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Some Great Independent Web Series to Watch

Updated on January 18, 2015

I'm always looking for new web shows to watch because I not only do I like supporting independent projects, but they are also free and are usually shorter than normal episodes, which is nice when I'm short on time. Most of the shows I find are on Entertainment Experiment, a network for Maine storytellers, but one of the shows I watch regularly is done by AwesomenessTV, a YouTube channel that focuses on teen stories and shows targeted towards teens.

The Runaways

When two students go missing at an elite private high school and the father of one of them is found murdered, the students are pulled in for questioning by the police. It's quickly discovered that the two students were dating, even though the boy was a scholarship kid and the girl's parents didn't approve of them. They leave behind the girl's sister who must deal with the aftermath of her missing sister and her father's murder.

Even though the episodes are ridiculously short-- only five minutes long on average-- and it's hard to relate to a lot of the characters, I like the show. It's easy to get caught up in the drama and I can blow through the episodes quickly, trying to get the next piece of the puzzle as to what's happening. Most of the characters are unlikable because, well, they're snobs. Or bitter. However, Glinda is the shining bit of normalcy, or at least sincerity. With all her quirks and free spirit, it's easy to like her and I can't help but wonder how she can put up with a school as uptight as this high school. I also feel for Anne, though. Out of everyone in the show, I'd consider her the true victim (at least from what I've seen so far). After all, she seems to be dealing with her family's mess both at home and at school. I also like the guy who has cameras everywhere in the school. Maybe because he's more like a quiet observer instead of someone who needs to be in the spotlight, like Lily Mars. However, he doesn't stand out from the rest like Glinda does. I can't even remember his name. But it's hard to tell most of the students apart when we mostly only see them being interviewed in the principal's office in their uniforms with identical haircuts.

That's my biggest problem with the show: it's confusing. It's hard to remember who is who and there's a lot of information packed into five minutes. Often I have to rewatch several episodes in a row to know what's going on, which is probably I've turned to other webseries instead of trying to figure out where I left off and what happened before then in Runaways.

The Professionals

This is a show that takes place and was filmed in Portland, Maine. It follows four characters in their daily lives and jobs-- both illegal and what should be illegal. Kenneth, an insurance salesman, is playing cut-throat to get a promotion while a homeless man, Owen, is teaching his young lackey, Gary, how to beg on the streets. The last character to be introduced is Aubrey, a prostitute. The pilot shows their stories intersecting as they move through just another day of work.

It's been a week since I've watched the pilot and I still can't stop thinking about it. It was really well-done, better than a lot of web series I have watched. Being twenty minutes long, it was long enough to keep me from feeling cheated, but short enough to keep the story from dragging. The only problem right now with The Professionals is that there is only one episode-- and that's probably all there's going to be for awhile. The production company is not launching a funding campaign for the first season until February or March. While the pilot is a good episode and I highly recommend it, we'll have to wait for more.

Ragged Isle

Ragged Isle is about a young reporter moving to Ragged Isle, Maine to be with her brother and get a job at the small newspaper on the island. However, strange things keep happening on the island. People mysteriously drown when they are nowhere near water and it is not long before people begin to think that there is something supernatural on Ragged Isle.

Okay, this is not the best written or acted show. It's very soap-opera-like with dramatic music and camera tricks in every episode. However some scenes aren't dramatic enough, like when Vicki kisses her boyfriend for the first time. Where was their love story? Yes, there was some sexual tension, and then she just kisses him and no big deal's made out of it? Unlike Deputy Dan's relationship with Julie, which is very evident and not understated, the same with Sheriff Dalton's love for Rachel Moody. However, despite all of its quirt and obviously low-budget production, Ragged Isle is addictive and I always go back to watch it when I have a few seconds to spare. With three full seasons and episodes ten to twenty minutes long, there's plenty to watch. If you like soap operas and shots of dramatic scenery, then this is definitely the web series for you.

Which series do you like best?

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Youstar

When a young film student comes back to Maine after losing the Youstar film contest, she finds her brother hiding from the real life in video games while her sister supports him and fights with her ex-boyfriend, their mailman. As Youstar starts its music contest, she decides to give them what they are looking for and win it, even if it means selling her soul in the process.

This show is funny. Even though the plot is a little predictable, as are the characters, the comedic timing is worth it. I'm also drawn to it because of how it makes fun of cookie-cutter pop songs that are popular despite their lack of musical ability, and because I like AussieRanger, the one viewer on Youstar who goes against the grain, despite the animosity towards him from other viewers. This show is targeted to teenagers, so it's not for everyone, but it is worth checking out.

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