When creating web series we have the tendency is to make shows bloated. More characters, more jokes, more audience appeal, more story, segments and scenes. More more more. TV and film need to entertain for hours and fill fixed time slots. The internet doesn't have this burden, and audiences have proven they don't have time for anything but "the best parts".
Many popular web series are extremely minimal. Series that focus on a single topic, a basic formula, and target a niche audience. These minimalist web series are so boiled down and simple, they're brilliant, contain "only the best parts" – and are borderline addictive.
For any video creator or marketer working on a web series, it's about LESS. It's about minimalist web series. Here are 8 minimalist web series that are largely unscripted, brutally simple and extremely memorable. I hope these inspire you to simplify and streamline your own series:
The Simple Experiments
"Guy that Blends Impossible Objects"
BlendTec has made a fortune selling blenders with the Will It Blend? web series. It doesn't get more basic than applying the same hypothesis to a different object every episode.
"Cool Stuff in Slow Motion"
Humans love watching anything in slow motion. It's primal. Slow Mo Guys prey on human nature by delivering backyard action at 9000 frames per second.
"Technology Destroyed by Weapons"
RatedRR's series Tech Assassin destroys a new gadget every episode. That's it. Now try not to watch all the episodes.
"Kids React to Popular Videos"
Yes, Bill Cosby did this for years. But this Kids React web series from The Fine Brothers is so minimalist it's literally shots of kids (and now teens, old people and YouTubers) reacting to a video. No host, no human interest segments on the kids, no fluff. You only get what the title promises.
"Tutorials from The Invisible Man Presents"
Tutorial videos are nothing new. But watching the invisible man is mesmerizing. It's minimal yet creative.
"Funny Lip Reading of Famous People"
Rather than work for the CIA as a spy lip reader, Bad Lip Reading provides terrible interpretations of your favorite news clips and movies. It's hilariously impressive and nothing more.
"Amateur Recipes… from a Drunk"
My Drunk Kitchen is about a girl who gets drunk and cooks on camera. Now she's going on a national tour. And together we say: "Why didn't I think of that?"
"Five Second Films"
OK. I tried to avoid scripted web series. But if you want the most minimalist story telling look no further than the genius that is Five Second Films.
Did I forget your favorite web series? Let me know in the comments below!