Star Trek: Phase II
Joss Whedon name-checks this cult fave fan-made Trek series, originally titled New Voyages, when asked about the Web serials that turned him on to the medium. Now five years and running (with new installments coming this spring), the 50-minute episodes continue the adventures of the Enterprise crew — but portrayed by loyal Trekkies instead. Yeah, it’s geeky — but the success is no joke. CBS lets the show run as long as they don’t make money, and veteran Star Trek cast and crew (including creator Gene Rodenberry’s son) have pitched in. “I’m not a Trekker, and I was riveted,” says Whedon.
A talking Empire State building, a Dig-Dug videogame hero brought to life, and a gun-toting murderous computer mouse … it’s all there at the hilariously trippy hub of Web shows at Black20.com. Created by a trio of former NBC lackies in Queens, New York, B20 churns out a steady and reliably gut-busting stream of shorts. Star Wars Public Service Announcements — including Darth Vader busting his son with a bong-like saber — got the geek buzz going. These days, net_work, a kooky and surreal comedy about two viral video makers is the one to watch. When one slacker steals his friend’s pizza, he takes to the air like Superman much to his surprise. “Hey, my slice!” his friend yelps from below. “Fuck you,” says his buddy in the clouds, “I can fly!”