Gemini Division: Will You Watch A Web-Only Series?

Published 7 years ago by , Updated May 3rd, 2014 at 7:40 am,

It looks like NBC wants to try its hand at producing a series that can only be viewed online. I’m not sure what to call it… my mind jumps to “TV series” but that’s not right, and “Web series” just doesn’t sound right to me.

The series is called Gemini Division and stars Rosario Dawson as a NYC detective who, after the death of her lover, discovers that he was not human. You can watch the trailer below.

Apparently there’s a biotech angle to the plot and according to NBC the series is a “female first-person confessional.” And what is that? Think YouTube phenom “LonelyGirl15″ who rocketed to internet fame with her YouTube soliloquies. Despite the fact that she’s been “outed” as not being just a teenager yakking about her life from her bedroom, it seems that on her video page they’re still trying to play it like it’s real life.

Me? I don’t see the appeal – but NBC must figure if she was such a phenomenon, maybe they can tap into that from a slightly different angle.

The problem is that the trailer makes the show look like it’s on the level of a soap opera when it comes to the dramatic style and the way the actors deliver their lines. Of course there are cases where a pilot is shakey and a series improves within a few episodes (I hear that’s what happened with Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles), but I don’t know about this one.

Sci-Fi Channel was going the same route with its new series Sanctuary which will star Stargate SG-1 actress Amanda Tapping, but they ended up deciding to broadcast the new series on television instead.

Personally I’m not interested in tuning in to an ongoing series that I can only watch online. Are you?

Gemini Division premieres on August 18th and you can watch it online here:

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  1. hmmm…well this looks awful, but to answer the question, yes I’d definately watch a web series and I do!

    I watch the Totally Rad Show every week which reviews movies, games, TV shows and occasionaly comic books, and I just watched the internet phenomenon of the week which was the Dr. Horrible sing-along blog with Neil Patrick Harris and Nathan Fillion, created and directed by Joss Whedon. It was only online for a limited time, they took it down yesterday and now its only available through iTunes and eventually DVD.

    Internet TV is the future because it doesn’t require stupidly high budgets or stupidly-overpaid actors, regular folk can get involved and every niche can be addressed. It offers complete freedom to the creators, and more importantly, complete freedom to the viewers who can watch anytime anywhere rather than sit through a commercial-filled program that only comes on at one time during the week where you have to wait to commercials to get snacks or go to washroom. I personally don’t watch anything on my satellite, everything is through the PC now.

  2. Well, I’ve watched shows exclusively on my computer before, but that was always because the station that broadcast the show in my area had unwatchable reception. Even then, I was more likely to just not watch because of the hassle involved in finding and downloading the show. So, watching a show that’s only available online is nothing new for me.

    As for watching one that was intended to be a web-only show, that would depend on a number of factors. Can I download the episode or will I have to stream it? Streaming it presents a whole different set of problems than downloading, among which it the possibility of an internet black hole swallowing the stream midway through. Another is one I’m experiencing with this preview, which is that the stream just won’t start, so I can’t play the video. I’m having the exact same issue with this preview that I had yesterday trying to view the Caprica trailer. If I’m having this much trouble with a preview, how likely is it that the main series will be any better in that regard?

    Finally, of course, there are the issues related to watching anything on the computer at all, regardless of whether it’s streamed or downloaded. Namely it’s more likely to be a single person experience, and I usually like to be able to watch shows or movies with friends and/or family. In addition to that, there’s the comfort factor. It’s more comfortable and relaxing to sit and lounge in a recliner or on a couch while watching something than it is to sit in a desk chair.

    All in all, if I didn’t believe I’d have the chance to watch it on TV or DVD at some point in the future, and I though the series was any good, I might consider watching an online series, but watching anything online will always be an extreme last resort for me.

  3. Now that online series have categories geared specifically towards them at the Emmys, I think they’ve been lent the kind of legitimacy that will allow the creation of more and more of them. As Joss Whedon proved, it’s possible to produce one without any major studio backing and very little money spent. “Wave of the future” might be a bit premature, but it’ll be interesting to see where it goes.

    That said, this one looks awful.

  4. Christ, that looks awful. Why is it that studios are completely unable to produce good Sci-Fi? Why, in a world where Firefly gets canceled, does this kind of crap get shot? It boggles the mind.

    And yes, I’d love to watch a good web-only Sci-Fi series, or any good web-only series. But then again, I don’t even have a TV, since 99% of everything on TV is worthless drivel. I watch everything online already.

    Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog was beyond excellent – more of that kind of thing please! The world needs more GOOD online shows.

  5. Yes, I’m getting a bit jaded. This summer has been such a huge movie disappointment that I’m starting to lose faith in movies and TV. The Dark Knight and Dr. Horrible are the glimmers of hope in what is otherwise an avalanche of bland, boring and sometimes even outright bad. So much potential… wasted. Please studios, for the love of all that moves on the screen, get it together! Now!

    I’m hoping some of the promising releases this fall will actually turn out to be good.

  6. I have no problem with web only series. I don’t even have a TV. I just download or buy the DVDs of what I want and play them on my 24 inch monitor.

    The only problem with web only series is if you can’t download them is showing them to new people means you have to use up more bandwidth.

    Sure, they’re putting in new transatlantic pipes so the cost of broadband in Oz will drop soon, but it’s still a current factor.

    And don’t even get me started on websites which play stupid ads before a video then the video itself doesn’t work and if you want to retry you have to watch the same stupid ad again.

    If you’re going web only have the decency to get enough bandwidth.

  7. This needs alot of work, good luck Rosario…. but I’m gonna pass on this….It reminds me of something on a cable access channel…………….

  8. This seems like a pretty blatant rip-off of Blade Runner. No thanks.

    As to the internet based issue or not – many would stream such productions to their TV to get away from the limitations of watching content on their PC.

  9. looks great

  10. @darkbuddha – most serious attempts at web shows are available for download via iTunes. I think the issue is DRM and geoblocking by the producers.

    Its so important that Gemini Division does well. It’s the kind of innovative product that injects the interactivity of the internet into the traditional lean back viewing model of old media.

    Its success would bring much needed attention to a groundswell of indie interactive web TV projects like ours.

    One gripe though is geoblocking the show to the US, I think its a cop out, failing to fully embrace the tenets of operating on the internet by making it virally distributable and available worldwide.

    Deleted: The Game

  11. I would watch it if I could but I don’t reside in the US.