Tangled Web

With the birth of Netflix, Amazon and the continuation of YouTube's skyrocketing success, web-based series are becoming ever more popular. Orange Is The New Black, Transparent and House of Cards are just a few web-based series that have become smash hits. While these may be receiving big bucks, it is smaller web-based shows that are making big names and waves and snagging big praise. With web-based shows creators and stars get the advantage of more creative freedom and platform and they can mass produce episodes in a quicker period of time. Audiences get a lot of laughs, drama and plot points that come to a head in the most scintillating, belly-laugh-inducing or heart-pounding ways. Two new web series that are making their mark on the World Wide Web are Los Angeles, RIGHT NOW and Carmilla. They both have hit the web running and will instantly tickle your fancy.

Actress Jennifer Aspen (Glee, Party of Five, GCB) created the hilarious web series Los Angeles, RIGHT NOW which features her as a fading radio host personality, a little in the vein of Kathy Lee Gifford, who continues to bring as much glamor as possible to her listeners as she can. Even when it is the earliest time of morning ever. Aspen had originally created the character of Evelyn Stanhope and performed it as a skit at a Christmas Charity event. Aspen was instantly smitten with Evelyn and wanted to expand the character and her audience in an innovative way. Aspen decided to create six episodes lasting around four minutes in length and share them on YouTube. Christopher Smith, who had written the original skit, agreed to write the series, Kelly Meyersfield agreed to costar in it and Aspen's own husband's production company Captiv3 made it all happen in a complete package. Aspen also enlisted some of her famous friends to be costars, including Catherine Bell (JAG, The Good Witch), and she's primed to work with Kristin Chenoweth for season two right before the Thanksgiving holiday.

Aspen has a natural gift for comedy, it's as if you're watching a master craftswoman every episode. Brash, brazen and never one to shy away from toeing the line between too far and not far enough. You have to watch episodes of Los Angeles, RIGHT NOW multiple times because there is always something you miss whether it's a look, a joke, a mannerism. Aspen and her amazing team have created a devilish new series sensation that will never leave you disappointed. Put on episodes when you're having a bad day and all else will soon be forgotten. You'll be quoting lines, relishing Evelyn's steadfast optimism and be inspired by her "never give in" attitude. She may not see herself as a role model, or want to be one, but she will teach you a great deal about how the world works.

Another web series that recently has had Twitter, Tumblr and all of social media ablaze is YouTube's hottest new show Carmilla. The web series is based on the J. Sheridan Le Fanu novella and is written and co-created by Jordan Hall. Carmilla focuses on Laura Hollis (Elise Bauman) who is three weeks into her freshman year at Sillas University when her roommate Betty inexplicably vanishes. A cryptic note and some seriously gnarly goo leads Laura to believe it's more than just your average drunken party behavior that's the cause. Laura decides to create a documentary that sinks her teeth into the strange events and her mysterious new roommate Carmilla (Natasha Negovanlis) whose surly personality and nocturnal ways make life in a cardboard box -- like dorm room a living hell. Laura and her friends Perry (Annie Briggs), LaFontaine (Kaitlyn Alexander) and Danny (Sharon Belle) soon realize that all of their digging gets them involved in some serious situations beyond their comprehension that centers around vampires. No, not like Twilight or any tween glamorous version of vampires, I am talking like kidnapping and putting parasites in your brain that make you go crazy.

Bauman and Negovanlis portray polar opposites in the series. Bauman's character Laura is uptight and naive, while Negovanlis' character Carmilla is an undead and unaffected vampire. But that's exactly what really draws them together and makes them the perfect pairing. Carmilla and Laura shouldn't work together as a friendship or possibly more, but they do, and that's only part of what transfixes you with this series. These two don't even have to light a match, the sparks are instantaneous. Bauman is funny, endearing and "adorkably" goofy. Try to not fall in love with all of faces she makes throughout the episodes, I dare you! Negovanlis is cheeky and makes bad never look so good! Her delivery is impeccable and the snark she infuses into the writing is done with true ease and flair. And what's even more incredible about the series is that it is full on feminism at its finest. The characters are women not sitting around waiting for a man to help them take action or save them like damsels in distress, these ladies are smart, strong, and empowered all on their own. Mystery, humor, intrigue and suspicion all take center stage and every minute of it you sit on pins and needles waiting to see what will happen next. The fact that the episodes are so short allows you to easily become addicted and binge watch one after the other. Twenty-something episodes later, you're not left wondering where did the time go, you're left wondering why can't I have more?

YouTube is where new shows and obsessions are being spawned. No longer does mainstream television control the market. So if you're in the need for a fix, and you don't want to have to wait weeks for new episodes, YouTube is at your fingertips, and so is a whole new world of web series.