[M]iranda Sings – the brainchild of Colleen Balinger recently graced the world with her own show on Netflix called Haters Back Off!
Now, being part of the generation that saw the rise of internet video from its early days and even having faint memory of the Youtube predecessor Google Video I clearly recall the early internet video celebrities struggling on a platform that itself did not know where it was headed and what it set out to do.
The idea of Youtube was pretty much experimental and never did its founders know that it would get outgunned by another video sharing platform known as Youtube. The result was a takeover by Google – as it does with all good things.
Back then, there was a Canadian man of Chinese descent known as ‘Sum Ting Wong’ that had a Google Video channel. I started watching his videos then and it was the first time in my life that I witnessed the scope of being able to make something funny and entertaining without having a large budget and any serious acting skills. Then came Youtube and everyone else with it – one of those people that entered the arena of Youtube stardom was Colleen with her channel ‘Miranda Sings’.
I was introduced to the channel watching one of Superwoman – Lilly Singh’s video. The strange character of Miranda immediately draws one’s attention to the channel. Suffice to say that I wasn’t able to understand much of the character until I had the chance of watching the Netflix series. On the topmost level Miranda seems to be funny, this is the aspect of her personality that she displays on her Youtube channel.
However, one should understand that behind the brain that brought Miranda to life is deeply insightful and beautiful to be able to display the struggles of being different in such a manner as she does. The Netflix series shows the authenticity of this fact.
The Premise and Characters
Miranda’s life unravels in Tacoma, Washington. The story starts with Miranda making a Youtube video of herself with her uncle Jim (played by Steve Little). She is being encouraged by him to make a video of herself leading her to believe that she will become an instant celebrity eventually hitting the big league and landing a spot on TV. He does this by creating a ‘Five Phase plan to Fame’ in which the first phase involves making Miranda famous on Youtube.
Miranda lives with her mother and her sister (played by Angela Kinsey and the sister is played by Francesa Reale). The mother goes to every length to ensure that Miranda doesn’t get displeased with her and this contributes to a strained relationship between her sister and Miranda – what naturally happens when one sibling in a pair gets more attention than the other. Finally, the most important core character in the show is Miranda’s love interest played by Erik Stocklin. There are more characters scattered all over the other episodes that have their own part in her life such as the Church ‘Director’ Keith that attracts the affection of Bethany (Miranda’s mother).
Each character has a central role in helping Miranda uncover more about herself and understand those around her better. What starts off as a typical story line based on understood comedic criterion takes very unexpected and dark turns at multiple points. while at the same tackling the importance of being able to give love to people that give you their all instead of just expecting and expecting from their side until they have none left to give.
while at the same tackling the importance of being able to give love to people that give you their all instead of just expecting and expecting from their side until they have none left to give.
Eventually, what happens is that Miranda is left to deal alone with the situation she has created. Since I don’t want to ruin the story much that is why I won’t go into further details – one needs to watch the show to understand.
Every relationship Miranda has is visualized in great detail and none of the depth of any of the characters is swept under the table. Whether its Uncle Jim and his creepy affection with his niece, Patrick’s struggle to help Miranda realize his love for her or Emily’s challenge in dealing with a hard to understand sister every character’s story and struggle around Miranda is explained in great detail and seamlessly intertwine into a central focal point – An aspect of good story writing that is missing from the majority of content nowadays.
The conclusion on the show is that it may serve as the ideal standard bearer for Youtube celebrities venturing out into the world of streaming television. The show has all the plus points that had started to disappear from good American television as of recently giving a story to its viewers that discusses the depth and complexity of challenging human relationships and epiphanies that result after it is too late. ‘Haters back off’ isn’t just a comedy – it is a story of life laid out in utmost perfection. It pays ode to Colleen’s writing skills and helps the viewer understand how hard life can become for a person that others find entertaining due to their odd ball behavior – while at the same tackling the importance of being able to give love to people that give you their all instead of just expecting and expecting from their side until they have none left to give.
Our society punishes those that are different to us – and the importance attached with being perfect is so much that people that give up everything in its pursuit usually end up in a complex situation that hurts the support system around them. The silver lining on the clouds is there though and ultimately the man or woman that struggles hard enough is rewarded with the dream that they pursue – what is known as the pursuit of happiness.
So our message to Colleen’s haters is to ‘”Back Off!”.
- The Characters
- The Theme
- The Acting
- Unsettling jokes at some points