The Best Web Series of 2011

Every lover of TV has wondered if web series are going to be the future of television. Their popularity and quality has naturally risen with the number of people that are exploring it as a form of storytelling. Here are our favorites from this past year.

The Guild, Season Five

It was a banner year for Felicia Day. She had a role in Eureka, wrote and produced Dragon Age: Redemption, and her now-famous series The Guild entered its fifth season. With the gang attending the MegaGameORama-Con, there were some wonderful hijinks in play. Each member of the guild got a chance to triumph this season, from Tink finally coming forth to her parents about her desire to go into costume design to Vork hooking up with the sci-fi actress of his dreams. (There was some slight advancement to the Codex/Zaboo storyline, but not much.) In the comic con setting, Day managed to snag some seriously impressive guest stars. Nathan Fillion, Stan Lee, and Eliza Dushku all made an appearance among other big names. If Felicia Day can keep up this pace, she’s going to someday rule the world.

Awkward Embraces, Season Two

Jessica Mills plays a version of herself in this severely overlooked series about what it’s like to be a nerd girl looking for love. The first season is wonderful and the second season improved upon that exponentially. Jess forms a friendship with a guy from work and just as you might guess, it’s awkward. Candis and Lyndsey, her two best friends, try to meddle in her life and it’s awkward. (Five points if you guessed I was going to say that.) And mixed in with the awkwardness, there’s a real sincerity and charm to Jessica’s love for all things geeky. As an added bonus, they also made a set of mini webisodes about a nerdy office flirtation. I can’t wait for news about season three.

Parks and Recreation: April and Andy’s Roadtrip

I thought I was so over the NBC webisodes, but I couldn’t resist the allure of April and Andy hitting up the grand canyon. There are some very funny and sweet moments between the newlyweds as they go roadtripping. Come for April’s reaction to a spider in the car, stay for Andy’s hilarious response to visiting the (fake) Four Corners. I could watch literally hours worth of these two hanging out together, so the four episodes go by quickly.

Can’t Get Arrested, Season One

Dave Coulier and Jodie Sweetin from Full House reunite in this five-episode arc about the struggles of being a forgotten Hollywood star and how to get recognized again. It’s a nineties blast from the past, with supporting roles played by Dennis Haskins (Mr. Belding from Saved By The Bell) and Kato Kaelin (that guy from the OJ Simpson trial). As a whole, the season isn’t perfect—the dialogue and even the acting need a little work. There are a lot of industry inside jokes, but that’s counterbalanced with some wonderful fake headlines on the news crawler. Candace Cameron has a cameo in season four that’s so worth it for the Uncle Joey-Stephanie-DJ flashback.

7 Minutes in Heaven with Mike O’Brien, Season One

If I were giving out awards to web series, 7 Minutes in Heaven would get all the prizes. Mike O’Brien writes for SNL and this year, he started a high concept web series. The premise is to pick a well-known actor and spend some time interviewing them inside of a closet. He’s brought on eighteen big-name stars so far, such as Elijah Wood, Kristen Wiig, and Ty Burrell. (Burrell’s is one of my favorite episodes. They play an improv game where they’re brothers that laugh at everything the other says, but then get immediately depressed because the laughing reminds them of their dead father. Trust me—it’s hilarious.) Mike’s affability combined with his hysterical questions and cramped quarters for his guests make for a wildly successful series. Don’t let the title fool you—the episodes clock in at around four minutes, although most of them do end with a kiss.

Are there any that you would add to the list?