Storytellers is a web series that looks like it could the be pilot for a show on the CW network.
Created by - and also starring - popular YouTube vlogger Joey Graceffa, Storytellers opens on a small group of teens telling each other stories around a bonfire.
As the series progresses with each teen taking their turn spinning a tale of suspense, you learn they are close friends bound together by more than just friendship.
They each have ties to the supernatural that will alter their lives forever.
The six episode web series is constructed similar to an anthology, with each installment revealing the background of a separate character.
The episodes are named for the main characters centered, and are as follows:
Hunter Crowley (Joey Graceffa) the scion of a rich, dysfunctional family. Though he is the most popular kid at his high school, Hunter is grappling with a dark secret
Mai Himura (Jessica Lu) Mai is a very self-possessed young woman who must come to terms with her family's unique heritage
Skyler Evans (Kristina Cole) Kristina is Hunter's girlfriend who is growing increasingly frustrated with his mood swings and growing emotional distance
Finn Avery (Jake Thomas) The self-deprecating Finn is deeply concerned over the secrets threatening to rip his friends apart
Celia Crowley (Devyn Smith) Hunter's troubled younger sister who is chafing under their father's high expectations
As each episode of Storytellers unfolds, the backstories of the characters intertwine to form a single story arc that culminates in a mystical battle between good and evil.
Admittedly, I'm not the typical demographic for this project, but I still appreciate a well-told story with solid production value.
This series most definitely has both of those qualifications.
Also, the direction by Michael Gallagher is sensational.
He adroitly weaves disparate scenes and sequences together to create a cohesive whole.
The series co-producers - Graceffa, Milam, and Michael Wormser - should be commended for giving the production network-quality polish.
However, what was most impressive was the performances of the young actors.
Honestly, I didn't expect much in the way of dramatic range from the cast, but they acquitted themselves handsomely.
Each actor was able to convincingly relay a varied range of emotions essential in bringing the story to life.
Get a taste of the tone of the series by watching the trailer here ...
Storytellers surprised me with its well-crafted narrative structure, skilled direction, intriguing story, and capable young cast.
The first season ended on a cliffhanger, so there may be a second to resolve the story completely.
The series is available for viewing via its channel on YouTube: Storytellers.
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