Breaking up never looked so good!
I’ve never claimed to be a big fan of web series. I appreciate the idea of them, that people with zero funds now have the power to put something that is completely their own idea onto the World Wide Web.
The problem is said funds. People who start off with nothing aren’t going to be making a superb product. Without the money, it’s practically impossible to get anybody outside of a small town amateur theater company, and don’t even get me started on locations. Most of these web series are going to be taking place in the writer’s living room.
Basically, what I’m saying is web series can be “good,” but it’s a special kind of good. It’s completely separate from the TV level of shows.
A web series is considered good if the actors can even remotely act, and the jokes/drama don’t need to be top notch. In other words, we cut it a little slack because the resources simply aren’t there to make it awesome.
That’s what I thought about web series, anyway. I figured there was no hope they’d get better, that they would essentially function as a career jumping off point for the creator – then something came along that blew my mind.
The Outs isn’t just web series good, it’s TV series good. It definitely trumps a lot of network comedies (maybe even some cable ones, but, hey, that might be me overselling it).
It tells the story of three mid-twenties New Yorkers: Mitchell (Adam Goldman), Jack (Hunter Canning), and Oona (Sasha Winters).
Mitchell and Jack used to date, but now that’s over, and the main arc of the series is how both move on after being together for several years.
Mitchell holds a grudge toward Jack and spends lots of time drinking with Oona (they’re best friends), while Jack goes through a self-professed “slutty phase.”
It’s a pretty basic premise, but it’s executed in a great way.
We follow these characters around in their day-to-day lives, typical indie-style stuff, but it’s all delivered in a hilarious fashion.
The show works so well mainly because of the three main characters. As I said above, most web series don’t exactly get to work with the best talent onscreen. This is not the case here.
Everyone is cast perfectly, and their characters are surprisingly well-developed for such a small production.
I’ll admit, there was a bit of a rough patch at first. In episode one, you can tell some people are a little uncomfortable in front of the camera, and everything comes off as a little too cliche.
This, however, isn’t a knock to the show. Most pilots are kind of awkward, and usually involve oversimplified characters that need time to grow.
The Outs goes through similar growing pains, but these characters change for the better – and quickly. By episode 2, everything seems natural, and if you’re anything like me, you’re already invested in the characters, which makes the steady descent into drama completely earned.
Yeah, you heard that right. Not only does this thing pull off the funny, but it gets the drama right, too. I don’t want to reveal too much about that part of the show, though, because it’s getting into heavy spoiler territory.
Now that I’ve sung the show’s praises, I should probably mention how it was even possible to make this web series. Goldman (not only does he star, he also created the show) used Kickstarter. He made the first episode, and then made five more from the funds donated by eager fans.
Basically, don’t take my word for it. Other people thought it was good enough to pay for it. I swear!
If you’re still hesitant about tuning in, understand that this show is a pretty quick watch: There are only six episodes, and each one averages about 25 minutes. Essentially, you’re watching a one-off British series, only it’s set in the US.
I don’t know what devil Goldman is praying to at night, but he’s managed to make his blend of humor, drama, characterization, and simplicity work in a great way.
And, if you watch the entire thing and decide you want to see more, Goldman and friends have filmed an epilogue of sorts (apparently it’s a “Chanukah Special” in spring) that’s coming out April 1.