Ages ago someone asked the following question on Formspring.me:
Over the past year I’ve gotten to know some amazing filmmakers, actors, writers and others in the growing and supportive network of the Toronto Web Series Community. Being so busy making my own web series – there is little time to watch others! When I do find the time, I usually dedicate it to watching shows made by these wonderful people.
Photo credit: Darryl Dinn
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These shows are all very different. Let me be clear: I’m not saying “if you like Out With Dad, you’ll love these!” Far from it, in some cases! Such as the hilarious Microwave Porn and Masculathon, they have little to do with Out With Dad. Although they do both have actors from our show. Darryl Dinn, who plays our Johnny, is Bumblebee in Masculathon, created by the Levy brothers. The star of Microwave Porn, Ashton Catherwood, will be appearing later in our second season (look for him in September-ish). Microwave Porn follows Dave, an architect’s assistant, and his roommate, a talking microwave with an addiction to porn. Ya, you read that right. And it’s awesome. Another nothing-like-Out-With-Dad series is Venus Spa, produced in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Show creator Chris Greenaway has been a huge supporter of ours and I’ve learned a lot from him. He’s shared a great deal of knowledge with me about the web series scene. His show is very campy, and very fun!
A little more accessible for everyone, especially for super hero fans: Tights and Fights from GopherX. This one is unlike any other web series I’ve seen: their unique approach to web series production is telling their large story with a high quantity and high frequency of episodes. They’re prolific! Over a hundred episodes since they launched last fall!
Ruffus The Dog is an all puppet show created by Robert Mills, a man I’m really excited to have gotten to know. He’s worked on some amazing productions that I’ve grown up admiring, such as Fraggle Rock and Labrynth to name a few. This web series, originally broadcast on YTV has been re-purposed for the web – with new episodes being produced. It stars Ruffus, a wise cracking dog, who retells and reenacts beloved fairy tales and fables. The target audience is for very young people, but that shouldn’t stop you from revisiting your own childhood and watch episodes from this series. I often pick an episode at random.
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Jill Golick’s Ruby Skye P.I. is another favourite. Charming and well made, its target audience is tweens. The titular character is played by the captivating and charismatic Madison Cheeatow.
“Charming” is the best word to describe Naomi: The Show, produced in Vancouver, British Columbia. This show’s simple premise is the strange and bizarre encounters Naomi encounters while waiting for a bus. Rumour has it, all these stories are based on the real life experiences of the show’s co-creator and star Naomi Dayneswood.
Both of these shows have been wracking up a lot of awards. Well done ladies!
If you know Out With Dad, you may already be familiar with these fantastic series. Produced in New York City, Anyone But Me… Need I say more? Well, I can. This was the first web series I ever watched from beginning to end. I discovered it back when I was researching for and writing Out With Dad. I’m privileged to say I’ve become friends with Tina Cesa Ward and Susan Miller, the co-creators of this award-winning series.
Seeking Simone, currently in its second season, stars Renée Olbert, who is the show’s co-creator. This series follows Simone’s online dating adventures through gay Toronto! Look for a Seeking Simone easter-egg/crossover later this season in our show.
B.J. Fletcher: Private Eye, the “questionably competent” private detective, is played by the hilarious Lindy Zucker. I recently got to see her perform on stage as part of the Queer Comedy Collective (alongside Darryl Dinn). She had me in stitches, especially with her re-occurring character of a TV journalist reporting live from Toronto’s Pride Parade. I digress. B.J. Fletcher is written, directed and produced by the charming Regan Latimer. They’re currently running an IndieGoGo fundraising campaign, aiming to support production of their third season (coming later this year).
These shows are among Out With Dad‘s greatest supporters. We owe a lot to them.
I can’t say much about these shows yet. But I’m comfortable recommending them because they’re made by talented and good people. I’m really looking forward to their arrivals. Pretty in Geek is described as “gamer girls, the LARPer that loves them, and lots of orc killing.” Sweet Fever, from what I understand, is about a candy shop owner turning to professional pillow fighting to make ends meet… another ya-you-read-that-right descriptions. You can watch trailers on their sites. P-Dale uniquely premiered first as a play in this year’s Toronto Fringe Festival. I had a chance to see this play about a convenience store robbery gone wrong. I laughed for a solid hour. They say the play constitutes the first two episodes when it launches as a series later this year. They have a trailer for the play on their site, but not yet for the show.
I’ve included links to all of these recommended web series in a widget to the left.