Over winter break, as I was exploring Facebook, neglecting my internship applications and staying up ridiculously late for absolutely no good reason, I came upon a very interesting online TV show on http://www.quarterlife.com. I read about the show in the New York Times Magazine and thought it sounded worthwhile. With the writers’ strike as well as the lack of good TV in the hours between 1 and 4 a.m., I thought I could use a new show to distract me from all of the productive tasks I had previously planned to accomplish.

After watching a couple of episodes of “Quarterlife,” I was intrigued. The show was unlike anything I had seen before. The simple cinematography and natural dialogue made me feel like I was peeking into the lives of real individuals rather than watching a cast of actors playing their roles. Unlike many shows, “Quarterlife” lacked a simple conflict and resolution formula, relying instead on realistic interactions among the characters. The dialogue was witty, fresh, natural and clich-free. I couldn’t remember the last time I saw a show that was as genuine and relevant to young adults as “Quarterlife.” Intrigued, I continued to watch.

It’s a month later and I am completely hooked on “Quarterlife.” The show, created by the producers of “My So Called Life” and “Blood Diamond,” centers around the lives of six individuals in their 20s who live in the same apartment building. The characters are linked by their creative aspirations that range from filmmaking to acting. The character of Dylan, played by Bitsie Tulloch, writes and keeps a video blog of her everyday experiences on a Web Site entitled “Quarterlife.” She uses the blog to question and explore her ideas about friendship, relationships and life in general. Dylan’s blog serves not only as a catalogue of her daily life but also as an echo of the struggles and confusions that we all face as we transition into adulthood.

Interestingly, http://www.quarterlife.com is also a blogging community designed specifically for artists, writers, filmmakers and anyone with a creative mind. The site features discussion forums about visual and performance art, the mind, relationships, politics and a variety of other issues with which the characters of “Quarterlife” also grapple. The site also allows aspiring artists, writers, filmmakers, singers and actors to post their work and discuss it with others.

Also included are fictional video and written blogs for each of the main characters, serving as a sort of extension of the show. Viewers can directly respond to the characters or discuss the show in the forum. “Quarterlife” is not just a show, then, but also a dialogue among hundreds of 20-somethings trying to figure out their lives and find their callings. The interconnectedness between the show and its community of viewers makes “Quarterlife” truly unique and intriguing.

Currently, “Quarterlife” airs in Web episodes which are seven to 15 minutes long. New chunks are added every Thursday and Sunday at 12 a.m. Fortunately, viewers who want to see full episodes of the show at once do not have to wait long; “Quarterlife” premieres on NBC on Feb. 26 at 10 p.m. Until then, Web episodes will continue to appear on http://www.quarterlife.com.

Next time you find yourself half-consciously typing Facebook into your browser as you avoid homework, try http://www.quarterlife.com instead. Watch an episode and browse around. Single Web episodes will only take up a little bit of time, so watching one episode as a homework break is much more guilt-free than the black hole that is Facebook. WebWork can wait 15 minutes, right? Then again, I cannot guarantee that you will be able to stop after just one. Go ahead, check it out.

Minkina is a member of the class of 2010.



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