SKAM – Betsy Hanrahan

Blog: Read the article about SKAM and then skim around the Facebook video series. What are your thoughts about a networked “tv” series or “webisode” with social media interaction with the audience? What ideas do you have for such a networked interactive series?

When first reading about SKAM, I am immediately interested in the series. I love series which allow viewers to communicate and be part of the plot line. One of my favorite interactive shows on Hulu is The Masked Singer, which is a kitschy show which brings different celebrities onto the show and the judges and audience participate in guessing who the celebrities behind the masks are. There is a huge community on twitter that discusses theories each week. With a show like SKAM, it truly gives viewers optimal interactivity. They are allowed to participate and potentially alter the plot line of the series. Traditional tv series are great for binge-ability and production value. However, webisodes truly takes advantage of the affordances of digital cinema and encourages viewers to be completely immersed in a narrative.

One of the problems with a webisode series is that it’s more difficult to binge them, in the style that you can with Hulu, Netflix, or another streaming platform. When reading about SKAM, I thought it would be an interesting series to follow. However, when I went to the Facebook page, I was overwhelmed with the amount of content I would have to scroll through to reach the first episode. In addition, the entire page lends itself to give spoilers to people who have not seen the episodes yet. I think one problem could be that it’s not thoughtless or mindless for viewers. They have to actively seek information, which on one hand leads to a dynamic and more intellectually stimulating experience, but on the other hand, I’m not sure if that’s what a majority of viewers who love binging series would like.

Since I love horror, I think it would be cool to do a web series which is based on a horror narrative. Perhaps the entire story could take place over instagram live or facebook live videos. This type of series would give a great initial shock, much like that of The Blair Witch Project. But, the shock factor might be too extra for viewers who might overreact or call the police.

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