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The New Online Star System

This is the year that Web video got really smart. And addictive. Here’s what’s worth a click.

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Last year, Time heralded the age of “You,” slapping us on our many, many backs for “seizing the reins of the global media … and beating the pros at their own game.” Well, maybe, but this year the pros staged one hell of a comeback—and we the people couldn’t be more excited about it. The Web comedy boom exploded with star power (Will Ferrell, Michael Cera, Judd Apatow); corporations launched new video portals every few weeks; R. Kelly’s mad hip-hopera Trapped in the Closet was the online event of the year. And for the first time, a new star system emerged, as A-listers mingled with the Internet’s own name brands: innovative animators, sharp comics, and indie filmmakers. The Web may even be primed to give birth to its first bona fide crossover star, Bitsie Tulloch. With the online video revolution in full swing, it’s high time for a field guide. Here’s our take on the best comedy, cartoons, dramas, and vintage YouTube classics on offer.


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