Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Will Social Media App Vine Become the New Basis for Future TV Series?

If you asked millennials if they have watched a vine in the past week, they would most likely respond 'yes'. Vine is a social media platform which allows users to upload 6 second videos. Vine videos have quickly infiltrated pop culture and has become a community for average funny folk to show their humour in fairly complex and story-focussed videos.

One of the most appealing aspect of Vines is the fact that they're so short. After 6 seconds, users scroll to the next vignette. As Vine has become more popular, the stories have become more layered, extravagant and has even resulted in celebrated 'Vine stars' such as Nash Grier and Cameron Dallas.

One of the most popular Vine stars, King Bach recently guessed stared on the third season of FOX's now cancelled medical romantic comedy 'The Mindy Project' and has now been cast in a comedy project set at the same network. King Bach has become Vine's biggest star with 14 million followers and 5.1 billion loops. If ordered to series, King Bach aka Andrew Bachelor will star in the untitled, single camera undercover cop comedy written by Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele who recently wrapped production on their critically acclaimed sketch comedy show Key & Peele.

The project is written by Key & Peele writer-producer Alex Rubins and is loosely based on a King Bach Vine. Bachelor will play an undercover cop who grew up on the streets and goes back to his old neighbourhood to take down the bad guys who bullied him when they were kids.

If FOX decides to order the project to series, there may be numerous issues which may arise once the show premieres. While Bachelor has an extremely large fan base which consists of mainly young adults, social media followers rarely translates into viewers. Ariana Grande, one of the most publicised of FOX's horror comedy Scream Queens has 33 million twitter followers while her show premiered to only 5 million viewers. The general public may be more than happy to click a button to 'follow' a celebrity on Twitter or spend just 6 seconds of their time watching your 'loop' on vine, but will they dedicate 22 minutes of their time each week to the same celebrity? Doubtful. Watching a TV show on a weekly basis versus watching a celebrity for 6 seconds are two completely different things which don't appear to share any common ground.

Turning a 6 second video into what is intended to be a long running TV series is a questionable idea. Vine videos are successful because they are short, sweet and funny. Dragging the same jokes and humour into a full TV episode loses the essence of what makes Vine videos so appealing; the ability to convey funny situations in an extremely short amount of time.

That's not to say successful television can be manifested from other mediums. Films are a common source of inspiration for TV programmes. On the other hand, the number of successful TV series based on films are small and almost non-existent. The reason why? When a film makes the transition to the small screen, a large number of the films loveable and distinct features are lost. Such as the film's cast, high budget, plot, director and writer etc. Most recently, MTV's teen drama Teen Wolf based on the 80s Michael J Fox film of the same name has accumulated six seasons so far. MTV also has an adaptation of Wes Craven's Scream which has been renewed for a second season. Contrastingly, the number of failed movie-to-TV adaptations list is much longer. Recent examples included the critically panned FOX drama Minority Report and the quickly cancelled CBS comedy Bad Teacher.

The idea of turning Vines into hit TV series is a novel yet frivolous trend which needs to end before it begins.

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