Infographic by Anna Kanaley
“Hey guys it’s me Miranda. So today I’ll be singing ‘Defying Gravity’ from ‘Wicked’.” Her red-lipstick-lined mouth opens wide and wails the first line of the song in a surely wicked voice.
Miranda Sings erupted as a fictional character on YouTube played by Colleen Ballinger who started making the videos two years ago. Since then, Miranda Sings has turned into somewhat of a household name and quickly grew in popularity on the internet. The Netflix original show, “Haters Back Off,” stars the fictional character and tells the backstory to her YouTube career.
Because of the growth in popularity, “Haters Back Off” was released by Netflix on Oct. 14. It reveals the life of Miranda, a struggling singer, actor and performer living outside of Tacoma, Washington who wants to make it big with the help of her Uncle Jim. Unfortunately, Miranda, Uncle Jim and her mother, a helpless and sad single mom, live with a whole lot of false hope of making it big, leaving Miranda’s sister, Emily, to be the lone voice of reason in the family.
With their heads held high, naive Miranda and her somewhat perverted Uncle Jim set out to find success for Miranda through a five-phase-plan, ultimately revealing the true self-absorbed Miranda Sings. We see the egomaniac put her ever so important career before her mother’s job as a supermarket cashier, the only source of income for the family.
“Haters Back Off,” failed to make me laugh, clearly showing a shortcoming with the writing. As one of the most disappointing parts of the show, the writing resembled an ongoing knock off “SNL” skit, calling for several cringe-worthy moments while I was watching.
The plot slowly drags us along the fameless journey where Miranda doesn’t seem to reach her desired stardom (spoiler alert) until the last episode of the season, hinting towards a second one to come.
Along the road to becoming famous, Miranda continues to cruelly deny a date with her neighbor Patrick who is not-so-secretly in love with her and does anything to keep her happy. As another source of true humanity in the melancholy show, Miranda’s sister, Emily, is an aspiring artist who ultimately gets screwed out of her dream of going to art school when Miranda executively decides to glue macaroni and glitter to her artwork.
Not only does Miranda display selfishness, but utter cluelessness and to be blunt, it pissed me off while I was watching. When asked whether she’s an alto or soprano while joining the church choir, she indignantly sneers, “I’m American.”
Although it is easy to see how Ballinger’s intentional bad singing videos earned credit and attention on YouTube, stretching the act out to a Netflix show was a mistake. The show had the potential to be something very funny and keep the character of Miranda Sings alive, though it fell short trying to do so and won’t get much love on Netflix.