Oblivion is, unlike most web series, a full-length show with each episode logging in around 22 minutes. This plays well for it in certain situations, but is a bit detrimental in others. Created by Mike Cuenca, the series is meant to be a spin-off of his film Scenes from Oblivion. I have not seen the movie, so I wanted to make sure the series could be picked up as an independent project with no reliance on the former. I’m not quite sure it achieves that feat.
The series is meant to shed light on a group of rockers, punks, and mods in the city of Holwenstall. While the summary held great promise, there were noted situations where I as an audience member was totally lost. Certain characters seem to be from the 60s, but the exterior shots place the series in current times. So, are the characters out of place or the environment? And with 14 main characters, the storyline is extremely hard to follow without cheat notes.
I found the voiceover scenes, which summarized the characters, to be very well-done. The editing was stellar in these instances and the artistic quality set them apart from typical web series fare. However, the live-action acting scenes were very rough and detracted from the storyline. I felt like I was being thrown into the deep end and expected to swim with no help of easing me into whatever the story might be.
The cast list for the series contain virtual unknowns, but there were a few stand-outs. Sara Camille Riviello as Fay plays the rocker type very well. Jennifer Higgins as Louise plays a character that feels much older than mid-30s, but it also makes her stand out. And Rachel Castillo as Joy does well with the oblivion of drug abuse and deadbeat partners.
Oblivion has the potential to be great once the rough spots get ironed out. If you want to give the series a try, head over to their web site where you can watch six episodes and a Halloween special. There’s also four podcasts to download, promos to watch, and publicity stills to see.