Voicemail Worth Hearing (and Watching)

Everyone has a connection to voicemail. You’ve left them. You’ve heard them. You’ve saved some of them for posterity, revenge, or just to share with your friends. But if you’re Michael Wilde, ABC’s new online show co-creator, you collected them over the course of a decade and you’re now turning them into a really engaging story.

Inspired by actual voicemails, Voicemail takes these messages and creates “fictionalized vignettes” around them (see press release). The only speech is the actual monologue of the person leaving the voicemail. The brilliance is the juxtaposition of this audio with video of “Mike” silently going about his underachiever life.

ABC’s first webisode series, Voicemail is also unique in that it is not connected with an already broadcast show, like NBC’s very popular SNL Digital shorts and Sci-Fi’s Battlestar Galactica webisodes. As ABC expands its already comprehensive online offerings — also adding canceled shows as “online exclusives” it is also expanding its video delivery system. Appropriately, Voicemail will also be available for download to your mobile phone.

The launch of Voicemail coincides with the expansion of the ABC.com’s online media platform which now (finally) includes a beautiful (almost) fullscreen mode. The site also added a “mini” mode, I guess designed to tuck a quick episode of “Dancing with the Stars” into the corner of you screen. However, while I don’t usually mind a few ads, the ABC format necessitates a toilsome click to continue the episode.