Snapchat is making a web series.
Literally Can’t Even comes from writers Sasha Spielberg and Emily Goldwyn, the daughters of Steven Spielberg and John Goldwyn, respectively.
The series stars the friends and writing partners as comedic versions of themselves — Spielberg recently single after a long relationship and Goldwyn embarking on a six-month cleanse — and follows them on a series of misadventures in Los Angeles.
Literally Can’t Even will premiere Saturday, Jan. 31, on Snapchat’s new Snap Channel, which was unveiled earlier this week as part of Discover, a feature where media partners such as Comedy Central, ESPN and Cosmopolitan curate a daily selection of videos and news.
Snapchat media production director Rylee Ebsen, who oversees all video on the Snap Channel, tells The Hollywood Reporter that the company’s channel is meant to promote interesting content that will surprise its users. By creating its own content, Snapchat is giving its Discover channel an editorial point of view. “Snapchatters consume and create and we’ve always embraced that,” explains Ebsen, who is also the series director. “When it came to Discover, we wanted to have a seat at the table. It felt weird to not have our own voice as well.”
By producing its own content, Snapchat is following the model set by Netflix and others, albeit with shortform content. It’s a move that sets Snapchat apart from other social apps, including Vine, that have stayed out of the content game despite seeing a surge in creative content on their platform. YouTube, meanwhile, funded a clip show called YouTube Nation last year that was produced by DreamWorks Animation and has said it will begin funding original projects from some of its top creators.
New episodes of Literally Can’t Even will debut every Saturday, but in keeping with Snapchat’s “ephemeral message” conceit, the episodes will disappear after 24 hours. Spielberg says the fleeting nature of each episode doesn’t take away from it. “It provides a clean slate each week,” she says.
The series has also been conceived to fit the medium, so the episodes run under five minutes and often employ a split screen to pack each shot with details from the scene.
Goldwyn explains that the episodes are written to feel like the audience is dropped into the lives of these characters for a few minutes each week. “These are snapshots of our life, which is perfect for Snapchat,” she says. “It feels perfect for the generation that we’re writing for.”