Haters Back Off, a comedy quickie

Benjamin Garcia

Colleen and Chris Ballinger, Gigi McCreery and Perry Rein have struck cult-comedy gold with Haters Back Off, starring Colleen as the obnoxious yet soulful Miranda Sings – which recently premiered Oct.14 on Netflix.

The writing, in many ways, was the best part of this team internet project; this is because of the offbeat and impolite sense of humor that caters to both young viewers who will appreciate the irreverent silliness and more mature audiences who will recognize the lighthearted allusions to incestuous relationships and other objectionable concepts, both of which have been a part of the character Sings since her early stages of internet stardom.

Another attribute of the show which turned out to be a hidden strength was the ensemble of original characters longtime fans were introduced to, such as:

  • Owen Trent (a traditionally attractive totally arrogant guitar player and local celebrity)
  • Patrick (a “popsicle salesman” and No. 1 fan of the main character)
  • Pastor Keith (a religious leader who fetishizes chronically-ill people the only black character)

There was also a notable expansion upon the characters that already existed in Sings’ universe such as:

  • The famous and infamous Uncle Jim (who evidently is not a rapist as suspected from the Youtube channel)
  • Bethany (the main character’s hypochondriac mother)

For all characters there is no small amount of emotional depth and development.

Sings is a highly emotional and driven girl who never gives up on her quest for fame.

Bethany is a lonely woman, trying to do the best for her family while trying to find sympathy and love.

Emily, played by Francesca Reale, is a quiet girl who has big dreams of going to art school while Patrick meanders around the house with the quiet hope that someday Miranda might love him.

There is also a number of serious topics discussed in the series which give it another element of production value; the financial hardship of the middle class is illustrated perfectly when Uncle Jim loses his job, which immediately puts a strain on the family life.

The permanence of a divorce on the psychology of a child is shown when Emily resents her mother for not giving her a better life and idealizes her absent father.

Furthermore, the extent of the cruelty of society toward people who are mentally challenged or otherwise different when Sings is embarrassed on stage by Owen.

The only thing one might complain about was the lack of closure in the season finale.

Though heart-wrenching and well directed with an especially emotional scene that has the main character facing ultimate rejection, unrequited love, humiliation on-stage and hopes of a record deal being crushed in the midst of a heavy rainstorm, the last episode of season one of Haters Back Off has too many loose ends that could have been easily tied up.

There could have been an establishing scene of Emily arriving at her father’s house after running away.

The only resolution that comes is Patrick’s bicycle bell ringing in the distance as Sings looks up hopefully.

This marks a step toward alternative media becoming mainstream and a new generation of entertainers coming into the spotlight from the incubator of the internet.

All in all the first season was a success for of which the loyal following of Colleen and Miranda Sings along with the entirety of the Youtube fandom should feel proud to have such a great Netflix original series.