We've already reported how Gregori J. Martin's web soap "The Bay," launched last year, has provided something new and fun to do for a few of our "Santa Barbara" stars: Lane Davies, John O'Hurley and Nicolas Coster. And we've also told you about the new web soap of their fellow "SB" alum Signy Coleman, "River Ridge." (See our December 29, June 30 and May 27 posts to catch up.) Well, that whole web-based TV series idea has really blossomed, and for the stars of the classic shows we love, it's been a way to keep on-screen and moving ahead in a TV era that's seeing the death of the traditional network-aired soap.
- Take "Steamboat," for instance. Have you seen this one? If you haven't, it's worth your time. It's billed as "The Office" meets "All My Children," and that's a fair overview. Not only do "SB" vets Kim Zimmer (Jodie Walker) and Justin Deas (Keith Timmons) really dig into their roles as sly production execs at the fictional soap "Steamboat," but the dark humor is savvier than a lot of the more -- homemade, shall we say? -- web series out there. In the world of web TV, it seems to be hard to tread the comedy line without insulting your viewer, and this one squares off pretty well.
- In "Pretty," a beauty-pageant-obsessed family navigates its little girl (played by the adult Stacy McQueen) through the land of tiaras and sashes. The appearance of Joan Van Ark of "Dallas" as the 2065 version of the girl at the very end of the second series is what we watched for. She's all Tammy Faye'd up in her requisite pageant accoutrements, heavy on the eyes, for sure, and her scene is fun. This series is more farcical. And we'll just leave it at that.
It makes you appreciate what an astounding feat Martin has accomplished in "The Bay," assembling the megawatt cast that he has on a low budget, when you look at the other series that are out there (see a list of web-based series at the IMDb). We're thinking that, as with this new age of "journalism" we're in, with both those of us who actually have a degree, training and experience in the field as well as those who have none but figure setting up a blog makes it so, this new era of web television will feature both the professionally done work and the not-so-much-but-kinda-trying. Everyone has a voice on the Internet, after all.