If you think the lead character of this new screen drama is about to make a terrible decision, be a friend and just text her.

She'll respond and probably take it on board. And that very same message may even star in the next episode.

Wellington actress Beth Chote is the star of TVNZ's new online drama Reservoir Hill that will fill the slither of untapped space lying between scripted drama, video gaming and reality television.

Her character Beth Connolly (the similar name is a coincidence) moves from a small town in New Zealand - that could be Bulls or Marton but is fictitiously named Ruakowhai - to a subdivision that could be part of the urban sprawl of any New Zealand city but is in Wellington, and has a fictitious reservoir hill.

The 16-year-old is faced with the issues any kid of her age might deal with, displaced or not.

But unlike the average teen, Beth Connolly is lucky enough to have an audience helping her navigate the dark mysteries of the series that has been written around her.

Co-directors David Stubbs and Thomas Robins' experimental Kiwi teen drama will be played through TVNZ's website and will allow viewers to interact with the main character through text messages and social networking site Bebo.

The project was accepted for a New Zealand on Air grant for digital content in May this year.

Stubbs says he saw a dearth of locally produced series aimed at the youth TVNZ refers to as the "Twilight generation" ("Twilight generation" could loosely be described as those who wod ratha txt each otha thn spk, hail their Bebo pages and read the miraculously popular series of vampire books called Twilight).

He concedes the Reservoir Hill plot is really quite Twilight-ish: "It's not vampires or anything like that but it's pretty dark you know, there's some creepy stuff."

Chote thinks the series will be addictive: "It's got all those things they'll enjoy. Drama, mystery, danger, and all those uniquely teenage challenges. But this time it's about us. New Zealanders."

Rather than filming in the usual New Zealand drama setting of a leafy suburb or windswept farm, Stubbs says he found a brand-new subdivision was the ideal backdrop for playing out the real issues facing Kiwi kids.

"There are no malls or corner dairies, so part of the story is what do the teenagers do? Where do they go and what do they get up to when they're there?"

Beth will have to make a daunting decision at the end of the first episode and the ensuing plot will be largely dependent on her "friends" in the audience - imagine a fade to black with some haunting music and a graphic pop-up saying "Text Beth Now".

Your message might say:

"Beth I think you should get out of there that guy is creepy and I don't like his friends."

Or "Bth gt outta thr dat guy is a creep nd I dnt like his frends run 4 ur lyf" (if you are watching your character count and don't read as much Twilight).

Beth might reference the text in her online video blog, posted to the web on Thursdays, and the advice could influence the following episode.

Chote thinks the format will hook viewers when they see how their input can influence the series:

"For teenagers, advice from friends is a huge thing, and so is the internet as a method of communication. The online format will allow viewers to be involved with Beth as a close friend instead of someone they just watch on TV."

Each week scriptwriters will be responding to Beth's texts and Bebo messages and deciding which suggestions, if any, will form the rest of the plot.

They will film episodes two days before screening. "It's an amazing and quite frightening logistical effort," Stubbs says.

It makes sense to go online straight away, because that's where so many kids are already accessing movies and television series through the likes of TVNZ On Demand, he says.

But will the teens it's aimed at actually buy into the interactive thing?

Stubbs thinks they will: "The classic example is Coronation Street: adults, grown people who have blurred the lines between characters and drama. It's not just teenagers who do it."

What: Reservoir Hill, TVNZ's new interactive online teen drama series.
Who: Wellington actress Beth Chote, 18, plays the main character, displaced 16-year-old Beth Connolly. Chote appeared on The Tribe Series 5 in 2002, and The Killian Curse in 2005 and 2007.
When: Monday October 12 at 5.30pm at tvnz.co.nz