I’m happy to share with you guys today a web cartoon series that I found just last year, and personally love! The appropriately named PEOPLEWATCHING by Winston Rowntree is a show takes on an outside perspective of the very relatable thoughts and struggles that a group of characters who all relate to each other on some level. A strong message that appears in the show is that people need to wake up to the fact that you aren’t alone, and should take a step back from your headspace to gain perspective. PEOPLEWATCHING also addresses problems with some social norms with deliciously philosophical deconstruction.
I believe the first episode I caught was episode two of the first season that was titled “Why Dating with Depression is so (Bleeping) Hard”. Though the clickbaity title put me off, the photo of the art that went with it intrigued me enough to give it a watch. I thought it would be just another silly YouTube video making light of mental illness, but I was completely caught off guard by the brilliant writing that unfolded from there.
The episode follows a girl who goes on a date, and she openly tells the guy she meets that she suffers from depression. After a great date, they go back to her place to continue their conversation. The shot is focused on the girl for a while as she speaks to him, but out of nowhere this great guy seems to have suddenly turned into toxic pit of negativity with the horrible things he begins telling her. When the shot zooms out, you find that she seamlessly went from reality to speaking with her personification of depression and a lot of time as passed since the date happened.
Not only is this a great interpretation of how someone can become lost in their own internal conversation, but it puts you right there with her in that experience of having no sense of when she lost touch with reality, only later to realize what exactly happened. Presented in this way, anyone could gain a bit of insight and empathy for those who struggle with that kind of issue.
The show continues to be brilliant throughout its first season if you ignore the episode titles.
PEOPLEWATCHING recently won an award for Best Fiction Web Series from the 2018 Canadian Screen Awards.
We were kindly given a couple of screenshots from Season 2. The easter eggs in the backgrounds throughout the show are worth stopping to take a look at.
Season two of PEOPLEWATCHING is scheduled to arrive in August for another run of 10 episodes; in Canada they'll be on CBC's website and YouTube channel, and the venue for the rest of the world is TBA. I wonder if they considered talking with VRV. All the cast and main characters are returning, plus a few additions, and the new episodes will have a longer running time than the first season.
The whole first season is available on YouTube now! Give it a watch!