Get ready to laugh your way across a surprising variety of genres with this week’s Web Series Wednesday selection. From a sketch comedy with a dubious plotline to a real-life social experiment, the following series will let you explore every corner of your sense of humor.
If you can think of any other web series that make you laugh (or simply smile, or, okay, just feel anything at all) this much, feel free to send them over to us at email@example.com/members.
With a highly improbable premise, this series, created by and starring Andrew Law and Alison Rich, follows a pair of friends who wind up in the witness protection program and have trouble taking it seriously, to say the least. This results in the viewers’ benefit, as the scenarios that ensue include great costumes and utter hilarity. All the characters act equally dimwitted, which is the only way to make this ludicrous show work, which it does, well.
A series that’s all about a shallow man leaping almost indeterminately at pretty girls in a coffee shop would not normally have the appeal that “Charles, by the Way” does. Backed by an appropriately mournful soundtrack, Charles’s various fails at picking up women won’t necessarily make you feel for him, but they will prove somewhat morbidly entertaining. The cinematography and super short-form aspect of the show make the protagonist’s ability to fetishize women somehow more artful than obnoxious.
Barry Hite writes and stars in this Chicago-based series about an overweight 30-year-old whose wife more or less forces him to hit the gym. It epitomizes the struggles of those who’ve allowed the years to add on girth as well as it sums up the kind of personalities one would expect to encounter at a pricey, city gym. “Get Swole” looks like a series that would reside on TV if it weren’t for the style and comedic timing in each endearing episode/vignette. So far, there are just two of them up on the show’s dedicated website, but there are at least five more to come.
Rooster Teeth just came out with this new series, so though it’s only one episode in, it’s one episode worth watching. Chris Demarais and Aaron Marquis star in what aren’t your average prank videos. Rather, these “social experiments” are highly stylized and engineered by the two guys before they take them to the streets to see how real people will react, to, say a man asking for help lugging around what’s quite apparently a body bag. (“No, no, it’s not a body,” they assure passersby.) This very thoughtful show actually provides a refreshing counterpart to the sorts of videos that get away with the name “prank” even though they only consist of some guy harassing women on the beach and/or saying insensitive things to strangers.
This series, in short, is amazing. It deserves all the recognition it’s received at Tribeca, NewFest’s LGBT Film Festival, and Outfest Los Angeles. “Be Here Nowish” follows two spectacular female leads who you could call (the show’s website does) “sexually progressive” (meaning that one’s a lesbian who’s willing to participate in group sex and the other engages in a lunch lady/student role play in episode one) as they decide to head from relatively stuffy New York City to so-called spiritually greener pastures in Los Angeles. The rest…well, I don’t want to give anything away. Episode length varies (the first one clocks in at just over 12 minutes, while the second lasts about half that time), but regardless of how long you’re watching them for, the protagonists’ personalities remain gripping.