Ah the days of the video store. I’ve only just realised now how many times I visited the video store over the years before the digital age takeover.
New Zealand web series The Video Store focuses on the struggles of running a video store in today’s society. The act of visiting a video store will most likely be familiar to everyone, even if they haven’t visited one in years. The interesting thing about The Video Store is its exploration into a business that dominated for years but now struggles to stay afloat.
Although The Video Store is certainly a comedy with quirky dialogue and funny banter, I wouldn’t necessarily list it as a dark comedy as mentioned in the official blurb for the webseries, but that’s just my own opinion and one that I questioned after googling dark comedy by definition.
Local content is hard to come by, especially in a smaller country such as New Zealand. When you do come across it though, it’s familiar and somewhat ‘homely’. It seems an odd thing to mention, but in a world where Hollywood dominates film and television, you don’t realise your home country has its own quirks and familiarities. The Video Store certainly embodies various aspects of being a ‘kiwi’ but also keeps it general with characteristics that others around the world would enjoy too.
When working on a webseries with a small budget, it makes sense for The Video Store to be dominantly set in one location. That location being, you guessed it, a video store. There’s probably no point expanding to further locations because of time constraints and production value.
I did enjoy when they did though. One of the episodes that I enjoyed was when two of The Video Store workers ate ‘gone off’ lollies that put them in a sort of hallucinogenic state. Because of this, the two workers ‘experienced’ the sections of each genre e.g. Fantasy or musical, which was a fun way to change things up.
The Video Store embodies the authentic charm of a Kiwi video store we’ve all come to remember. Though it may be lacking in variety, some considerations should be taken into account for the limitations of a web series.
Running Time: 15 MIN per Episode
Director: Thomas Sainsbury
Starring: Kermath, Yvette Parsons, Imogen Peek-Swaney, Kieran Madden, Josh Lawrence, Rory Hunter, Jane Etheridge, Keisha Castle-Hughes, David Farrier, Natalie Medlock, Fleur Saville, Nic Sampson, Perlina Lau, Ash Jones, Chris Parker, Ruby Lyon, Lana Walters, Lara Liew, Karamia Muller, Charlotte Red, Esther MacIntyre, Sylvia Burgess, Amelia Lloyd and Ian Lee
Production Studio: Adventure Channel
Distributor: Greenstone TV