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January 22, 2009

Online Video Shows: From Showbizzle To Raunchy Comic Books

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Sometimes blog posts come from the strangest of circumstances.  Like pissing off a big time TV producer.

Last fall I did a post here at Megan's Minute called "The New Beverly Hills 90210, A Lot Like the Old "Beverly Hills 90210," and I gave the show an okay review.  I also referred to the excutive producer of the show as Rob Thomas of "Veronica Mars and Dawson's Creek" fame and mentioned that the old "90210" was produced by "Sex and the City's" Darren Star."

Well turns out I was wrong on both counts.

Charles Rosin who was also an executive producer of the original show left a comment on my post explaining who he was, correcting me and telling me "your opinions matter less because the facts are wrong."

Well obviously I felt real good about that.

I responded to his comment with my own, apologized, corrected the mistakes in the post and explained how I came to make them in the first place. 

When Mr. Rosin left his comment he also made mention of a video internet site he was working on with his writer/producer daughter, Lindsey called Showbizzle.  I told him that because I owed him one, I'd definitely check out the site.  When I did I was intrigued by what I found.

Hence this post.

Showbizzle is a site starring fictional aspiring writer, Janey B. whose fictional friends are twenty somethings trying to make it in Hollywood.  Everyday they meet Janey at her favorite coffee hangout and tell their stories in short video clips.  Some of these friends know each other and that's when the dirt really gets dished.

The site is a work in progress and Team Rosin are working on perfecting what they feel will be a formula for a new kind of entertainment/online community.  Mr. Rosin thinks of some of the benefits this way:

What I like about producing original content for the digital world is that if it doesn't work out you get to throw up your hands and insist that your website/start-up/show was in Beta mode the whole time - and then, with one click of a mouse, poof, all is forgiven, and you get to start over again. Not cancelled, demeaned, and quickly forgotten which mostly happens when the network/studio/money guys pull the plug on a prime time endeavor.

Some of the Showbizzle characters need to be more compelling but Team Rosin is already re-working current ones and adding new ones for a re-launch of the site in the spring.  Meanwhile you can still go on the site and hear stories from Maxine, Melissa, Scott, Nathan and Shauna Pink. 

The Rosins have other features they'll be adding to the site as well:

Showbizzle '09 will have cool contests where members get paid to perform as well as an outreach to university theater and drama programs where cash prizes will be given to students performing our monologues in addition to performing their own material.

Whether the site will eventually appeal to internet surfers that are not twenty something remains to be seen but since Hollywood insider stories, even fictional ones, are generally popular anything is possible.  

This idea of video blogs is not new, after all there are video blogs all over the internet.   What I think is new is the attempt to bring a different kind of narrative to the internet that has lots of potential for growth. 

Another video blog series that recently came to my attention is Bernthis.com.  It follows divorced Mom, Jessica Bern, a self-described "neurotic women" and her "journey through her weekly visits through her therapist." Each video recreates Jessica's trials and tribulations in comic detail, like her first bikini wax or her run-ins with her family. 

Unlike some of the "rough around the edges" video blogs out there, this one is well written, beautifully produced and most of the clips are quite funny.  Definitely worth checking out.  Besides the theme music is very catchy.

BlogHer's own Contributing Editor Gena Haskett is an avid video blogger.  One of my favorites of her recent segments is on Tijuana Bibles, "a type of underground comic book" from yesteryear.  The comic books are funny, fascinating, but be warned, also X-rated. You'll never think of Dagwood Bumstead in quite the same way.

So are sites like these and others are going to siphon more viewers from their TV sets?  Let me know what you think.

Related Links:

Brigitte Dale has moved her entertaining video blog to ABC Family.com. 

Kitykity's Vlog:  A Mom's video blog.

Life After Lisa: An online drama.

Cross Posted From BlogHer


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