Take180 Takes Off
Disney-owned Take180.com officially launched today, with three new participatory Web series: My Date, I <3 (actually a clever way to type “heart,” not a fake parentheses and a 3 as it appears) Vampires and Electric Spoofaloo.
True to the Web site’s title, all the Webisodes run 180 seconds or less.
Those three join the site’s other shows: My Alibi, In2ition and Juice Box, which launched when Take180 entered beta last fall. All of Take180’s series are available both on Take180.com and on Take180’s channels on MySpace and YouTube. My Alibi is also available on ABCFamily.com.
I’m not going to really review these Web series because while I frequently admit my immaturity, these are aimed directly at teens so I don’t think I can give them a fair shake. They do feel quite a bit like Rockville, CA and Sorority, Forever over on TheWB.com.
I’ve said this before, but I do think adding a participatory element to Web series is a great idea - it’s one that comes from Chris Williams, the founder of Take180’s previous Web site, FanLib. FanLib had fans write episodes of their favorite shows. Take180 takes that one step further, and has fans contribute ideas, storylines, photos, videos and art work to help create shows. Fans whose submissions are picked can win prizes. First up, a trip to Los Angeles to see the premiere of Disney/Pixar’s latest film, Up.
Involving fans - particularly teens - in a show’s production is a good way to keep them engaged, but I also think the shows have to be compelling enough to keep fans coming back. We’ll see if Take180 has nailed that part yet.
Instead of an opinion, I’ll just offer a little round-up of each of Take180’s new shows:
I <3 Vampires is a take-off of the Twilight craze, featuring two teenage girls who obsessively read a Twilight-like book series and vblog about it. When they are surprised with advance chapters of the series’ long-awaited new book, they set off on a series of Vampire-related adventures.
Electric Spoofaloo spoofs anything and everything pop culture, asking fans what the show should spoof next. The series’ first Webisode, Two and a Half Watchmen - a parody of both Watchmen and Two and a Half Men - already has been watched by nearly 50,000 viewers.
And My Date re-enacts viewer dates - everything from the ridiculous to the romantic.
One side note — I know that everyone thinks that it’s mostly teens and young adults who watch Web series online, but I think there’s a good opportunity here for shows aimed at older audiences. The Web is a perfect place to launch new soap operas — especially with the daytime drama business dwindling — and other short-form dramas. These days, everyone is ADD. I think people would appreciate shows that don’t require much of their attention span. The Web series In the Motherhood, which became a very short-lived sitcom on ABC, is one good example that I know of, but I’d love to see more.