Earlier this month, Snapchat announced it would be premiering its first-ever original series on its new Snap Channel.
The first show is called “Literally Can’t Even,” and Snapchat posts each five-minutes-or-less mini-episode every Saturday.
It self-destructs after 24 hours, much like Snapchat Stories or the content available in Snapchat’s new Discover feature, so you have to remember to tune in on Saturday if you want to watch it.
It’s a new, exciting format for Snapchat to explore. Unfortunately, the show is not very good. In fact, it’s terrible.
Written by Sasha Spielberg — the daughter of Steven Spielberg — and Emily Goldwyn, the daughter of film producer John Goldwyn, “Literally Can’t Even” stars two young women going through a “series of misadventures.”
First of all, if you’re expecting a thoughtful TV series from “Literally Can’t Even,” you should look elsewhere or lower your expectations. “Literally Can’t Even” is something you should watch while you’re waiting for someone to reply to your Snap, or while you’re waiting for the subway to come.
It is disposable entertainment in the most literal way: the episodes self-destruct after 24 hours, so you either watch it on Saturday, the day new episodes air, or you don’t watch it at all.
The micro-series uses split-screen to fit as much detail into the short episodes as possible. This is a very good idea, and arguably the best part of “Literally Can’t Even.” The production quality is also pretty good — whoever shot this show knew they were working within tight confines. There are a ton of camera angles and cuts between full-screen and split-screen, which necessarily quickens each episode’s pace.
You also watch the show vertically, which is both intuitive (Snapchat’s messaging and Stories are viewed vertically) and requires no extra work on your part — you don’t have to turn off your phone’s rotation lock or flip your phone sideways.
It’s a shame, then, that such good production quality and smart split-screen implementation is squandered on terrible content and acting.
Only two episodes of “Literally Can’t Even” have aired so far. Neither of them were very good. In the debut episode, “Sip & Surf Pool Party XXX,” Spielberg and Goldwyn attend a pool party; Goldwyn, who is on a “cleanse” and can’t drink, pretends to be drunk; and Spielberg is inexplicably chased by some guy named Xavier who she is not into. The plot feels painfully dragged-out and cringey. If there is a way to make four and a half minutes last forever, this show has mastered that, even with its quick camera cuts.
Moreover, the show just feels silly. If I weren’t watching it to review it, I would have stopped watching within the first minute and a half. It doesn’t really go anywhere. Maybe it’s not supposed to and I just don’t get it. Some people seem to like it.
The literally can’t even videos on snapchat on Sundays are my fav
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