Last year, we introduced you to some of our favorite Literary Inspired Webseries, a genre of adaptions that are often modernized and told in a vlog-style or found-footage format. But a lot can happen in a year, and there are so many more shows that deserve the recognition!
So here are a few more of our faves, all of which are available on YouTube for free.
If you love Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare…
watch Nothing Much To Do
If you like Kiwi accents, you’re in for a treat. In this adaption, a high-school-aged Beatrice starts a vlog with her cousin Hero, simply because she thinks she has nothing much to do. As Beatrice and her archnemesis, Benedick, start to drive their mutual friends crazy with their bickering, the friends plan to trick them into falling for each other.
While you can definitely get the story from Beatrice and Hero’s perspective, you will be missing out if you don’t watch Benedick’s videos. The third channel, The Watch, is less imperative to watch, but does cover all of the crazy hijinks of Much Ado About Nothingthat’s outside the blossoming romance.
If you love Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen…
watch The Cate Morland Chronicles
This adaption reimagines Catherine Morland as Cate, the fan-girl blogger behind Cate’s Corner turned journalist for Persona magazine. One of her first assignments is interviewing Henry Tilney, the hunky actor who played Luke Valancourt in The Mysteries of Udolpho, her very first fandom. Henry quickly takes an interest in her, which certainly complicates things.
This adaption is told through Cate’s vlogs, which includes the occasional Skype call, footage from an interview or Personaevent, or video that someone else sent her.
If you love Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie…
watch The New Adventures of Peter and Wendy
What if Peter, Wendy, John, and Michael were not children, but twenty-somethings, trying to make their way in the world… or, in this case, Neverland, Ohio? Peter is content to stay in Neverland forever, living a man-child lifestyle, working as a cartoon artist, and getting black-out drunk every weekend. Wendy wants more—a real career in a big city. But can she leave her boys behind?
The first season is told in part through Wendy’s “Dear Darling” video advice column for her family’s newspaper, The Kensington Chronicle, and part through Tinkerbelle’s eyes—she’s still a fairy, though she’s the only one in this Neverland.
If you love The Three Musketeers by Alexander Dumas…
watch All for One
In this gender-bent adaption, Charles de Batz de Castlemore d’Aragnan becomes Dorothy Castlemore, a clever and headstrong bisexual freshman at Dumas College. She’s excited to rush Mu Sigma Theta, the sorority her grandmother belonged to. She befriends some of the older sorority members—Alex (based on Athos), Ariana (based on Aramis), and Portia (based on Porthos), and develops a crush on her roommate, Connie (Constance) Bonacieux.
One of the most clever parts about this series is that is told through a series of video streams to Dorothy’s friends, the Inseparables. They have conversations in the bottom right corner of the screen, and the characters sometime respond to them. For a fan of Literary Inspired Webseries, you may find that some of them closely resemble characters from other shows.
If you love Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery…
watch Green Gables Fables
This new incarnation of Anne Shirley is a high school junior, freshly delivered to Matt and Marilla Cuthbert, and quite the handful! She tries her best to behave, but sometimes her emotions get the best of her. For the Anne and Gilbert shippers out there, this one is a slow-burn, taking to nearly the end of the second season for Anne to realize what’s been in front of her all along.
This series is told primarily through Anne’s vlogs, but Miss Stacey does require everyone to make a few during the first season. In the second season, Fred and Diana start a channel to stay in touch, Anne’s new college roommate, Philippa, has a channel, and Josie starts hers back up again.
If you love As You Like It by William Shakespeare…
watch The Better Strangers
While technically a spinoff of A Document of Madness, an adaption of Hamlet, you absolutely do not have to watch that first to enjoy The Better Strangers. Rose (Rosalind) Crantz and Jill Celia Stern seamlessly transition from representing Rosencrantz and Gildenstern to Rosalind and Celia. To avoid the whole cross-dressing thing, in this adaption, Orlando was so drunk at the party at which he met Rose, (the very same party that got Rose and Jill kicked out of their house and exiled to live in Arden Hall,) that all he remembers is how he made her feel and that someone called her Rosalind. He seeks Rose’s counsel, and she works to teach him to see Rosalind as a person before he can meet her again.
The story is told through Rose and Jill’s YouTube channel, as well as Orlando’s.
If you love Robin Hood in any of its incarnations…
watch Merry Maidens
In this modernized, gender-swapped adaption, Robin Hood is reimagined as a feisty lesbian leading a ragtag group of other queer ladies in a series of petty crimes for the betterment of their classmates at Nottingham University. When their house and a large part of Sherwood Forest are threatened to make way for a new stadium, they band together to try to stop it the construction—and perhaps discover the Dean’s wrongdoing.
The story is told in a largely found-footage format. Alanna, one of the Merry Maidens, is working on an avant-garde film project, so many clips are what she captured. Robin keeps a camera running at her desk to keep from being framed again. Marian, Robin’s long-time crush, is a vlogger, and some episodes are her vlogs, while others are from the scrap pile.
If you enjoyed these series, make sure to check out this master list.