I want to highlight some of my favorite web series made by people who are young.
Younger than me, at least.
Kids get a bad rap for making a lot of ‘bad’ web series, and to be perfectly honest, yes, there’s a lot that’s pretty ‘eeeeeh.’ That said, there’s an equal percentage of work by ‘professional adults’ that is downright horrible, so all that proves is the average is the same.
I’ve picked four of my absolute favorite web series by people who are between 17 and 25. Restricting myself to four was incredibly hard, but it leaves me open to revise this later.
The Candle Wasters: Bright Summer Night
To be quite honest, I enjoy most (if not all) of their series. In their own words, The Candle Wasters are four young women (and a token dude) from New Zealand, who create fierce, funny, feminist web series. They started doing this in 2014, when the youngest of the group was only 17(!!!), and have gone on to make four more series, which includes my (current) fav, Bright Summer Night.
It’s a retelling of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and was their first exploration of a non-vlog format. They nailed it, and it’s one of the series that totally changed my mind about the quality of young ‘kids’ and their web series.
The whole series is up on YouTube. It’s 10 episodes, and just about an hour long total.
Rebecca Shoptaw: Middlemarch: The Series
This one is a little different. It’s not really ‘by’ kids, though it is by college students. Who are kinda ‘kids’ to me. Rebecca Shoptaw wrote, directed, and produced this. She graduates from Yale this year (YALE!!!) and picked this novel because it had “healthier relationships are almost entirely free of the gendered power dynamics that too often shape the relationships in classic novels.”
Her work is amazing, and I expect to see her holding an award on a stage some Sunday evening in LA.
Parafable: Hamlet the Dame
I almost picked their Sherlock Holmes series, based on the awesomeness of the third season (seriously they did such an amazing job with that!). But this series demonstrated more the skills they’d learned with other series and overall was the winner. Parafable is a conglomerate of three other groups, Nixie Films (England), Remarkable, Singular, Curious Productions (Florida USA), and Quip Modest Productions (New York USA).
I single out this because it’s my favorite retelling of Hamlet to date. Really you won’t go wrong with their series. They’re all (or nearly all) LGBTQ+ and, while the skill level varies, the passion does not.
This ends badly, and has a terrible score on this site because pretty much everyone dies. But it’s Hamlet for crying out loud. The whole point is he’s a dumbass who runs around getting everyone killed.
The Outtakes: Rome & Juliet
This is not a secret. I hate Romeo & Juliet. With a passion. I loathe how many web series I’ve had to watch that are based on that story. So few reach past the obvious, West Side Story retelling of loves crossed and how that’s the tragedy. And yes, I’m putting an R&J story on here, and you know what? You need to watch this.
The Outtakes, you see, were in high school when they made this show.
I was hella impressed by these kids, and I’m super excited to see what they do next.
Do you web series? What are you favorites made by the under 21 set?