Still by Jordan Hall, Steph Ouaknine and Jay Bennett
In light of upcoming finals and the impending wave of panic and self-loathing that’s sure to crowd my senses in these coming weeks, I’ve decided to do a favor to myself and everyone else that might read this snark. I’m going to give you a key to one of the best, most binge-able web series I’ve ever seen.
Now, am I really going to ply you with 20 reasons in an effort to persuade you to jump into a genre you might be slightly skeptical of, given the last wave of overblown, over-bloated and torturous vampire hype (here’s lookin’ at you, Stephanie Meyer)? Why yes, yes I am. Or at least I will try. The modern adaptation of J. Sheridan Le Fanu’s gothic novella is just that good.
Carmilla is produced independently, and in order to procure a second season, its creators need to secure sponsorship, and provide their main sponsor, U by Kotex, with evidence that their series is bringin’ in the big bucks! (Or not the big bucks, because they’re on YouTube, but the viewers. You get my drift). By writing this list, I hope I can pull a few more viewers to the side of excellent Queer Internet Series.
It is my hope that you will stop reading this list after the first few points, and leap to Youtube to begin the series immediately. Here goes.
1. This is an adaptation of a gothic vampire novella, which depicts, and I quote, “a young woman’s susceptibility to the attentions of a female vampire named Carmilla,” which reimagines the novel in a collegiate setting. Need I say more?
2. Ok, fine, I guess I should say more. The series’ main protagonist, Laura Hollstein, played by the decidedly adorable Elise Bauman, is an intrepid, smart-as-hell college freshman whose investigative journalist tendencies get her into what many would classify as more than a heap of trouble. While she’s certainly not unflappable, watching her cope with both her Lit midterm and a possible vampire infestation is incredibly entertaining, and sometimes heart-wrenching.
3. Each episode ranges from only 2 to 8 minutes. That’s it. So, if you need a study break, why not pop an episode? Or two? Or all of them?
4. Carmilla. Carmilla. Carmilla. Do I have a crush on the broody, chocolate-stealing, impeccably eye-linered roommate-from-hell that’s the object of Laura’s investigations? Who doesn’t?! That’s only because you haven’t watched the series yet! Go! Shoo!
5. LaFerry. S. LaFontaine (Kaitlyn Alexander) and Lola Perry (Annie Briggs) are the incredibly neurotic, yet lovable pair of intelligent idiots whom no one can help but squish together into a ship that will not sink. Each character is, in their own right, full of brilliant quirks and shreds of surprising insight, but together, they project comfort, love, heights of previously unthinkable nerdiness, and beautiful care for one another (by prather). Plus, their pet names (admissions of love) for each other are “Weirdo,” and “Control Freak.” And the actors ship it.
6. Tall Danny and Tiny Laura. Sharon Belle, who plays Danny, Laura’s Teaching Assistant for her Lit class, is approximately the height of a very attractive, redheaded giraffe. Elise Bauman, Laura, is approximately the height of a mouse with Nancy Drew aspirations. Any scene with full body shots of the two is a scene worth replaying. Or screencapping, as I choose to do.
7. LaFontaine chooses to use They/Them pronouns, and everyone in their friend group, which I am hereby referring to as the Scooby Gang 2.0, chooses to respect their choice! For a scripted series, that’s a hell of a big deal, and is just one example of how LGBT+ friendly and inclusive Carmilla is.
8. So many queer girls! So many beautifully written, tough, emotional, badass, inconsolably brilliant queer girls. I know I could always use another queer gal pal in real life, and seeing them portrayed realistically, even in a fantastical webseries, is worth cheering for.Preview
9. The cast! The interconnectivity of the cast to their fans is exciting in a way we usually can’t grasp for television or film actors. The actors are respectful, genuine, and participate in the fandom with sometimes evil glee. Which brings me to…
10. … the fandom! If you’re a part of this ridiculously artistically inclined fandom, you’re a Creampuff! That’s so frickin’ cute!
11. Canadian pronunciations of “Sorry.” I’m sorry, I’d watch for that alone.
12. Kaitlyn Alexander is possibly one of the biggest perpetuators of awful puns the internet has ever had the pleasure of knowing. And most of them are awful lesbian puns.
13. Also, “Gin-terviews,” with Kaitlyn Alexander are an excellent addend to the series, as well as a spectacular way to start your morning.
14. Plot! OK, I would have hoped you’ve figured out that the plot is interesting enough for me to be writing about it, but I am a firm believer in character development over plot, which is why it has taken me this long to get to it. But never fear, Carmilla has an intriguing plot as well, which is why you’re lucky — you don’t have to take the excruciating week-long waiting period to find out what on Earth (or other realms) is happening!
15. Natasha Negovanlis in leather pants. You’ll thank me later.
16. Buffy references up the wazoo. If you’re a Buffy fan, this is the Scooby gang for your era.
17. X-files references, if you can spot them. You can basically consider Laura a cuter, gayer, arguable wittier Mulder anyhow.
18. Do you need more than the previous two?! Fine. Elise Bauman just starred in a hilarious spoof called 50 Shades of Gay, and it is absolutely gorgeous. Unfortunately, it is not a full-length feature film. Fortunately, you have Carmilla!
19. Transmedia! All the main characters have Twitter accounts for their personalities, which is innovative, hilarious, completely consistent with their idiosyncrasies, and another meticulous show of how much Carmilla’s creators care about their fans.
20. The eerie, slick theme song.
In conclusion, JUST GO WATCH IT ALREADY!!!