You know when your sitting somewhere, whether it be in public or even at home, and this fat kid sits next to you and starts talking to you about food or video games or…whatever? It doesn’t matter about what. He keeps talking and you’re not paying attention, but you just wish that he would go away and leave you alone, but he doesn’t. Then you think about all the different scenarios that you could pose in order to extricate yourself from the situation. You think maybe you can pretend you have something really important that you need to do, or possibly fake an illness, or even begin bludgeoning the kid to death with whatever is handy. Then you realize there is nothing you can do because you’re actually in Hell and this is your punishment for all eternity, listening to this fat kid go on about…pokemon or whatever. To me, web series are that fat kid.
You can’t throw a rock at your computer screen without hitting a web series. They could be about anything. Here’s the deal, as interesting, or funny, or dramatic as they claim to be, they rarely hit the mark. What you’re left with is a super awkward series, that doesn’t go anywhere, but may have excellent production value.
Hold on, what’s a web series? Think of it as a television series that’s on the web. They’re not very long, probably no more than 10 minutes and can range from being professionally done, or done by a bunch of talentless hacks that have no business creating anything for the consumption of others. Kinda like me and this blog. Well, kinda like all bloggers and blogs.
Anyway, then there is HAWP (Hey Ash, Whatcha Playin’?), a super awkward web series that doesn’t go anywhere (but somehow does), and has really not-excellent production value. The only difference? This one is good. Not only is it good, but it’s smart, clever, and hysterically funny. It provides intellectual satisfaction, but also gives you that kind of emotional satisfaction from watching a smart, layered idea written and presented in a clever way. Each episode gives you that last piece of the puzzle feeling.
The most remarkable thing about it? It’s centered around video games. Video game web series are sometimes the most offensively stupid series you can find on the web. There are those acclaimed ones like The Guild or Mega64 or even machinima ones like Red vs. Blue, but each one never captured my attention. I mean, I’m not a big MMO fan, so The Guild is sorta lost on me. The others never resonated with me for one reason or another. Maybe because they were a web series…boring.
I was watching GT.TV (Gametrailers TV) on Spike, which I hate because they never start it on time and it always cuts the ending where they finally get to the game that I want to know about. It’s annoying, although I could change my TiVo settings. Regardless, up popped HAWP. I immediately thought it was going to be insanely idiotic, which was what I thought about the Keith Apicary series GT.TV ran during 3 episodes. With my expectations low, I steadied my thumb on the fast-forward button of my TiVo remote. It would have only taken one wrong word and I would have just lumped HAWP with the rest of those web series rejects.
The wrong word never came. Anthony, Ash’s older brother was sitting on the toilet when Ash barges in and begins to quickly ramble off her idea for Nintendoland. I thought to myself throughout her ramble, “That’s a good idea. That’s a good idea. That’s a good idea.” By the end of it, I said flatly, “That was funny.” GT.TV went to commercial and I promptly forgot about it.
On June 9, 2011, I come across an episode about E3. It was good and it prompted me to go to their website, http://www.heyash.com. I found the first episode and began watching it. It was funny. I proceeded to go through the first season in one sitting. The next day, I watched the second season and what episodes were available of the third, all the while laughing hysterically, tears streaming down my cheeks and getting a pretty intense ab workout.
Needless to say, I’m obsessed. I started listening to their intelligent podcast (where they frequently talk about my favorite things, Doctor Who, Firefly, and video games) and I have their DVD’s on my Amazon Wish List if anyone is interested in buying them for me. My birthday is coming up.