I’ve been watching a lot of web series lately and recently re-watched season one of The LXD (The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers), so I could watch the new season that recently premiered on Hulu.
The LXD web series has drawn huge audiences to its episodes on Hulu. The series, created by Jon Chu (Step Up 2: The Streets and Step Up 3D), is a hard one to explain. A concept that would likely never have been given a chance on TV or in film: imagine the X-Men, if their powers were dance. Yeah, I told you it was a hard one to describe.
The series has a unique and intriguing mythology with captivating cinematography and dance choreography (Tricking, Popping, Hip-Hop, Krumping, Tap Dancing, B-boying, Roboting, Ballet, etc). I’m not much of a dancer, but as a martial artist, I can appreciate the physical skills these dancers present. Season one is 10 episodes averaging between 8 – 10 minutes. Episode 3, “Robot Lovestory,” is one of my favorites in season one. I loved the comic book style of storytelling in this chapter and the lead character’s Robot dancing style was visually amazing. Episode 8, “Elliot’s Shoes,” introduced a comedic character with an impressive and hilarious hip-hop dance routine after he finds seemingly magical shoes.
Season 2 starts introducing the villains, OX (Organization X), who are very dark counterparts to the LXD in their use of the Ra (think Chi, Ki, Prana, etc). Episode 3 of season 2 is by far the darkest to date in the series. Although still pretty mild compared to some of the TV shows I watch like Supernatural or The Walking Dead.
My only criticism of the series is that the acting can be a little weak in parts and the mythology of the story can sometimes take immature turns, like the dance levels in the LXD with titles such as wizard and ninja. But then again, I see the reasoning because the series is trying to stay friendly to young teen audiences, too.
The LXD gets a rating between ninja and extraordinary from me. A visually stunning, original series that showcases the dancing arts in a heroic adventure like none seen before.
New episodes of The LXD are currently premiering every Wednesday.
And The Award Goes To…
For two years The Streamy Awards has been sort of the “Oscars” or “Emmys” equivalent for web series. The for-profit organization teamed up with the non-for profit International Association of Web Television for two years. But times are a changing. Whether it is because of the controversial 2nd annual Streamy Awards that was heavily criticized or a conflict of interest for a non-profit to be working with a for-profit, the IAWTV will no longer be a part of the Streamy Awards. Tuesday morning the IAWTV announced they will start a new awards show.
Is this a good thing for the new media community or is this going to a cause a splintering of a growing community of web series creators?
My take on it is this: there needs to be a strong non-profit organization that can help usher in a community of web series creators that will be taken seriously by those in the film and TV industry. Recent moves by the IAWTV seem to be a course correction towards that goal. Whether this is the correct move remains to be seen.
Meanwhile, in online award land, nominations for the 2010 Webcomic List Awards are running from November 8th until December 20th.
What I’m Watching
Still watching Riese: Kingdom Falling. The Canadian steampunk web series that SyFy snapped up to bring back with some tweaks and Amanda Tapping (Stargate SG-1, Sanctuary) narrating. New episodes every Tuesday and Thursday.
Episode 4: Spares
Episode 5: Dawn
And before I go, this has nothing to do with independent films or online entertainment but I have to give a shout out to The Walking Dead on the AMC. I’m big fan of Robert Kirkman’s graphic novel series that the new TV series is based on. I’ve enjoyed the series so far and with just two episodes in, AMC has ordered a second season!
Got a web series, web comic, web… whatever, then I want to know about it. Contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
That’s a wrap for now. Take care everyone and I’ll be back with more news and reviews. Until next time…
Marx H. Pyle is a writer, martial artist and American independent filmmaker. A graduate of Vancouver Film School, he has worked on a number of projects including the short film he wrote and directed, Silence of the Belle.