Haters Back Off: A Netflix Original Series Review:
If you still doubt the legitimacy of YouTube and the talent they curate, then the all new Netflix Original Series “Haters Back Off” should change
your mind. The series, which follows the character of Miranda Sings, a parody character of YouTube cover singers created by actress and singer
Colleen Ballinger, showcases smart humor and surprising heart and emotion that will captivate loyal “Mirfandas” (fans of Miranda Sings), and
new audiences alike. Developed by both Ballinger and her brother Chris Ballinger and developed by a fantastic team at Netflix, (including show-runners
Perry Rein and Gigi McCreery, whose credits include Friends and Wizards of Waverly Place), the show is a fantastic study of fame, how it changes
people, and how we all crave acceptance and recognition. Here is the synopsis for the show.
This comedy series, exclusive to Netflix, follows the oddball family life of a fictional YouTube star named Miranda Sings, a character created
and portrayed by Colleen Ballinger, who also serves as an executive producer. Miranda is an incredibly confident, self-absorbed teenage
singer/dancer/actor/model who is on the rise – despite a complete and utter lack of talent. Miranda continues to luck into failing upward,
fueled by her belief that she was born to be famous, even if no one else knows it yet.
Now this show was definitely funny. The jokes ranged from the perfectly timed dry humor of a film like Napoleon Dynamite that focuses on oddball,
outsider like characters, and the more adult themed humor that reminded me of a film like Step Brothers. The show features some incredible
performers, from Colleen Ballinger as Miranda herself to Angela Kinsey, who plays Miranda’s eager to please mother who believes she suffers from
a multitude of diseases, to her Uncle Jim, played by actor Steve Little, who plays the over-eager uncle who feeds Miranda’s belief that she is
destined for greatness in all things and fuels the drama in this family unit. There is a surprise character that definitely will bring the
heart and emotion into the show, acting as the voice of reason and a surrogate for the audience in a way, which I will not spoil their identity
in this review. However a character that does steal the show is the boy next door who is smitten with Miranda herself, Patrick, played by actor
Erik Stocklin. Her best friend and love-sick neighbor who will do anything for her, the lengths this boy goes to in order to help this often
clueless and fame obsessed girl achieve her dreams is a great showcase for any of us in the audience who has ever fallen in love and walked
through the friend zone, hoping that they will come out on the other side with their love by their side.
While the humor is just as great as fans would expect from a show about the untalented YouTube sensation that has stolen so many hearts, what was
pleasantly surprising was the amount of emotion that was in this show. What really sold this show for me was the perfect blend of comedy and
heart, with Miranda herself showcasing moments of real human feeling when interacting with cast members on the show, (before stumbling back into
her self-obsessed self). By the end of the series, audiences will be able to see the many layers of themes and storytelling devices that are going
to be alluded to, from the hardships of fame and the price people have to pay to achieve it, to the lengths family will go to for one another. I
think this show is also a great way to showcase the people behind the camera that we all sometimes take for granted when exploring the world of
YouTube. The four to eight minute videos that capture so many people’s attention and hearts don’t define a person’s entire life, and this show
does a marvelous job of showcasing the struggles, the flaws, and the ups and downs that creators go through off camera.
Overall, this was an amazing show. In eight episodes, Colleen Ballinger has proved that real talent can be found on the internet, and her incredible
creation of Miranda Sings is the unsung hero of the current generation, much like Napoleon Dynamite was the hero of the 2000’s or Anthony
Michael Hall’s The Geek from Sixteen Candles was the underdog hero of the 80’s. The awkward, uncomfortable humor that has skyrocketed the Miranda
Sings brand to stardom is expertly explored in this series, and with a cliffhanger that will hopefully lead to a second season, Netflix has found
a character driven comedy that will merge the younger audiences from the YouTube world with the more adult audiences of the Netflix world in a
phenomenal way. We here at On Request Magazine are incredibly impressed with this amazing show, and sincerely hope to see a second season in the
future. Congratulations to Colleen Ballinger for becoming one of the first heroes and stars to emerge onto the world stage in the digital age!
Rating: 10/10 stars