So, yeah, I’ve been out of control (and that’s different…how?) and all caught up in my usual superhero and spec fic fandoms but I’m always on the lookout for web series. After watching Carmilla last fall (D’OH WHY DIDN’T I WATCH THAT SOONER JFC), I realized that web series provide a great medium for content that you can’t get elsewhere.
So to that end, I am a subscriber to tello Films, which produces and distributes quality web series with a focus on f/f and queer lady content.
BECAUSE WE ALL NEED MORE OF THAT AMIRITE
I bring tello up because I get their newsletter and the most recent one mentioned a web series that looked interesting: LA Web Series (Emma and Alexandra, call me. We’ll talk about titles).
Oh, and SPOILERZ BELOW! But nothing that will detract from this quiet, warm, rough-edged gem.
Anyway, the first season is available via tello or on YouTube, which makes it easy if you’re not a subscriber to tello. Plus, tello is missing a couple of episodes, but they’re all on YouTube. Also, according to Alexandra Swarens’ Twitter feed, filming wrapped for the second season in November and it drops…wait for it…
February 14th. AWWWW! Just in time for a little Valentine’s Day magic (hopefully?).
But even if you haven’t seen Season 1, like Carmilla, each episode of LA averages 2-10 minutes long, so you can finish this season (18 episodes) in a couple of hours.
Unlike Carmilla, LA is not filmed as single-frame (meaning one stationary camera to catch the action). It’s filmed in various locations and the two main characters — Landon (Emma Maddock) and Avery (Alexandra Swarens) are out and about in LA.
The series opens with Landon and Avery engaged in racing to catch the metro and it’s clear they’ve forged a connection of some sort, but we’re not sure how or who they are. The next episode has Avery talking to her sister in their apartment while Avery tries to figure out WTF to wear and at first you’re a bit confused as to what happened with the opening episode and where’s Landon but then we find out in episode 2 that it’s been 7 years since Landon and Avery last saw each other and Avery is preparing to meet Landon somewhere. She hopes.
Episode 3 then launches us back in time 7 years earlier and we see how the two of them met — in an elevator. Landon is a British student and it’s her last night in LA but she has to go to the passport office early the next morning before she can catch her flight. Avery, meanwhile, is a just-graduated college student and Landon is clearly upset that she’s basically locked out of her documentation and stressed out so Avery steps in and decides to hang out with her through the night.
And here is episode 3, so you can get a sense of how these two end up together in a life-changing night.
What ensues is a really sweet, tentative getting-to-know-you after that initial meeting in the elevator between two young women who are thrown together by chance and who decide to take a chance and make a connection, however fleeting it might be.
We thus follow them through the night as they walk around and talk about who they are, what their dreams might be, and things they like. They’re cautious with each other but honest. They ponder each other’s questions and admit when they’re not sure about an answer and as the night wears on, we watch them get more comfortable with each other, in that liminal state of discovering you click with someone who is still a stranger in some ways but also someone who feels really familiar in a short time.
We also find out that Landon is on her way back to the UK for veterinarian school, and she’s got the next 7 years mapped out and devoted to that. Hence the mention in episode 2 of 7 years since Avery has seen Landon, and she’s going to meet her where they agreed to do so 7 years earlier. But the question remains, will Landon show up?
Presumably, we will find out in Season 2.
Things I enjoyed about S1:
- SO refreshing to watch people interacting WITHOUT LOOKING AT THEIR DAMN DEVICES EVERY 5 SECONDS. In fact, the only device evident was Avery’s phone, and she took it out so Landon could hear some of the music she had been listening to when they met on the elevator.
- It’s almost a throwback kind of series, because it’s just two people literally talking and walking. But somehow, it works because these two have some really nice chemistry. They’re both vulnerable and wary, but seem to recognize such in each other and the care they take with that intuitive sense is, I think, rather moving.
- I like a slowburn. And that’s what this is, handled gently and with that genuine care between the two MCs.
- I’m also a total sucker for chance meetings and a connection that comes out of that, regardless of where it goes, whether it’s HEA or happy for now or even just a few hours.
- GAWD the “I’ll meet you in a few years in this spot.” WHO IS NOT A SUCKER FOR THAT? Will she? Won’t she? Like Sleepless in Seattle and An Affair to Remember — okay, fine. I’m a sucker for the couple that agrees to meet at a set place in however many months or years or whatever. ALL THE DAMN FEELZ.
- Also, some nice background music in a few of the scenes, but overall, the only sounds you get here are Landon and Avery talking and urban sounds in the background (that dull traffic white noise when you’re out late in a city).
And yes, I had questions. Like, why exactly doesn’t Landon have her passport? And where’s her luggage? Where was she staying before this fateful night? And where does Avery work? But I quickly got over that as I got sucked into the characters and their interactions and connection.
So for me, this was a refreshing find, and I enjoyed the quiet buildup between Avery and Landon, the introspection of each of them as well as between them, the shy, cute smiles they shared, and the gradual warmth that developed between them.
This is a story about making a connection, about taking the time to stop and reach out, about taking chances. And in these times, that’s a precious thing.
“We all start as strangers, it’s up to us to decide if we stay that way.” — LA Web Series
Happy Friday. Live long and prosper.