Sunday, June 24, 2012

Daybreak: A Web Series Finally Worth Watching

AT&T is sponsoring a new web series, Daybreak (http://m.daybreak2012.com/). As you might expect, it's heavy with product placement, but truly no more than network shows like Hawaii Five-0, and the tech is clever, showcasing apps and augmented reality, but what really sets it apart from previous attempts at web based television shows is the writing, directing, and production quality. In other words, it's one of the first web series that is actually worth watching.

It's brought to you from Tim Kring, the former television wunderkind who brought Heroes to the screen. Before you groan, think back to the first season of Heroes: tight writing, well woven plot elements, and a relentless drive to a final culmination. That's what Daybreak captures. The director is Jon Cassar, who was the primary director of 24, and his energy infused style is clearly evident. But the standout is the writing, from the always talented Raven Metzner (disclosure: I went to school with Raven and always loved his writing style, but I had no idea he wrote it until I watched it). The writing integrates smart technical, scientific, and quasi-science lore along the lines of Lost and Fringe, with clever tech and characters you actually care about.

It's clear the serialized television program is an endangered species, as so many have recently frustrated viewers and reality TV is so much cheaper to produce for an audience that has a seemingly insatiable appetite for such fare. With television's ad revenue dropping as we spend so much time consuming web content, along with the rapid convergence of online content on the big living room screen, web based content like this is not only refreshing, but innovative in both a creative and business aspect. Watch on YouTube, your mobile, or your connected TV in HD, and see for yourself.

I'm off to find a JackBoxer app...

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