In decades past, famous actors began their careers in television and moved into film. Now, television is becoming its own gold standard for new media.
Thus, many actors begin or continue their careers making or starring in web series, which are often available for everyone to watch but cater to a niche audience demographic, helping to develop a fanbase.
Often, artists and actors create and act in web series because they are passionate about the content they are producing, which makes it even more special for viewers.
Read on to learn about 11 web series that feature actors that you probably know and love -- and you may even want to watch these shows yourself.
The Guild stars Felicia Day, geek goddess best known for Buffy, Eureka, Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, and Mystery Science Theater 3000. An incredible series that can be watched on YouTube as independent episodes or as season-long mini-movies, Felicia day plays Cyd Sherman, a video game obsessive who meets her online friends in person. Trouble, romance, and comedy naturally ensue.
Alan Tudyk, best known for Joss Whedon classics Firefly and Dollhouse, created and stars in Con Man, a satirical look at a washed-up science fiction television actor who only wants to be seen at conventions -- a humorous play on his own career. The series also features fellow Firefly actor Nathan Fillion and guest stars frequent collaborator and fellow geek television hero Felicia Day. Tudyk plays Wray Nerely, poking fun at himself in a hysterical pseudo-behind-the-scenes look at his own life.
Hollywood Hitmen, a comedy about two bumbling assassins, was co-created by and co-starring Enver Gjokaj and Maximilian Osinski. Gjokaj is best known for playing Peggy Carter's love interest in Agent Carter and as Victor on Dollhouse. The show also guest stars Dichen Lachman (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Dollhouse, The Last Ship) and Jessy Schram (Falling Skies, Once Upon a Time, Nashville) as much more clever, competing assassins in the business. Although short and sweet, Hollywood Hitmen is a gem of a show featuring Marvel actor favorites.
Slingshot stars Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. favorite Natalia Cordova-Buckley as Yo-Yo, an Inhuman with the super-speed abilities. Although the six-part series aired after Season 4 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the story takes place between Season 3 and 4 and includes a different Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. character in each episode, including Daisy Johnson (Chloe Bennet), Director Mace (Jason O'Mara), Coulson (Clark Gregg), Fitz and Simmons (Iain de Caestecker and Elizabeth Henstridge), Agent May (Ming-Na Wen), and Mack (Henry Simmons). If you're a fan of Marvel and want to dive into Yo-Yo's story, here's your chance.
Lisa Kudrow, best known for her role as Phoebe Buffay on the hit sitcom Friends, stars in Web Therapy. She plays a self-absorbed, ignorant fake therapist named Fiona Wallice who treats her patients via short, three- to five-minute video chat sessions. The four-season series, however, is best known for its huge array of guest stars, including every Friends co-star, Meryl Streep, Alan Cumming, Rashida Jones, Conan O'Brien, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jane Lynch, and Darren Criss. Kudrow spins a bizarre concept into a wonderfully kooky series that excels in its delightfully strange form of deprecating, bizarre comedy.
The Mis-Adventures of Awkward Black Girl
Commonly known as Awkward Black Girl, the show features Insecure star Issa Rae, Sujata Day (currently also on Insecure), and Tracy Oliver (writer of Girls Trip). What started as a low-budget show quickly blossomed into a relatable, hysterical series that featured a narrative that went beyond stereotypical stories onscreen today. Awkward Black Girl became the inspiration for Insecure, and the series' rap sequences are similarly seen on the hit HBO series.