Low maintenance procrastination: Our favorite web series to watch instead of studying for finals
As “High Maintenance” and “Insecure” rake in critical acclaim this year, media has started looking to web series as a source of content. Though your parents and grandparents may not know what a web series is, that doesn’t mean you can’t use them as an excuse to avoid politically charged conversations over the dinner table. Instead, check out Cadenza’s list of the web series that are too good to miss this holiday season.
“Good Neighbor,” made up of Beck Bennett, Kyle Mooney, Nick Rutherford and Dave McCary, is a now-retired comedy group from Los Angeles that made and acted YouTube sketches. But even though they don’t still make sketches, their character-based shorts are preserved forever on the Internet and some, now that Bennett and Mooney have joined the cast of “Saturday Night Live,” have been adapted into “SNL” sketches. “Good Neighbor” videos can be seen on YouTube channels GoodNeighborStuff, kyle and Beck. With low-budget, informal aesthetics but fast-paced and sharp humor, the group produced both one-off and series-based comedies, such as my favorites “my roommate is gay!!$ !” (sequel to “is my roommate gay?”) and “sporty.” Though you may feel old during Thanksgiving, some things never get old. As in, “GoodNeighborStuff” equals good stuff. – Lindsay Tracy
“The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl”
Issa Rae, creator of HBO’s “Insecure,” acts in and produces this web series. “Insecure” has much in common with “TMABG,” as both lead characters are played by Rae and have similar mannerisms. They both freestyle rap about their problems and have complicated work environments where they are often forced to confront their blackness. The series ended in 2013 after two seasons, as Rae turned to other projects, including “Insecure.” Above all, the series is just very funny. Watching Rae perform such relatable displays of awkwardness can be so well-executed that it might make you cringe. Still, there’s something very funny about uncomfortable situations and the difficulties of navigating social encounters, and the web series completely captures this. –Ayanna Harrison
So, technically this is a TV show now, but back in the good old days, when you had to pull up Vimeo and hope no one had instituted a paywall, this was the best show on the web. Less a cohesive story and more tied together by one dangling silent thread, High Maintenance follows a drug dealer and narrates the lives of the people he sells to. The storylines never fail to reflect the intricacies of human experience, while still only taking five to 15 minutes. It’s a token of understanding in a world that torches nuance time and again. -Wesley Jenkins
“I Hate Being Single”
This sharply written series has been mostly under the radar, despite its talented cast and crew. Starring and written by Rob Michael Hugel, it follows the fictional life of Rob and his misfortunes in the world of dating and adulting. Each episode impressively packs an incisive narrative with enough humor and organic character development, all under an economical five-minute time limit. In the series pilot, Rob is getting over a recent breakup and consults his friends for not-so-helpful advice. In the next episode, we see him navigating a date gone wrong, after he attempts to seduce a girl while wearing a Snuggie. Then, he becomes best friends with the bank cashier and they go on a date to see “Blue Valentine.” Hugel, who has also worked as editor and director of Broad City, effectively favors writing over style and takes advantage of its cast. made up of comedians from Upright Citizens Brigade, to create a standout series in the already crowded world of web series about millennials living in New York. -Alberto De La Rosa