So while browsing around on Hulu for something to watch (I’d like to watch Taking the Stage but MTV.com has an annoying policy of taking down new episodes for a month after they’re up on the site for a week), I came across the web series section. The main reason I tend to not like web shows is that the quality of acting and cinematography tends to be low. But that’s not the case for all of them. On occasion there are some that are particularly well done (I think I’ve mentioned the Guild and Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog). Anyway, I found The Lake, which is one of those standard teen soap shows. This one’s pretty good actually. Unlike some of the shows I’ve found, this one is 9-12 minutes long per episode and revolved around Lake Eleanor the summer getaway spot for many families. And of course, the dramatic hot spot of their lives. Summer may be a time to pretend to be someone else but you can’t always escape life.
The series is executive produced by Peter Aronson (former Disney executive), Jordan Levin (former WB CEO), Michael Petok (the Bernie Mac Show), Jason Priestley (actor from Beverly Hills, 90210) – who also serves as the director of the web series – and Meredith Lavender and Marcie Ulin (Defying Gravity), who are also the writers of the series. So the show is backed by a lot of experience, which is probably one of the reasons why the quality is up there.
For such a short show there is a surprising number of cast members and a surprising amount of talent among them. There are a handful of experienced actors mixed in among the newcomers.
Olivia comes to stay with her Aunt Leslie (played by Elisa Donovan of Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Clueless) in an attempt to escape her real life (SPOILER: where her parents are in jail and awaiting trial for some shady dealings they made in an attempt to save their house). Leslie is trying to handle this along with getting over the death of her husband a few years ago.
Ryan, who spends all of his summers at Lake Eleanor, comes up with only his mother, (Amy Acker from Raising the Bar) as his father is at home sleeping with his secretary. Ryan is the penultimate preppy kid but with his parent’s relationship ending he’s been getting more rebellious and has potentially ruined his future in more ways than one. Ryan has been dating Alexis (Samantha Cope of Drake & Josh) for three years/summers (depending how you look at it).
Alexis comes up with her mom (Mim Drew from Huff) and her new step-family, her stepdad (Mark Totty of Joan of Arcadia), Drew (Devin Crittenden of Disaster Movie) and Madison. They family is not so thrilled to be together, especially considering that Madison and Alexis hate each other. Because of the wedding, Alexis has had to move to New York where she’s gone from Prom Queen to nobody and Madison dislikes her “princess” stepsister mostly out of jealousy it seems. What does Madison have to be jealous of, you wonder? Well, the guy she likes, Luke, likes Alexis. Well, that would do it.
Luke meanwhile, has drama of his own since his sister has gotten knocked up but doesn’t remember by who or where. She’s hiding out away from prying eyes but you can’t run forever. His dad (Rob Derringer who has been an extra/guest star on many a show) has not taken the news so easily.
Well, if that’s not enough drama for you, I can promise that she show has more in store. Some of the actors are better than others but the acting is overall well done and there is never a dull moment. (Which is good because if you have a dull minute in a nine minute episode…)
So far there are only twelve episodes so quick to catch up on if you’re bored. Here’s to hoping for another season since things are definitely not all resolved by the end of this one.