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5 Local Web Series you have to watch!

By Say Peng  /  30 Jun 2018 (Saturday)

Average Guys

With the advent of Netflix, more and more filmmakers around the world are jumping onto the long-form episodic bandwagon. Our local filmmakers are no different.

From Viddsee to Toggle to branded web series to the independently produced Youtube web series, there is a deluge of web series on the Internet. InCinemas recommends five of them worth checking out.

1. Average Guys

Created by LASALLE Film graduate Cheng Chai Hong, Average Guys is a The Office-inspired mockumentary of a video production company called Sharp Images. 

The series follows the people working at Sharp Images, which consists of Daniel the director, played by LASALLE graduate Teoh Jun Vinh; producer Alex, played by two-time Life! Theatre Awards nominee Thomas Pang; editor Fauzi, played by Fauzi Azzar, who is Cheng's close friend and for whom Cheng created the role; intern Kelvin, played by LASALLE Film graduate Justin Faith Ng, Cheng's junior in school; and freelance camera operator May, played by Channel 8 actress Jasmine Sim.

What's great about the series is its self-reflexive and self-aware comedy that is not afraid to tackle local social issues, from casual racism to gender stereotypes to sexual assualt.

Reception to the series has been overwhelmingly positive. And now, Cheng is looking for a way to expand the series into half-hour episodes and hopefully to get Netflix on board.

2. People Like Us

People Like Us follows four gay men in Singapore as they struggle to find love, acceptance, and yes, sex.

Directed by LA-based Singaporean Leon Cheo, who is himself gay, People Like Us is Singapore's first gay web series and is based on Cheo's personal experiences and the people he met.

In 2014, Action for AIDS Singapore approached Cheo with the idea for this web series. It wanted a series of educational but entertaining videos that depicted how gay men could lead sex-positive lives. It wanted the videos to generate dialogue amongst the community about dating and HIV prevention.

Cheo emphatically believes in the importance of minority representation in the media, and also in not waiting for the mainstream media to feature minority characters. In an interview, he said that "The onus is on minorities to make movies about themselves."

3. So Bright

Co-produced by MM2 Entertainment and Sentang Entertainment, So Bright is Singapore's first Chinese-language web series.

Directed by Kok Man Hon (also known as Wen Han), So Bright stars Aden Tan, BunZ, and up-and-coming Jannassa Neo.

Aden Tan plays the lead character Zi Yi, who used to be an aspiring singer, but ended up working as an assistant at a durian stall despite winning a singing competition. One day, Zi Yi meets Ah Ji, a musician played by BunZ, at the durian store. Their friendship re-ignites Zi Yi’s passion for music and they decide to join an upcoming singing competition together. Along the way, they are joined by Si Si, played by Jannassa Neo, a manager who is Zi Yi’s childhood friend and also Ah Ji’s crush. A complicated love triangle unfolds.

Like La La Land, So Bright is an ode to all the struggling artists out there who are still tirelessly chasing their dreams and encourages all of us to never stop chasing ours.

4. Memories on a Plate

As part of the Viddsee Voices project,  Viddsee has commissioned three social documentary web series. One of them is Memories on a Plate.

Directed by Ng Yiqin, the series is an intimate examination of the relationship between food and heritage. 

In the first episode, entitled A Fresh Taste of Tradition, we follow Dylan, a young chef who employs a fusion of modern French techniques traditional Teochew cooking to remember his father’s love and hold on to his fading heritage. 

Those who are interested in food or heritage and love shows such as Ugly Delicious should definitely check out this series. 

5. While You Sleep

Commissioned by Viddsee, While You Sleep is a five-episode series that profile the people who work the graveyard shift such as an animal rescuer, a suicide hotline volunteer, an ambulance driver, an A&E medical staff and an embalmer. It's a rare peek into a world seldom seen by us who are in bed whilst these people are at work.

The series is directed by recent NTU Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information graduate Christine Seow.

The idea for the series was sparked when Seow came back from an overnight shoot early in the morning and bumped into her sister, who was returning home from an overnight shift as a nurse. It made her curious about the many people working the night shift.

Are there other web series that you feel should be on everyone's to-watch list? Tell us in the comments below.
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