Music Monday: Side Effects

A bit of background before I dive into today’s topic: I don’t watch much broadcast TV anymore. Pretty much only Animation Domination on Sunday nights, really. The rest of the time I watch Netflix and DVDs. Sure, I may be watching last season when everyone is talking about this season, but does it really matter?

What does this have to do with music? I’m getting there. See, in addition to watching television shows and movies, I’ve begun watch much more “new media”. Meaning, I subscribe to a lot of YouTube channels. Sure, a lot of them are just people talking to the camera, but there are some channels out there who make TV-style shows.

One such channel – AwesomenessTV – launched a new series called “Side Effects” on October 29. After way too many seasons of Glee, television-style musicals may seem old, boring, and dumb. But this show is pretty amazing.

It features Chester See (YouTuber and former Disney365 reporter, plus actor in other things I have never exactly heard of), Keli Price (who I will never not see as Bobby Love from The Naked Brothers Band series), and Lia Marie Johnson (who has been in a bunch of things, but I’ve only really seen “My Music” by The Fine Brothers), plus others I hadn’t really heard of before seeing this show. The story centers around five siblings whose mother has died and their father ran away shortly after. As their family crumbles, each turns to different coping mechanisms. Main character, Whitney, has even been medicated for depression.

If it’s not obvious yet, this medication is what causes the titular side effects. In this case, those just happen to be musical hallucinations. Yes, the music scenes come from Whitney’s brain, but this leads to some really cool music videos threaded throughout the 42 minute premier episode. And, yes, every episode has an accompanying album on iTunes. But the music is really good, so buying the soundtrack of each episode will probably be worth it.

The first episode includes covers of “Titanium”, “C’mon”, “Mean”, “Hot ‘N Cold”, and “Try”, plus two original songs co-written by Chester See – “Sweet Little Pill” and “Bad Day”. The cast is full of some talented singers, though there is also an obvious use of some auto-tune (usually for effect, I think).

The show is a “teen drama” along the lines of something you might see on abcFamily. That means, were it to be rated, probably a TV-PG style show. But, if you like trippy hallucinations mixed with cool music videos and a compelling story, go watch this show. And perhaps check out the music on iTunes.

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