In my first year at college, I became a notorious YouTube addict. In reality, I’ve been addicted since 2009, but my college friends were the first to call me out on it. According to them, I would bring up a YouTube video at random, then force everyone to watch said video in its entirety. They also told me this happens multiple times a day. Oops.
With this in mind, I have decided to start recommending YouTube videos on Three Basic Bees. If I am going to rant about videos I love, why not on this blog?
My first recommendation is a YouTube series that has recently started and stolen my heart: The New Adventures of Peter and Wendy.
The New Adventures of Peter and Wendy is a modern web adaption of J.M. Barrie’s Peter and Wendy. It stars all your favorite characters from the book: Peter Pan, Wendy, John, and Michael Darling, Tiger Lily, and Tinkerbell.
Set in the small town of Neverland, Ohio, the adaption follows the adventures (and misadventures) of Peter and the Darlings through two POVs: the webcam in Wendy Darling’s room and Tinkerbell’s eyes. Yes, fairies do exist in this modern telling!
Peter Pan is introduced as a man-boy in his late twenties who refuses to grow up (sound familiar?). He works as a comic book artist for the Darling family’s newspaper, The Kensington Chronicle, and holds close friendships with all three Darling children. His closest (yet unrequited) relationship is with Wendy Darling.
Wendy is also in her late twenties, and runs an advice and fashion column in the Kensington Chronicle. While she enjoys her life in Neverland, she wants to see the world and gain a more influential job. However, she hesitates to leave for a particular reason. If you’ve read the J.M. Barrie’s book or seen the movie, you know what (or who) this reason is.
I fell in love with this particular adaption because The New Adventures of Peter and Wendy analyzes prominent issues in today’s society while incorporating familiar, lovable characters. In one of the episodes, the characters ask:
“How do you schedule in time for fun when life takes so much work?” –John
“How are we supposed to follow our dreams if we have to think about bills all the time?” –Michael
“How do you stay young when the world just wants to age you?” –Peter
“How do you plan love?” –Wendy
Many shows on YouTube have tried the “classic literature to modern web adaption” idea, and have failed because they lacked this personal tie. By looking at the comment sections in each video, it is easy to see that people are connecting with these characters on a deeper level. Peter Pan and the Darlings are not fantasy figures anymore; they are people in their twenties struggling with life plans, rejection, love and aging.
The New Adventures of Peter and Wendy raised awareness about the potential adaption on Kickstarter, and raised $9,230 to make the show a reality. In addition to this, the show hosts two sponsors: Lootcrate and Modcloth. The show premiered on May 9, and airs new episodes every Wednesday and Friday.
Like its book to YouTube adaption predecessors (Pemberley Digital), The New Adventures of Peter and Wendy possesses an interactive transmedia element to its story. Every character, including James Hook and Lily Bagha (Tiger Lily), have viewable Twitter profiles. Occasionally, they will respond to viewers’ questions on their profiles. In addition to this, the Kensington Chronicle is an actual website you can visit; you can read Peter’s Panels, Johns articles, etc, and sign up for a weekly newsletter. With transmedia, The New Adventures of Peter and Wendy found a useful way to make viewers feel like they are a part of the story.
Since its premiere, the channel has gained 10,352 subscribers, and a fandom online dubbed the “Pandom.” With its considerable success, there are confirmed Pandom meet-ups at VidCon and a New Adventures of Peter and Wendy merchandise store in the works.
Currently, the show is halfway through season one, with nine episodes remaining. As a recent, yet enthusiastic new member of the Pandom, I hope that Season 2 will be in the works soon.