Over the past few decades, famous actors have started their careers in television and moved on to movies. Today, television is becoming its own benchmark for new media.
Thus, many actors begin or continue their careers by directing or starring in web series, which are often available to everyone, but cater to a niche audience, helping to build a fan base.
Often, artists and actors create and star in web series because they are passionate about the content they produce, which makes it even more special for viewers.
Read on to learn about 11 web series featuring actors you probably know and love — and you might even want to watch these shows yourself.
1. The Guild
The Guild stars Felicia Day, geeky goddess best known for Buffy, Eureka, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog and Mystery Science Theater 3000. An incredible series that can be watched on YouTube as standalone episodes or mini-movies a season, Felicia Day plays Cyd Sherman, a video game obsessive who meets her friends online in person. Trouble, romance and comedy naturally ensue.
2. The crook
Alan Tudyk, best known for Joss Whedon classics Firefly and Dollhouse, created and stars in Con Man, a satirical look at a failed sci-fi TV actor who only wants to be seen at conventions – a comedy play about his own career. The series also features fellow Firefly actor Nathan Fillion and frequent collaborator and geek TV hero Felicia Day. Tudyk plays Wray Nerely, poking fun at himself in a hysterical pseudo-behind-the-scenes look at his own life.
3. Hollywood hitmen
Hollywood Hitmen, a comedy about two bumbling assassins, was co-created and co-starred by Enver Gjokaj and Maximilian Osinski. Gjokaj is best known for playing Peggy Carter’s love interest in Agent Carter and as Victor in Dollhouse. The show also stars Dichen Lachman (Agents of SHIELD, Dollhouse, The Last Ship) and Jessy Schram (Falling Skies, Once Upon a Time, Nashville) as much smarter assassins and competitors in the business. Though short and sweet, Hollywood Hitmen is a gem of a show featuring Marvel actor favorites.
Slingshot stars Agents of SHIELD favorite Natalia Cordova-Buckley as Yo-Yo, an Inhuman with lightning-fast abilities. Although the six-episode series aired after Agents of SHIELD season 4, the story takes place between seasons 3 and 4 and features a different Agents of SHIELD character in each episode, including Daisy Johnson (Chloe Bennet), Director Mace (Jason O’Mara), Coulson (Clark Gregg), Fitz and Simmons (Iain de Caestecker and Elizabeth Henstridge), Agent May (Ming-Na Wen) and Mack (Henry Simmons). If you’re a Marvel fan and want to dive into Yo-Yo history, here’s your chance.
5. Web Therapy
Lisa Kudrow, best known for her role as Phoebe Buffay on the hit sitcom Friends, stars in Web Therapy. She plays an ignorant and self-centered fake therapist named Fiona Wallice who treats her patients via short three to five minute video chat sessions. The four-season series, however, is best known for its huge lineup of guest stars, including all of Friends co-stars Meryl Streep, Alan Cumming, Rashida Jones, Conan O’Brien, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jane Lynch and Darren. Shouts. Kudrow turns a bizarre concept into a wonderfully goofy series that excels in its delightfully weird form of self-deprecating, bizarre comedy.
6. Misadventures of a Clumsy Black Girl
Commonly known as Awkward Black Girl, the show features Insecure star Issa Rae, Sujata Day (currently also on Insecure) and Tracy Oliver (writer of Girls Trip). What started out as a low-budget show quickly turned into a relatable hysterical series that featured a narrative that went beyond the stereotypical stories on screen today. Awkward Black Girl became the inspiration for Insecure, and the show’s rapping sequences are also seen on the hit HBO series.
7. Single by 30
Independent film production company Wong Fu Productions has created Single by 30, a romantic comedy series starring Glee alum Harry Shum Jr., singer-songwriter Kina Grannis and YouTube star Anna Akana. The show ran for one YouTube Red season in which Peter (Shum) and Joanna (Granis) reminisce about a marriage pact they made in high school that stipulated they would get married if they were both single. at 30 years old. The series is sincere, wholesome and comical. , featuring a great collection of Asian American talent.
8. Dr Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog
Mutant Enemy Productions’ three-part web series, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, is now 10 years old. Created by Joss Whedon, Jed Whedon, Zack Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen, the musical stars Neil Patrick Harris, Nathan Fillion, Felicia Day and Simon Helberg. The series follows Dr. Horrible (Patrick Harris), an evil genius who is determined to win the love of Penny (Day), but is constantly thwarted by the hero Captain Hammer (Fillion). With a catchy soundtrack and infinitely clever dialogue and storylines, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along blog is an all-time favorite.
9. Broad City (web series)
Comedy Central’s Broad City started as a simple YouTube web series from creators and stars Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson. Like the TV series, the webseries follows the two best friends (also named Ilana and Abbi) as they go about their daily lives in New York City, not without humorous shenanigans and embarrassing situations. Each episode is short and sweet, demonstrating their humble and humorous beginnings.
10. Publix Notary
SNL star Kate McKinnon stars alongside her sister Emily Lynne in Notary Publix, an almost nonsensical web series about notaries. Their rival notary is SNL star Aidy Bryant, and the series features other SNL players. It’s weird, wonderful, and quick to watch – you can watch it on YouTube anytime.
Originally aired on CBS in 2009, Ctrl features Arrested Development and Veep star Tony Hale, who plays a nerdy office worker who discovers he can control life itself using functions on his keyboard – like pressing Control-Z, which undoes an action in his life. Based on a 2008 short that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, it’s an incredibly unique premise with a relatable cast of characters – and just 10 episodes to cover it all.