‘Girls on Facebook’ is an episode of the popular comedy web series Leftovers. The series is distributed to viewers via Facebook and Youtube, and has received a positive response for it’s hilarious sketch comedy. There are many aspects that make or break a comedy web series. These days, almost anyone can produce and upload a quality video and share it across multiple platforms. Of course, shows that attract big online distributors such as Youtube, Hulu and Netflix will have a greater chance of reaching success. As the media market continues to grow, there is more opportunities for filmmakers to create something that will catch a buyers eye. The mini series in the form known as ‘web series’ can become hits themselves, based on who they attract online.
“Somewhere along the line of making original videos, online content creators started crafting serialised programmes” (Williams, D 2012). The difference between those that were a success or not came down to multiple factors. Target audience is important to remember when creating online content. Remembering who is likely to be watching videos on Youtube etc and ensuring your content is tasteful, yet entertaining. After watching Leftover’s ‘Girls on Facebook’ I can understand why it received so much positive attention. They hit their target audience of quite literally girls on Facebook. It was distributed on Facebook and within hours the likes increased and girls began tagging their best friends to relate. Helena and Pip are best friends themselves and the process of anxiously uploading a new profile picture and consulting with your BFF is a situation most young girls have experience (sadly I can vouch for this).
Another important aspect is tastefulness. It’s critical that jokes are kept refined ensuring they don’t touch on controversial subjects such as race and terrorism. If this is ever done, it needs to be extremely satirical or sarcastic and not offend viewers. For example, True Aussie Patriots posted an episode on Youtube that was extremely racist and inappropriate regarding asylum seekers. No surprise it didn’t take off. Leftovers on the other hand, never use jokes that approach subjects this serious. There was one fat girl joke made during the ‘Girls on Facebook’ episode, however I don’t think it was an attack on overweight people more so than an attack at Helena’s own self-esteem.
Accessibility also improves the success of a comedy web series. For example, Leftovers display their videos across three platforms, with links to the other two on each page. They also provide links to other videos in the series and encourage people to share. As a result of this, they have been mentioned on BuzzFeed Australia and FOXFM. Creating a successful comedy web series isn’t just about having a smartphone and a joke or two. It takes a lot of thought and preparation, as well as creative skill to really capture an audience that are willing to follow and support your show.