Note: This piece was written by Nikhil Taneja (@tanejamainhoon) in October 2015 for HT 48 Hours.
Before there was Netflix, Amazon or Hulu, there was YouTube – and it was and is largely FREE! So if you’re tired of paying to watch content and are opposed to acquiring it illegally, here are the five best web series you can watch for FREE!
The Beauty Inside (YOUTUBE): A romantic drama that’s equal parts beautiful and melancholic, The Beauty Inside is one of the finest examples of branded entertainment on the internet. About a unique man (voiced by Topher Grace), who wakes up every day in a different body, and the regular woman he falls in love with (played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead), the six-part series smartly integrated user-generated content with cinematic fiction. A singular interpretation of true love.
Broad City (YOUTUBE): Before Broad City was a Comedy Central series, it was a series of YouTube shorts about two ‘girl bros’, who stumble and bumble through life in New York as they deal with all sorts of difficult people, complicated things and of course, pot. The series is executive produced by Amy Poehler and stars Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson, and is among the first few series to have gone on to be a TV show.
H+ (YOUTUBE): Produced by Bryan Singer, distributed by Warner Bros, shot in 54 different locations and starring a cast of A list television talent, including New Girl’s Hannah Simone, H+ is easily one of the most ambitious web series made till date. About a futuristic world where a computer called ‘H+’ is implanted into the mind of humans to keep them connected with the internet 24/7, the sci-fi series is compelling viewing.
Video Game High School (YOUTUBE): Statistically, Video Game High School is statistically perhaps the most successful internet series till date. The first episode is sitting on a whopping 13 million+ views on YouTube, and there are an average 5 million views on all other episodes. Catering primarily to teenage audiences – who happen to be the primary users of the internet – the action comedy series is set in the future in a world where video games are taught in schools and take place in live-action!
High Maintenance (VIMEO): One of the few free series on a platform other than YouTube, Vimeo’s High Maintenance was quickly labelled as ‘the best show not on TV’. Again set in New York, specifically Brookly and New York, the series follows a weed (yes, it’s a hot topic on the internet) delivery guy called ‘The Guy’, and features, in every episode, a very peculiar clientele. The buzz and critical acclaim about the show’s been so high that HBO’s now picked it up.
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Liked/disliked the piece? Think there are better shows out there than the ones I have recommended? Leave your comments below 🙂
Note: This piece first appeared in HT 48 HOURS in the October 17, 2015 issue.
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© Copyright belongs to the author, Nikhil Taneja. The article may not be reproduced without permission. A link to the URL, instead, would be appreciated.