By Jenna Kauffman
On Friday, Oct. 14, the original series “Haters Back Off” premiered on Netflix. The series follows YouTube character/star, Miranda Sings, who became famous on the site for her obnoxious personality and believing she has talent (when in fact her talent is probably the worst out there).
Colleen Ballinger, who also has her own YouTube channel where she acts as herself, portrays Miranda Sings. The video-blogger has garnered well over a billion views on her Miranda channel and more than 700 million on her regular channel since creating the channels in 2006 and 2008.
Ballinger’s character Miranda Sings is reminiscent to a character one would see on Saturday Night Live. The character does not reflect how Ballinger truly acts, but instead is completely exaggerated and in turn, garners a specific audience. Not everyone who watches the Miranda character can fully understand her humor. However, it is because of the active audience Ballinger has retained, ranking in over seven million subscribers, that Netflix offered the YouTube star her own show.
“Haters Back Off” focuses on the backstory of the Miranda Sings character, showing how she created her YouTube channel and reached “stardom.” Sings defines herself as an “actress, singer, dancer, model, and magician,” and throughout the first eight episodes for this series, she displays most of these “talents” in one way or another. Along for the ride are her mother (played by Angela Kinsey), her weird uncle (played by Steve Little), her best friend Patrick (played by Erik Stocklin), and another mystery character that was not officially introduced until the show went live on Netflix. Spoiler alert: Miranda Sings has a sister, Emily, portrayed by actress Francesca Reale. This was kept a secret due to the fact that in the spanse of her YouTube career, Sings has never mentioned any siblings. Meanwhile, Sings has mentioned her mother, uncle, and various friends since starting her YouTube channel.
Even if someone is not a fan of the Miranda YouTube character, the series is definitely worth checking out for its difference in production value as well as seeing how Sings changes when interacting with other characters. In YouTube videos, Sings is often by herself save for the occasional collaboration with other famous YouTubers. However, in the Netflix series, she is constantly interacting with the other actors. In the series, her best friend Patrick also serves as a boy-next-door type of love interest, a cliché, but enjoyable. Whereas with the YouTube series, the character displays a distinct fear towards getting too close to someone before marriage.
Many have compared the series to movies such as Napoleon Dynamite (for its style of humor along with production quality) and shows like Arrested Development and The Office (the second show coincidentally also starring actress Angela Kinsey). “Haters Back Off” has a certain type of humor to enjoy, but can still reach a wide array of audiences with its style and platform. The series has yet to announce a continuation (and as of writing this article, nothing new has come up). Hopefully the avid following and social media buzz the show has received is an indication that the show will have a future.