So your favorite TV show is lost in the aftermath of the Writer’s Strike and you’re not sure if it’s returning, when it’s returning or what time or day it’s now going to be airing. And with another huge union strike looming, it seems that you may never be reunited with your weekly guilty pleasure. These days, it seems that a lot of people share your sentiment. And the network idea of “appointment television” is now a thing of the past.
As a result, many television audiences seem to be turning toward the Internet and the growing phenomenon of webisodes or web series to satisfy their entertainment needs. Web series are inarguably gaining popularity and credibility. In the ever-changing worlds of entertainment and technology, rogue narrative programming can now reach an international audience of millions of viewers, in the click of a mouse.
I am travelling off my usual theater beat once again to give you a heads up about Secret Fridays, a new web series launching Friday, May 16th, 2008. Although the show has not yet premiered, I was able to get a sneak peak at the first four episodes in the series. And they are good.
Secret Fridays was developed for the web by creator/producer LaQuita Cleare (Are You Serious?) and producer/director Robert Petrarca (Utopia), two formidable young entertainment pros whom I truly believe the Hollywood Reporter should consider for the annual Next Gen issue. From concept to execution, they have done a great job, despite the lack of the safety net and endless resources of the Hollywood studio system.
The web series itself revolves around five friends fresh out of college and essentially oblivious as to how to make any money. They are lost in a sea of quarterlife babies with generic liberal arts degrees and they are looking for a way to make it rich, or at least pay the bills. Their solution, of course, is to start a business. However, their business endeavor is far from a… conventional one and it leaves them facing self-destructive and often comical circumstances around every corner.
Although their choice of business shall remain a “secret” until the premiere this Friday, it’s a bold choice that can only lead to many more hilarious situations. All I can do is suggest that you take a look and find out for yourself.
Secret Fridays wastes no time launching with a Mission Impossible-style sequence filled with both soaring melodrama and classic physical comedy. It was a very cool sequence that hooked me right away. The series is quite amusing from the start and promises to only get better as these young performers grow into their roles. Witty banter and quick-cut camera work immediately dictate the style of the piece. This increasingly popular underground feel is reminiscent of The Office or Boston Legal and it keeps the episodes moving and captivating as the story unfolds.
The Web series is certainly not without a good-looking cast and a sleek, enjoyable selection of featured characters. LaQuita Cleare stands out as the sexy, sarcastic, Alex who seems to know how to have a good time while occasionally taking charge. Resident stud Wesley Stiller seems to flawlessly button every scene as the charming, easy-going Anthony. The motley crew of supporting characters is rounded out by nervous virgin Gabby (Allyn Rachel), lovable geek Mike (Carl Petersen), and the suave, but clueless Dwayne (Tommi Delton). It’s an enjoyable, young ensemble piece that appears to have great potential.
Secret Fridays premieres May 16th, 2008 on its website, www.secretfridays.tv. And you won’t have problems finding this new series; there will be a new episode each and every Friday.
You can also check them out on at myspace.com/secretfridaystv.
A premiere party is scheduled on May 14th in Los Angeles.