By Jim Halterman
Technology and the way we use it is changing by the minute so it was only a matter of time before daytime television came aboard. Coastal Dreams, a made-for-the-web soap opera, premieres October 2nd only on NBC.com. Here's how it works: Every Tuesday and Thursday, NBC.com will post new 3-4 minute webisodes of Coastal Dreams. The episodes will always be available, as opposed to a predetermined window (for example, the window for a prime time series on NBC.com is only one week after they originally air on the network). And there is no cost to view the episodes.
Will viewers seek out Coastal Dreams on the web when they can get their soap fix by TiVoing General Hospital every day? Rick Draughon, creator/executive producer of Coastal Dreams, thinks so. 'The old model doesn't work and is a thing of the past,' Draughon told me from his Sherman Oaks, Calif., home. With each CD episode being only a few minutes in length, stories are told in quick fashion to draw the viewer in immediately, moving away from the drawn-out storylines that many see as the culprit while we move from the MTV-generation to the all-Internet-all-the-time generation. 'The benefit of this [new] model,' Draughon states, 'is that viewers can go back and watch as much as they want. TV the way you want.'
Aside from all the interactive technology, how does Coastal Dreams stack up as a series? After previewing two webisodes, I was definitely intrigued at a number of story points and will be coming back for more. What did the 'stalker ex' do to main character Zoe to make her uproot her life for the summer? Who is the shirtless hunk and who is he texting? How long before the girls clash with the owner of the house, who happens to be dating the shirtless hunk? Are there other shirtless hunks to be seen? (*wink*) All the soap elements are here and they work effortlessly without feeling jammed down your throat. Shot in Los Angeles, where the oceanside landscape becomes a character in itself, Coastal Dreams has quick pacing and attractive characters, and quickly establishes itself as the kind of place you'd want to escape to, especially as autumn and winter approach in the coming months.
For a peek at the Coastal Dreams trailer, go to http://www.nbc.com/coastal_dreams/intro.shtml and then start watching October 2nd at NBC.com.