At first I had nothing but disdain for Quarterlife, the brand new “web series” about twentysomethings, a perfect show for the self-absorbed generation who know nothing about struggling and have absolutely no depth whatsoever and real people who blog don’t look like that and what is up with the Prius? Are they vegans too? Why are the men such sexist pigs? Why would a girl be so mean and dumb as to post her roommates’ personal lives on her blog? Is this really where our youth are headed, to live their lives in a self-absorbed fashion online for all to see? We’ve become a snake eating its own tail – we couldn’t get inside TV so we had to become TV.
But then I actually watched the show. I’m ashamed to admit that I’m hooked! What has become of me? I was hoping to really hate this show, I mean really hate it. I wanted to shred it in print, to put these twerps in their place. But alas. I’m worthless.
The show revolves in interactive fashion around the lives of three girls (white, of course) and three guys (white, of course!) who live in adjoining apartments. The girls work at various twentysomething jobs, and the boys are involved in making cutting edge car commercials. In the first few episodes, the gang is just learning about how their good friend Dylan has been blogging about them, revealing their very personal information for public consumption: this one drinks too much, that one is in love with his best friend’s girlfriend.
Where it’s going is yet to be determined, but it is really interesting to see how this girl observes the lives of her friends, blogs about them, which, in turn, forces them to confront things about themselves, all while lounging on Ikea furniture and wearing clothes from Banana Republic and Old Navy.
There is one major drawback to the show, however, and that is the episodes, webisodes, are way too short and there is too much time between them. When you’re used to a whole hour (and in some cases, even an hour isn’t enough), these short bursts are just a taste of a much bigger experience.
Lucky for we TV viewers, and thanks to the writers strike, Quarterlife has just been acquired by NBC, which will run the 36 eight-minute webisodes into six hour-long episodes. This is a great improvisational stop-gap measure for NBC, which was staring down the nose at reality shows and repeats.
I have to admit it would have been interesting to watch Quarterlife materialize on the web, as it looked to be the beginning of finally bringing viewers online for commercial-free, on-demand programming. Now we’ll never know if it would have held our attention or gotten super weird by the end of it all.
Quarterlife’s success is mainly because it was produced by Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick, also responsible for thirtysomething and My So-Called Life. According to a New York Times story, they sold a licensing fee to NBC, and the network will air the episodes only after they have aired on the website, which happens every Sunday and Thursday at midnight. The website, by the way, is quarterlife.com, and is meant to be a social networking site also with 2.0 contributions.