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October 30, 2016

TV Review: Haters Back Off! (Netflix, 2016)

I will generally give any show a few episodes before I quit watching it. Sometimes, I'll sit through whole seasons, just to be agitated and disappointed. Take seasons 5-7 of Mad Men, for example. I sat around waiting hour after hour for something interesting or entertaining to happen, and it never did. John Hamm, who I don't blame at all for the disastrous nose dive of that series, actually got an Emmy for the last season. I suppose anyone should be rewarded for gracefully choking their way through the demise of something that was once brilliant. I was smarter with shows like Dexter and Game of Thrones. These shows that people inexplicably love play out in such a flat and dull manner that I dove off the ship after a very short stint. Hate me for saying it all you want. They're terrible shows. I'm sure I'll get the same level of hate for this mess based on a popular YouTube star.

Sure, the title expects people like me to chime in. I get it. When you share hundreds of videos on YouTube, you're bound to get some horrible reactions. Miranda Sings is the creation of Colleen Ballinger, and she is everything a delusional YouTuber should be. She believes she has talent, which she doesn't. Her friends and family tell her how good she is, which she isn't. People online tell her to keep going, which she shouldn't. She's bad. She's Chocolate Rain bad. Her singing is blocked up and nasal. Thanks to her uncle, she starts a YouTube channel, and her videos start to get hits, mostly from a boy who likes her.

The show does one positive thing. It shows the reality of the people who believe that posting a video online will make them instant stars. The expectation that "as soon as it goes viral" you'll be famous is one that only the insane share. The rest of the show, however, is an odd attempt at a Napoleon Dynamite take on these kinds of people. It just falls flat over and over again.

I know this has an audience. Clearly, her YouTube fans will be thrilled to binge watch this mess. No, I didn't go to her channel to see where this comes from. The show should stand alone without requiring years worth of pregaming to understand why this is supposed to be entertaining. It just isn't. Miranda's voice is annoying at best. I can't listen to it. The rest of the characters have all been done before. Steve Little plays the poor man's Uncle Rico. It just doesn't work on its own.

I'm sure the first reaction from someone who likes this will be to tell me that I'm one of the haters who should back off. I'm not. I don't hate it. I'm more of a don't liker. I see what this is trying to do. It's tolerable enough, but after an episode and a half, I decided that I had much better things to do. If the writing was better, this would be a decent show. It's just not. Maybe Netflix will find something better on YouTube. Hey, you can't blame them for trying. It worked for Always Sunny and Workaholics. It just doesn't work with Haters.

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