The WIGS YouTube Channel Featuring Original Programming
When you think of TV on the web, you probably think of sites like Hulu and Netflix that stream previously aired network and cable shows. When you think of YouTube, you probably don’t think of TV shows at all. But the truth is that the Internet is rapidly becoming a platform for original programming. YouTube isn’t just a hub for homemade videos of funny cats and people doing the Harlem shake. More and more, it’s a home for professionally produced original content.
It’s not just upstart independents creating YouTube TV shows — there’s plenty of established Hollywood talent both onscreen and behind the lens. The shows are part of YouTube channels that you can subscribe to, so you’ll be notified when new content has been uploaded. The YouTube TV episodes are bite-sized — typically less than 10 minutes long — so you don’t have to blow an entire week of your life binge viewing a particular series.
Bookmark Your Favorite YouTube Shows
Want an easy way to keep track of the great shows on YouTube? Use RealPlayer's bookmark feature for quick access to the shows you want in the RealPlayer library.
DRAMATIC YOUTUBE TV SHOWS
WIGS TV offers a slate of programs geared toward women. Think of it as Lifetime Television for the web. The best of WIGS offerings is Blue, which stars Julia Stiles as a single mom with a secret life. The series is written and directed by WIGS cofounder Rodrigo Garcia, director of Albert Nobbs and creator of the series In Treatment. Also notable is Ruth & Erica, starring Maura Tierney as a women struggling with her aging mother. Each series is organized in its own playlist for easy navigation.
On the terrifying end of the spectrum, there’s H+: The Digital Series. Created by Bryan Singer (X-Men, The Usual Suspects), the series concerns an apocalyptic future where the human brain is connected directly to the Internet. To say the least, things spiral out of control. Who would’ve thought there’d be a downside to the singularity?
COMEDIC YOUTUBE TV SHOWS
Much of the TV programming on YouTube is decidedly geared toward comedy. Tech geeks will likely find something appealing in The Guild, Felicia Day’s comedy about a group of online gaming addicts.
The Onion is best known for its satirical news organization, including the hilarious Onion News Network web video program. But it also produces a parody of MTV reality shows (aren’t they already self-parodies?) that features five young singles and a middle-aged married man sharing a house. Wait, this isn’t real?
A pair of YouTube TV series tackle the current economic climate from a unique perspective. Downsized is a comedy/drama that focuses on average New Yorkers navigating a post-recession world. Written and directed by Daryn Strauss, who is also one of the lead actors, the show was nominated for a 2012 Writers Guild Award.
On the hilarious Stooges, unemployed George is desperate to make ends meet, so naturally he turns to selling drugs with his friends, including a sketchy Russian with a huge appetite for cocaine.
Then there’s Escape My Life. Sure, this Ford-branded series is an unsubtle attempt to boost SUV sales. But then again, large companies used to put their names behind television shows in the past (remember the Texaco Star Theater and the Colgate Comedy Hour? Neither do we). What’s important is that this show, starring Natasha Leggero as a movie wardrobe designer who gets more than she bargained for with her new free car, is pretty funny.
What’s your favorite YouTube TV show? Let us know in the comments section.
John is a longtime technology journalist and author — long enough to remember when the CD-ROM was going to change the media landscape as we know it. He’s written for PC Magazine, CNET, CNBC, and CNN/Money among other media outlets. His favorite lost cause: the New York Mets.