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Haters Back Off - Season One - Review

If I were to describe Haters Back Off in one word, it would be different. With complete honesty, i've never seen a show quite like it before. Mind you, there aren't many characters like Miranda Sings out there. Season One was very reminiscent of her personality: quirky, funny, and weird. Although, as much as you think you may know Miranda, this show was completely different than how I had anticipated. The main points being I didn't expect there to be a storyline or much character development.

 ... especially from Miranda.

Most of us who watch the show likely knew about Miranda (and were, as she herself calls us, 'Mirfandas') long before the series premiered last October. Colleen Ballinger, an executive producer of the show as well as the star, did a pretty good job of keeping most of what we'd see under wraps - including the fact that Miranda HAS A SISTER. Who, by the way, I think was cast perfectly. Francesca Reale, who plays Emily, was arguably one of the biggest highlights of Season One. We already had an idea of who Bethany and Uncle Jim were based on Miranda's explanations of them on her YouTube Channel, but Emily was a total surprise in every sense. Having one family member who could see through the insanity of Uncle Jim's Five Phase Plan and Bethany's attempts at winning over a man by flaunting her undiagnosed fibromyalgia is gold. She's the only character who is able to connect her family with the rest of the world through her normalcy. We learn a lot about Emily over the course of the season, including her love of art and her inability to fit in with her surroundings. Emily becomes an underdog that we root for, and hope will use her intelligence and bravery to find her way. Unfortunately, her story is left unresolved by the end of episode 8.

Credit: Pinterest

Another character I loved watching develop was Patrick. He brought out a romantic side of Miranda we hadn't previously seen, and without him would likely never witness. You wonder how someone could ever love... Miranda... but as the season progresses and the realness of who she is is brought to light, the crush becomes more plausible. Erik Stocklin pulls off Patrick's awkward personality so well - him and Miranda kind of balance each other out, when you think about it.

Prior to the release of the series, Colleen would often make mention of her fear that the show would not be well received due to how different it is in terms of style. They do cross lines. There were numerous times I finished an episode and had to ask myself what I just watched, with regards to the humour used. But the story was clear. The characters each have a purpose, a goal, a dream. We got an inside look at how Miranda's YouTube Channel first began, and the struggles she faced in her pursuit of stardom. A character who we would laugh at and make fun of for years online has now been given real feelings and emotions, and we can't help but cheer during her ups and feel sorry during her downs.

The season finale, or should I say, the final few minutes of the season finale, were unlike what we had seen during any of the other episodes. There was no humour. Every character ended up in a difficult situation with no sense of where their lives were headed. It almost became more of a dramedy - which grounded the show from the zaniness of the rest of the season. I'm looking forward to seeing how each of the characters' stories resolve in Season Two.

Netflix took a chance on this show - something they do with all of their original series'. I'm not entirely sure Haters Back Off would work on television as it's a unique kind of humour that, unless you've followed Miranda's story, you may not understand (or want to understand). Netflix was banking on Miranda's previous fame as a YouTube star to catapult the series to success. As predicted, Haters Back Off became polarizing; with many viewers finding it hilarious and others... not so much. Isn't that what makes storytelling and TV so cool, though? We can all watch the exact same program and come out with totally different perspectives and opinions. Perhaps having been a fan beforehand played a role in my enjoyment of Season One. Nevertheless, even if you're unfamiliar with Miranda Sings, i'd encourage you to give Haters Back Off a shot. You'll never see anything else like it, and that's a promise.

Grade: A

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