Serialized web series have a continuing story line. You need to watch the episodes in order to understand the story of the show.
Types of Serialized Series
Made for TV
Some serialized shows are pretty much TV pilots cut into chapters to make a ‘Season’. 22-30 minutes for comedy. 44-60 minute for drama. The five-episode Season One of the Award winning web series The Mop and Lucky Files is actually just their 50 minute dramedy pilot when you string it all together. All five episodes take place within a few days and revolve around them receiving and solving one case with their Private Eye firm that they set up in a personal storage unit. Tune in next week (er next season) to watch their next case. Or just pick up the series, you TV execs, you. It’s all laid out for ya.
Embrace the Web
The Guild is a great example of a show that embraces the format of a web series. It’s 10 to 12 episode seasons cover more time and action than an episode of television of the same length could. Felicia Day also fulfills a need that is greatly lacking in most web series, she lets you know what to expect format wise when you sit down to watch. There will always be her confessional at the beginning followed by a continuation of last episodes story with several significant story beats.
The Dickens Approach
Still others are feature films cut into chapters. Dickens did it, releasing his classic novels a chapter at a time in magazines. Dostoevsky too. Why not you? The Bannen Way was released by Sony on Crackle.com as a sixteen episode web series. Now they are marketing it as a feature film in it’s entirety.