Hi everyone! Today, I've got something a little different from what I usually post. It's another one Web Series Wednesday, but this time, it's written by my wonderful Internet friend Macklin, who's a fan of this series and has been trying to get me to start watching it. Since I'm too busy with school stuff to start a new web series and I still wanted to talk about it, she offered to write this as a guest post, so here it is!
The literary web series (LWS) this Wednesday is Carmilla. This is my favourite LWS, and I am so happy that Laurie has allowed me to share it with you.
Originally, Carmilla is a 19th century Gothic novella written by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu. It is one of the earliest pieces of vampire fiction, written 26 years before the famous Dracula and greatly influenced the genre-defining novel. After a carriage accident, a lonely girl, Laura, finds herself housemates with the mysterious and beautiful, Carmilla. The novella is beautifully written and highly recommended to vampire fans. However, the web series, in my opinion, is way more enjoyable. (Whaaaat?!)
The web series diverges from the novel quite a bit. As with all book to web adaptations, Carmilla has been updated to the 21st century. Laura is now a first year university student doing a journalism project via vlogs akin to The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. After the disappearance of her roommate and best friend, Betty, this project becomes an investigation with the help of Danny, a TA; Perry; the floor don; and Lafontaine, Perry’s best friend and a bio major. The prime suspect soon becomes Laura’s new roommate, Carmilla.
Carmilla is a trans media piece. The two main characters have tumblr and twitter accounts, as well as Lafontaine.
The cast for this web series is fantastic. Elise Bauman plays Laura, and the title lead is played Natasha Negovanlis. Both actors are very good and have great chemistry. Elise has the very hard task of carrying the production by being the person that narrates all the videos. There is one camera angle, and most of it is Laura speaking to the camera, relaying events that have happened off screen, though there is a lot of on camera action. It is very funny and full of pop-culture references including modern vampire shout outs. The co-creator and writer of the show, Jordan Hall, is very much a descendant of Joss Whedon.
The stand out feature of this web series is its treatment of LGBT+ characters and gender representation. For example, Lafontaine is the first non-binary character I have encountered in popular media. This is mostly a female driven show with a majority of the cast and crew being female. Most of the characters are queer as well. Also, there is no “coming out.” Being queer is not a defining characteristic, and the story does not discuss sexual identity, for it is not important. Refreshing isn’t it?
I love this series! I hope that those who haven’t already go and check it out. So far, there are two seasons, each 36 episodes. There is also a Christmas episode set between the two seasons.