily videos, PoliticoTV sorely lacks one element of Kotecki’s previous show — his pencil puppets. When asked about them in a recent phone interview, Kotecki explained: “It’s certainly not above my pride. We tried pencil puppets. We tried big pencil puppets. But it’s hard being farther away from the camera. We’re working on some other stuff too, but I guarantee you they will back. I just can’t let them go.”
ItsJustSomeRandomGuy, after a live action-speckled hiatus, returns with an ambitious follow up to his popular Hi, I’m a Marvel…and I’m a DC. (Mac-PC parody) series. The season continues the “Marvel/DC: After Hours” storyline, which started with superhero and villain action figures whining and bragging about their recent Hollywood adaptations. However, the long-awaited episode six, running 12 minutes and 36 seconds across two YouTube posts, diverges from the prior episodes’ comic-sploitation lampooning and examines the nuances and subtleties of “heroics” as realized by two different comic publishers. The Green Goblin’s drollery still steals the show and lightens a sometimes heavy and slow mood. My worry is that while I accept it as natural for villains to relish the diatribe, I feel extended exposition from unanimated action figures might get boring.
Which online shows are you excited to see moving into their second phases?