Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Youtube Soap Operas

I guess the cat is out of the bag this time. Market Watch's Bambi Franciso discovers Soap Operas on Youtube.

From the article:

"Yet surprisingly there is an audience for such nonsensical nothingness. Even more surprising, this nothingness appeals and attracts an audience that interacts with one another, resulting in a most fascinating evolution of user-generated videos: The emergence of Internet soap operas about nothing.

Unlike TV sitcoms or movies, soap operas are open-ended in nature. They have no beginning, end, and no structural closure. There is no single narrative line, and several stories are woven together over a series of episodes. Soaps also have a wide selection of characters, enabling people to choose which personality or situation they identify with. Importantly, soaps require people to tune in daily and become absorbed in the lives of made-up characters who transport the viewer into a sort of dream world.

Consider LucyinLA. She was on YouTube's home page on Monday. The latest episode: Lucy gets a callback from a casting call. Lucy is a 24-year-old temp worker at an accounting firm in L.A.
She makes a pittance of a salary, and is a struggling actress. It's a likely Hollywood story. I wouldn't give it two thumbs up for originality. But Lucy's tale is actually one that many struggling young actors would find intriguing. It's a tale of hard knocks in Hollywood.

Her show, if you want to call it that, has been ongoing for about a month -- a season in Internet time. In her show, err video blogs, she talks about her auditions, her frustrations with skinny, anorexic actresses who make her life miserable because she's 5'10" and, as she describes herself, "cushiony." Some episodes have received between 40,000 and 50,000 views.

Her latest received nearly 450,000 views. Moreover, she has a cast of characters video blogging responses, from a whacky director giving her professional advice, to random men who offer her support, to an Australian girl who is struggling to become an actress as well. In keeping with the soap opera style, Lucy's ongoing show has its own version of gossipers injecting conspiracy theories, intrigue and drama."

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