Can’t find anything good on Netflix? Here are the best new shows on the web
From Eighty Sixed to Corpus TV, the web is still the place to find unorthodox new talent
Polyamory is the subject at the heart of 195 Lewis, a stylish and polished series populated by a majority black, queer cast. At the centre of the Brooklyn-set story are couple Yuri and Camill who have decided to open up their relationship. However, the show is more than just a romantic comedy drama, instead acting as a deep dive into the dynamics of black female friendship. Each episode builds to reflect a world so rarely seen on screen, a real showcase of how a forward-thinking attitude allows web series to break new ground in storytelling.
Eighty Sixed is a witty and sardonic story of a woman reeling following a break-up. Writer and actor Cazzie David plays the lead role in a show she created alongside her writing partner Elisa Kalani. Together they mine topics as disparate as social media-etiquette and germaphobia for big laughs. The Atlantic described Eighty Sixed as “ Curb Your Enthusiasm for millennials ,” which is a nod to both a shared strand of dark humour and David’s real-life father, Larry David. Reception to Eighty Sixed has been so warm the pair just secured a deal for a new project with Amazon.
Michael and Michael describe their burgeoning web series as “If Broad City and Curb Your Enthusiasm met up at a gay rave”. Together they are two self-proclaimed “neurotic Jews” who offer up a satirical look at gay marriage. The first episode landed online in February and is a hoot. In it, the sex-positive Michaels look for another man to join them in the bedroom in a bid to prove to themselves that they’re not boring. Skip to scrolling through dating apps and a hilarious hot tub scene. The couple are currently seeking finance to finish the remaining five episodes of Michael and Michael and have launched an online fundraiser.
Nowness, the home of the “best in global arts and culture” video, figured out pretty quickly that web video works best in bitesize, hyper-specific chunks. While some of its output can feel esoteric to the point of pretentiousness, its long-running series on the homes of architects is an accessible and perfectly wrought gem. Like Chef’s Table, film-makers including Albert Moya and Matthew Donaldson, present carefully crafted portraits of often incredibly constructed abodes. Spanish architect Ricardo Bofill’s converted cement factory in Catalonia makes most Grand Designs projects look lightweight, while designer Alexandre de Betak’s house in Mallorca looks like it could be the set of a Kubrick film . This is definitely ‘house porn’ of the highest order, but beyond the gawping there are lessons in the hard work that it took to see some of these projects through. Another interesting architecture and interior series on Nowness is My Place , which is like a sleeker version of Through the Keyhole featuring the likes of surfer Stephanie Gilmore and Crass drummer Penny Rimbaud.
If you’ve drunk up every episode of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee and are still in the mood for jovial conversation with your favourite comedians, Kevin Nealon is your guy. The former SNL cast member goes for a hike, or as Brits would say “a walk,” with stars including Sarah Silverman, Judd Apatow and Adam Sandler. The Tiffany Haddish episode is a highlight, with the Girls Trip star getting personal as she sweats it out up a mountain. Friendly, yet unafraid to probe and ask some tough questions, Nealon brings an old school charm to this well-worn format.
Time will tell if it was a good idea to give a hardcore band from Queens their own no-holds-bar web series. Show Me The Body’s programming has certainly been challenging so far. Each week, Corpus TV will unveil a new show curated by SMTB. The first was a bizarro cookery show with noise artist Dreamcrusher, who showed how to make a tasty Thai curry. This all feels like it’s in the same area as Tyler, the Creator’s exploits on Adult Swim: unhinged, unsettling and definitely not aimed at the Broad City crowd. The second episode, released last week, was 30 minutes of street boxing where friends of the group donned boxing gloves and stepped into a makeshift ring to punch it out. It’s not all Jackass japes though, other shows in the run promise to shine a light on the impact of gentrification on native New Yorkers. Try it if you’re feeling brave.
Real-life best friends Banna Desta and Jalen Parker’s Youth, Etc is a relaxed hang of a show that follows the pair as they tackle life as twentysomethings in Washington DC. A checklist of millennial must-haves are ticked off across six episodes including astrology, Tinder, Lana Del Rey and Instagram poets. Episode three, Codeswitch, goes a little deeper, though, and shows a stronger side to the show. In it, the BFFs examine a job interview and the ways in which black people switch up the way they talk depending on the scenario. It’s a smart dissection that never loses Youth, Etc’s breezy and cool tone. – Guardian Service