March 30, 2011
It’s quite strange working in the interactive space and not having an all time favourite web series. For a while I felt like a fraud – how could I purport that I base my livelihood around digital or interactive narratives when I wasn’t devoted to watching The Guild or Epic Meal Time? Sure, I absolutely love Very Mary Kate and How To Batman, but I wouldn’t jump up and down and call myself a fan-girl so much as a casual viewer. Fortunately, while doing research for Moderation Town (Stitch Media’s recent web series), I stumbled across Awkward Embraces.
Awkward Embraces follows three women through their various dating exploits. Sounds like something you’ve heard before, I’m sure, but the difference between these women and Carrie and the girls, is that they’re fearless leader is more into geek-chic than Manolo Blahniks, their tagline is ‘nerdy girls need love too’, and I’ve lost count at how many Star Trek references they’ve had in just a few short episodes. Yeap, Awkward Embraces is exactly that – awkward. The tales of dating woes are strange, uncomfortable, and always hilarious. Within the first two episodes I was hooked, sharing the show with friends who I’m certain had scenes from their real lives reenacted on the show. (As it turns out, writer / creator / star Jessica Mills actually based the majority of these dating disasters on real life occurrences – nerdy girls can’t get a break anywhere!)
The series is independently produced (on what seems to be a shoestring budget), and like many web series, has received immense support from it’s fan base and geek community- even raising enough money through an indigogo account to produce a second season. While geeks supporting geeks is hardly new, I am always somewhat ‘tickled pink’ whenever I discover another property has been saved or supported by the community. I suppose with ad agencies and various investors keen to dominate the digital media marketplace with branded entertainment, there is something rather heartwarming in niche audiences creating something for themselves, by themselves, all while maintaining a firm hold in the space. I hope that Awkward Embraces continues it’s current #winning streak and follows in the footsteps of indi-super-geek-turned-uber-popular web series The Guild. Jessica Mills keynote at SXSW 2012 – yeah, I’d be there.
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