Guest Author - Amy Ralston Young
This television season is about to go down hill – very rapidly. The Writers Guild of America is on strike, and networks are scrambling to fill in voids. Most primetime shows have episodes stashed away, so we won’t see a difference there until January, but soap operas and late night talk shows are about to feel the pinch.
The last strike – in 1988 – lasted 22 weeks, and drove away 9 percent of viewers. This time could be much worse. Aside from the economic disaster that this strike will create, viewers are left with nothing but reruns. On the plus side, this leaves room for a newer genre – internet sitcoms – to step in and gain some fans.
Internet sitcoms are shows made solely for the Web. Usually the shows are broken up into four to six minute segments, and released segment by segment. Internet sitcoms have more freedoms than their televised counterparts. The writers do not have studios to worry about – or a lot of restrictions from the FCC.
To help you ease into the world of internet sitcoms, I have scoured the Web and found four mini-shows worth watching.
“Mr. Robinson’s Driving School”
This show is sponsored by Volvo, and stars Craig Robinson (“The Office”). Robinson is a driving instructor thrown into a competition against his archenemy Swervin’ Merv Lerman. In the first episode, Boyd Butler announces that he is holding a competition and the winner gets his multi-million dollar driving academy.
This is a must see comedy. The show is well written, and side from the Volvo ads mixed in to the plot, it is extremely funny.
“Break a Leg”
This show stars Yuri Baranovsky as David Penn, a writer who just landed a deal for his first sitcom. Penn’s brainchild is “Groommates,” a tale of three ex-grooms living with two of their ex-wives. Penn got the gig after the writer and creator of the previous show died.
The show is full of laughs and twists – Penn will die at the end of the season, but no one is quite sure how or why. He tries to write his show and solve his upcoming murder at the same time. Definitely worth checking out.
A group of friends in their twenties all live together in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. These trust-fund-kids know they are no longer teenagers, but haven’t quite figured out what it means to be an adult either.
This show is very interactive. The writers ask for viewers to blog about the show, suggest plot lines, and even participate in the show. The show is absurdly funny and if nothing else, you should watch it to check out Kelli Giddish (Di Kirby, “All My Children”).
Three friends share an apartment, and dream for something bigger. Erika, Megan, Nisha work together at the same temp agency while they are trying to make it big in New York.
Erika and Nisha are aspiring actresses, while Megan is still trying to figure out what to do with her Princeton degree.
The show has a “Sex in the City” meets YouTube feel. It is funny and realistic. Any girl can relate to this trio in some way or another. It’s nothing groundbreaking, plot wise, but it is definitely worth the six minutes a day you need to keep up.