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10 Bingeable Web Series

Youtube can be a black hole of web series, but here are ten great ones you can't go wrong with binging!

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1. The Lizzie Bennet Diaries

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The web series that launched the literary craze and vlog-style trend among web series. The Lizzie Bennet Diaries is a modern retelling of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice and follows the ins and outs of Lizzie Bennet and her two sisters, as well as their various friends, frenemies, and boyfriends.

One of the standout points of this web series is the depth that it brings to the character of Lydia, played by the extremely talented Mary Kate Wiles. Mary Kate and the writers preserved Lydia's idiosyncrasies while also making her a more relatable and dynamic character.

Fun fact: Hank Green of vlogbrothers fame was an executive producer and writer for the series.

2. Riley Rewind

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This sci-fi web series about an almost entirely typical high school girl with the ability to rewind time is a triple threat: great writing, great acting, and great special effects! Okay, but seriously, this series may only have five episodes but those five episodes are AMAZING. Riley Rewind is also a vlog-style web series, but it moves beyond the form to show what is going on even when Riley isn't talking to the camera.

This is an especially great series to binge on because the five episodes total about an hour, so it is shorter than most movies but just as fun and well done! The one downside is that this series ends on a pretty major cliffhanger without the smallest promise of a second season. But if you enjoy the web series and are dying for more you can always check out Anna Akana's short films.

3. Video Game High School

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What if there was a boarding school for professional gamers? That's the premise behind this web series that follows Brian D, Jenny Matrix, Ki Swan, Ted Wong and the rest of the talented gamers at Video Game High School. The writing and actors in this series are great and the special effects are absolutely amazing. The visualization of different styles of video games is especially cool to see. And if you keep your eyes peeled you'll see a surprising number of celebrity guest stars (including Zachary Levi!!).

This web series is extremely fun, but don't be fooled, because it brings a lot of depth to the characters and stories, as well. At various times characters deal with the realities of broken relationships, distant parents, and unexpected deaths. As with many of my favorite shows, though, the light moments bring levity to the dark ones and the dark moments heighten the light ones.

And bonus, you can watch it on Netflix.

4. Space Janitors

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This hilarious sci-fi web series follows the lives of the janitors on an evil space station. Basically, it's a Star Wars parody taking a comedic look at how the lesser-know and lesser-respected members of an evil empire live their lives. The janitors, as well as their other friends (who include a robot and a clone), weather the ups and downs of battles against the rebels while just trying to do their jobs-- it may not be as glamorous as being a fighter pilot or a rebel leader but somebody has to clean up after all those blaster fights!

The show has three seasons, all of which are amazing and incredibly funny. And if you watch all the way to season three you'll be treated to an extra special guest appearance by Colin Mochrie of Whose Line Is It Anyway fame.

5. Next Time on Lonny

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There is no easy way to describe Next Time on Lonny. Essentially, each episode focuses on the "next time.." segment of a fictional reality TV show about Lonny. Sounds simple enough, except that Lonny and the reality show following him are off-the-wall insane.The episodes don't follow one consistent narrative, instead focusing on various scenarios in Lonny's crazy life, including things like disastrous dates, alien invasions, and the occasional murder. There are some running gags like the line "you look really pretty, you know that?" but mostly the show is just a series of unbelievably crazy and hilarious events.

Honestly, you're just going to have to watch it to see what I mean.

6. Nothing Much to Do

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Nothing Much To Do is a modern retelling of Shakespeare's play Much Ado About Nothing set in New Zealand. It is a part of the vast subgenre of vlog-style literary adaptations that followed the success of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. It is a fun web series that does an excellent job of bringing Shakespeare and his characters into the 21st century. The series is told primarily from the perspective of Beatrice and Benedick and their respective vlogs, although The Watch has a series of vlogs, as well.

This web series was created by the Candle Wasters who are currently working on a sequel to NMTD called Lovely Little Losers which is based on Shakespeare's Love's Labour's Lost.

7. A Midsemester Night's Dream

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Midsemester is another Shakespearean web series set in modern day. This series is an adaptation of A Midsummer Night's Dream set in college. Sorority girl Hermia loves her hipster boyfriend Lysander, but when the two are forbidden to attend the frat formal together they run away from campus. They are pursued by Demetrius who is in love with Hermia and Helena who is in love with him. Chaos ensues when some mischievous fairies intervene and cause both guys to fall in love with the nerdy Helena instead.

The web series was created by Third Star Productions (which, full disclosure, I was a founder of), and is the second literary web series created by the group after the musical, fairy-tale web series University Ever After.

8. Convos with my 2 Year Old

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This web series is the brainchild of the hilarious Canadian duo of Matthew Clarke and David Milchard. In it, they reenact conversations between Matthew and his real-life daughter Coco with David acting out the part of Coco. In other words, conversations between father and daughter as reenacted between the father and a full grown man. It is pretty much just as hilarious as it sounds like it would be, helped along by the fact that Coco is a clever and funny child and David just really pulls off being a two year old girl.

9. Emma Approved

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Emma is the third literary adaptation out of Pemberley Digital. It was also the third Austen adaptation of the company (after LBD and Sanditon). The series follows relationship expert and party planner Emma Woodhouse as she makes a living out of managing other people's lives. She, her protégé Harriette, and her partner and long-time friend Alex Knightley work tirelessly to help make other people's lives better. The only problem is they aren't always as good at fixing the problems in their own lives.

This series has a very different vibe from The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, but fans of that web series and fans of Austen in general won't be disappointed. Although the story is adapted to a modern setting in this production, I actually think this version of Emma is more true to the original than many others. This series really doesn't shy away from Emma's less savory qualities to the point where watching the fabulous Joanna Sotomura play her can actually become cringe-worthy, but the truth is the bad qualities are a part of what make Emma such an interesting character, and without them it's impossible to see how much she grows throughout the story.

10. Carmilla

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Here's a literary adaptation of a gothic novel that is sometimes credited with inspiring Bram Stoker's Dracula and follows lesbian vampires. Interested yet? You should be! Although the web series takes great liberties with the source material (it's really more based on than adapted from the novella), it is nonetheless a spectacular web series. It is a modern day gothic web series set at a college where vampires exist, deans are evil, and people are being kidnapped for some seriously creepy rituals. Not to mention the representation of female and LGBT characters is off-the-charts, and that is always a good and much-needed thing. You will feel empowered and also slightly concerned that your roommate might be a vampire after watching this series.

The second season of Carmilla just started so there's no better time to get caught up and join the "creampuff" fandom.

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