by Lorie Lewis Ham
At the end of this review is an interview with one of the show’s creators, Kelsey Rauber.
After I reviewed the web series Leap Year, I was contacted by Kelsey Rauber, one of the creators of the web series Kelsey. She asked if I’d consider reviewing their show. Always on the lookout for another good web series, I headed over to check it out.
This Brooklyn based series features Kelsey, a talkative, funny, and often self-deprecating, lesbian who has just been dumped by her long time girlfriend. The series follows Kelsey as she tries to recover from this, and move on with her life. She finds comfort in her best friends Samantha, Rowan and Tyrone.
The series premiered on Blip.tv in September of 2013 and has 10 episodes. Christina Raia is the other creator of this show. Kelsey is quirky, crazy, funny, and at times even adorable. My favorite part of this series is the friendships. While a comedy, this show is very realistic and something most of us can relate to on some level unless you’ve never been in a bad relationship or been dumped. But then who hasn’t? You don’t have to be lesbian to relate–relationship problems are universal.
I’m hoping there will be a season two so I can enjoy more of this quirky group of friends, because it’s as much about the friendships as it is about Kelsey and her relationships.
I would consider this show PG rated as it does deal with sex and there is a fair amount of drinking going on as the group drowns their sorrows.
You can check out all 10 episodes at blip.tv/kelseytheseries.
Interview With Kelsey creator Kelsey Rauber:
KRL: Where did the idea come from for this web series?
Kelsey: The first three episodes are based on an actual incident I went through after having broken up with my long-term girlfriend. It was Christina Raia, the co-creator/director, who saw the comedic value for a web series in my horrific dating experiences.
KRL: So then is the main character based on you?
Kelsey: Yes, the Kelsey in the web series is based on some of my character traits and the first three episodes are unfortunately pretty autobiographical.
KRL: How did you decide on the name of the series?
Kelsey: We named the show and character Kelsey because I am terrible at character names. In the first draft the main character was named “Charisma” because I had a love for that name. Christina was not a fan, so I suggested to call her Christina. I’m pretty sure after a pretty obvious eye roll Christina said: “Why don’t we just call her Kelsey?” So, in the end, it was Christina’s idea and it made sense, since the show was based on my experiences.
KRL: Why did you decide to do it as a web series and what was the process in making that happen?
Kelsey: We started the discussion in 2012, and Christina was an avid believer that the web series medium was going to be the next big thing — she was right.
KRL: What is your own entertainment background before this show? Writer, actress, producer?
Kelsey: I have always enjoyed expressing myself and digesting life’s trials and tribulations through a creative outlet. I usual write songs, but I actually met Christina in a screenwriting class, and I’ve always enjoyed comedy writing. I wrote a feature in 2012 which won the Grand Prize in the comedic division for the New York Screenplay Competition.
KRL: How did you get the finances to make the show? Was the difficult?
Kelsey: Christina and I self-funded the first season, because we wanted to allow our followers to see the quality of work we can put together before asking anyone to help out financially.
KRL: How did you come up with the story ideas?
Kelsey: Some of the stories are semi-autobiographical, which made it a lot easier to write and since most of the characters are based on people I know, their story lines came pretty naturally.
Krl: How was it cast?
Kelsey: We worked with all kinds of mediums. We ended up finding our lead through a casting director, who was so kind to volunteer his time. We also worked with casting websites. We’d never worked with any of the actors before, except for Lauren A Kennedy who plays Joanne in the series. She is also the lead in Christina’s upcoming feature Summit.
KRL: What is the process like in the actual making of each episode?
Kelsey: We had a total of 15 shooting days. We had to shoot based on location, since there’s a lot of jumping back and forth in the episodes. We were very lucky with the crew that Christina works with; they are very talented and passionate individuals, which made the process pretty smooth.
KRL: Why did you decide to have it on Blip as opposed to YouTube?
Kelsey: The way we set out to stream the show, is that the first week it came out, we’d premier on Blip.tv and the following week we’d premier YouTube. We chose Blip because it’s a platform exclusively for web series, where we felt we’d stand out more than on the content vacuum that is YouTube. Episode 9 was actually a Staff Pick and on the main page for over a month; that was a great boost in views for us.
KRL: Has it been hard to spread the word and get viewers?
Kelsey: Since we do have a niche audience, and some of the most prevalent channels in the LGBT community were so kind to feature us, we got a pretty large following in a short period of time.
KRL: What did you like best about doing this show?
Kelsey: I loved getting up in the morning and heading to a work where everyone on set is incredibly passionate and good at what they do. I love working with Christina. And seeing a project through, from the original story, to writing to the end product- it’s a very satisfying process.
KRL: What was the hardest?
Kelsey: I think the hardest in this case were the unforeseen changes that cost budget increase, since we were self funding.
KRL: Are there more episodes in the works?
Kelsey: Christina and I are discussing where we want to go next.
KRL: How/where can people find the show?
Kelsey: You can find the show on kelseytheseries.com. We’re on Blip.tv, Vimeo and YouTube, so if there’s a preferred Online Watching preference, anyone should be covered.
KRL: Anything else you would like to add?
Kelsey: Fans should check the Kelsey, the web series category of the congestedcat.com blog for updates about our future plans for the series and other stuff we’ll be collaborating on soon. Also, like us on Facebook & follow us on Twitter @kelseytheseries.
Check out more web series and vlog reviews & watch for at least once a month in our web series section.