What is a Web Series?!

In my latest video I ask people “Do you watch web series, on youtube?”

I’ve actually asked this question before and from past experiences there seems to be some confusion on “What is a Webseries”

I want to take a moment to address this.

A Web Series – is defined as a show in which: an actor constantly plays the same character in a separate stories every wee. The story gets resolved by the end of the episode and the characters do not change (as they would in a movie/film)

In the world of Television examples would be : Sit-coms like Friends, King of Queens, etc or Dramas like : The X-files, ER, CSI, etc

In the web world examples would be : The Guild, Solo, Vampire Zombie Werewolf, and so on

A Web Anthology - is defined as a show in which : a topical or group of episodes without regular characters.

Anthologies are often based around sketch comedy groups like : Monthy Python, Kids in the Hall, Saturday Night Live, MadTV, and so on.

However anthologies are not limited to comedy, for example: Twilight Zone, Tales from the Crypt, and so on

The episodes are typically made up of a series of sketches. On the web they are usually simply 1 sketch per video.

Web Anthologies would include : BlackBox TV, Shane Dawson, The Station, and so on. In fact most youtube scripted fiction series would fall in to Anthologies.

There is a third classification TV uses for scripted fiction shows, that is ‘Serial’

A Serial – is defined as a show in which : actors (which may change in time) play the same characters (of which there will be many) in a story that continues with NO END.

In TV we call these ‘Soap Operas’.

To my knowledge these don’t exactly exist on the web, yet. (or I’m blind to them, I’m not exactly their market).


In all cases there may be some cross over.

For example Joe Nation of Youtube has within his Anthology based channel a web series called ‘Youtube Assasin’

One of the Original Web Series ‘Lonely Girl 15′ is actually closer to a soap opera then a web series, with it’s cliffhangers and never ending story. It actually probably should be classified as a Web Serial/Soap Opera.

So that’s the short answer to ‘What is a Web Series?’

If you have any questions, please comment!


About SamProof

Google+ | twitter Sam Proof is an Actor, Writer and Filmmaker.