True Blood, Twilight, The Originals, The Vampire Diaries broody vampires, tired of being vampires get a second chance at love and life because they met someone who touches their humanity.
Mopey vampires were getting stale.
Then, there was the web series reimagining of the classic novella Carmilla.
Sure, she’s a mopey eternally gorgeous forever twenty something stuck in a college that seems to be the new home of weird shit since Sunnydale sank into the Hellmouth BUT the series is a little more than just another run of the mill vampire show. Each installment is an entry on Tiny Laura’s web blog where she documents her investigation into the mysterious disappearance of her roommate Betty and two other floor mates in Silas University. When the mysteriously hot and monosyllabic Carmilla moves into the dorm, Laura immediately goes into detective mode, suspicious of her new roomie’s habits, especially when it comes to stealing her favorite pillow. Clocking in at an average 3-6 minutes per episode (they launch new episodes every Tuesday and Thursday) the series introduces the characters from the novella as 21st Century women filled with snark and impeccable knowledge of Doctor Who (seriously, Tiny Laura’s favorite soda is Bad Wolf and she needs to drink everything from her beloved Tardis mug).
There are teams just like in the aforementioned series, Team Danny (Tall Ginger, alpha female leader of the presumably awesome Summer Society) Team Carmilla (who can say no to sultry eyes and broody face vampires) are obviously the most popular while the clearly married until they die couple of LaFerry captains itself. What’s most interesting about the character interaction is, despite the presence of males on campus, nearly all of the exploits are lead entirely outside of the need for guys; the Dimwit Squad (Danny, LaFontaine and Perry all ginger, all hilarious) manage to solve most of the mystery and handle the action themselves, despite the adorable pet name that Carmilla’s given them.
VerveGirlTV, the YouTube channel currently posting the series, has done a fantastic job of utilizing the cult of Carmilla to their advantage, executing consistent uploads of episodes, ancillary content, audience engagement and the recent integration of branding with, of all things, U by Kotex. Yes. A women’s brand dealing with a lady’s monthly is the brand partner with a show about women and a vampire. The production and creative teams easily and with hilariously awkward results, created extra content with the cast blatantly displaying their new partnership but in a way that still feels very much like the world the series has built.
Even more telling is how openly the cast and crew ship (support a relationship) the same sex partnerships that have sprung up on the show. Tiny Laura is at the center of a very tall triangle between Tall Gay Danny and Useless Lesbian Carmilla and all of it supported, courted and encouraged by the creative staff. Few shows have actively accepted and made canon a same sex couple straight out of the gate, many of them enjoy the slow burn and build up or even queerbait a coupling for ratings. The new media plan and it’s for us by us for all mentality has created a niche for strong LGBTQ storytelling online; Carmilla The Series is a big step in the direction of continued growth and success on a platform that doesn’t have to fit in the same box that traditional TV seems to obsessed with fitting into. It also doesn’t help that the entire cast is extremely appealing to look at.
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