What does America mean to you? Hamburgers and dive bars? The freedom to practice any religion you choose and, now, marry whomever you choose?
Check out how these web series emphasize some of the above, and enjoy your 4th of July weekend! Next week, we’ll be watching office comedies on Wednesday, so if you’ve got any good ones…firstname.lastname@example.org.
PBS Digital series are almost always excellent, and “First Person” is no exception. This web series explores gender and sexuality through individuals, like DC and Marvel Comics artist and writer Phil Jimenez in the above episode. Comic books strike a very all-American chord, and with the new SCOTUS ruling on same sex marriage, it’s good to know that when we’re celebrating the 4th of July this weekend, we’ll be celebrating a country that’s increasingly standing for love.
What’s more American than being so impatient for your favorite popular TV show’s sex scenes to come on that you skip right ahead to them (only to realize you can’t actually see anything good because it’s sex on American TV)? “The Good Parts” highlights just that in shows ranging from HBO’s “Girls” to “The Bachelor.” It’s presented like a Skype session with your best friend, and the narrator portrays the American gossip-loving, man/TV-obsessed woman to a fault — she’s so good, she’ll annoy you almost enough to keep you from watching…almost. You can catch the series on VH1’s YouTube channel.
Combining Southern charm with a New York locale, this web series has got the eastern US covered. The main character, Krystal, who moved from “The South” to New York, where she opens up a bar, uses endearing phrases like “crazy as a coot” and faces her daily life working in the big city with relentless optimism. You could easily describe her, and the web series as a whole, as cute — a slice of idealized American life that probably doesn’t exist.
In spite of separation of church and state, America is a country largely fueled by religious beliefs, which this web series explores in a somewhat probing (but mostly poorly shot and acted) way. The series asks some good questions and answers them in a weirdly honest fashion, and its amateurish qualities can be seen as a reflection of the earnest way in which children inquire about religion…since we’re being kind about it.
Exploring classic American avenues of entertainment, from a traveling circus to the streets of Los Angeles, this web series starts out with the two main characters’ own declaration of independence as they seek to enter the world of “normal, working class” people in Des Moines, Iowa — the most normal, working class American locale they could come up with — from having been with their parents’ circus troupe their whole lives. The first episode, rife with actually funny jokes in which circus performing is confused with “adult entertainment,” also serves as the perfect set-up for the rest of the series, in which the protagonists decide to move to Los Angeles to realize their vision of being, well, normal Americans.