5 web series you should be watching right now
I love web series. I love how episodes tend to clock in at six minutes and under, and how I can binge-watch entire seasons in the time it usually takes me to find something, anything, to watch on Netflix.
I love how the bulk of these series are crafted on a wing and a prayer and a Kickstarter campaign. And I love locally made web series most of all, because they’re made by our neighbours. I love learning what matters to them; I love seeing Vancouver through a multitude of eyes.
Sure, there’s a lot of dreck out there, too (I’ve encountered quite a few duds in my many journeys down the YouTube rabbit hole), but there are some bona fide gems that deserve more than a passing glance. Here are five such gems: each wholly different from the others, and yet all made (with TLC) in Vancouver.
Inconceivable – which was funded through TELUS’ Storyhive program – stars Katie Stuart (The 100, Altered Carbon) as Rita and Bruce Novakowski (Average Dicks) as Adam, unlikely sex partners who end up maneuvering through the first trimester of an unplanned pregnancy. The funny and gut-punching six-part series is based on a true story: award-winning filmmaker Joel Ashton McCarthy (I Love You So Much It's Killing Them) conceived of Inconceivable – and (spoiler alert!) a baby named Bowie – with Rachel Kirkpatrick, with whom he wrote the series along with frequent collaborator Mike Doaga.
Paranormal Solutions Inc.
Paranormal Solutions Inc. stars Vancouver actress Julia Benson (What An Idiot) as Sarah, a medium, and David Milchard as Jared Sculder (say that name out loud for full comedic effect), who – despite having dissolved their romantic relationship – launch a business together dedicated to quashing the assorted paranormal issues of their zany clientele. Featuring some of Vancouver’s funniest stars, including Nicholas Carella, Daniel Bacon, Christina Sicoli, Peter Benson, Ali Liebert, Jennifer Copping, Erica Carroll, Dave Collette, Geoff Gustafson, and Arrow star Emily Bett Rickards.
Dangers of Online Dating
Brianne Nord-Stewart’s The Dangers of Online Dating delves into the trials and tribulations associated with online dating in a world where the rules seem to change every minute. The web series stars Paula Burrows (pictured above) as Nurse Paula, a sexual health nurse with a fear of casual sex consequences who catapults into the world of online dating after a year of sexual abstinence.
Commercial Drive takes centre-stage in The Drive, a hyper-local video-on-demand and web series that returned for its second season in October. The brainchild of decade-long Grandview residents Nick Hunnings and Lindsay Drummond, the series follows a makeshift family of roommates who live, love, work, and endure all manner of yearning, loss, and existential crises in a house on Charles Street.
Technically, The Switch isn’t a web series (its first season aired on Canadian cable in 2016) – but because I discovered it in my YouTube travels, it’s available on numerous streaming platforms, and I love it, I’m just going to include it. The Switch is the first transgender comedy to air on television and the first television show to put a trans actor in the lead role. The Switch stars pro-wrestler Nyla “The Destroyer” Rose as Sü, who goes from an upwardly mobile software manager to unemployed and sleeping on her ex’s couch overnight. Produced by Trembling Void Studios and the brainchild of political humorist Amy Fox (who also co-writes and co-stars), the first season was funded through a Kickstarter campaign – after which Trembling Void developed an 8-month intensive actor-training program to develop local trans talent. In the end, only two of The Switch’s actors were brought in from outside of Canada. In 2016, Fox won the Leo Award for Best Performance in a Music, Comedy or Variety Program or Series for the episode entitled “Date Night.” Find the full season at https://vimeo.com/ondemand/welovetheswitch