Usually vampire stories are not my thing…I’ve never read Twilight or Dracula, never watched True Blood or The Strain. But right now, I’m completely obsessed with everything vampire and it’s all because of Carmilla. If you haven’t been following the Carmilla web series on YouTube, then you need to start binge watching it now!
I’ve seen too many web series that seem like good ideas but are lacking when it comes to the final product. Not this one, Carmilla has some on point acting, well thought out sets, good editing, and really fantastic writing. The excellent story telling doesn’t end at the episodes but carries across multiple platforms to create a really cohesive transmedia narrative on Twitter and Tumblr. It’s just a fun ride and I love that I have a chance to tweet a character and get a response that is tied to the story in a way that is a lot more accessible than some of the big studio efforts out there.
Carmilla is a modern retelling of Sheridan Le Fanu’s gothic novel of the same name but in short webisodes. I’ve seen it compared to a mash up of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Veronica Mars, and the podcast Welcome to Night Vale. Season 1 plays like a vlog style portrait of Laura Hollis, new student at Silas University. Making great use of one camera angle throughout the first season, we learn Laura is embarking on creating a vlog for her journalism class when things go awry.
Laura’s party-girl roommate disappears and no one seems to care or notice. She’s replaced by Carmilla, a mysterious, broody philosophy major that doesn’t have a clue about where Laura’s previous roommate went but we all know something shady is going down. Season 1 is dedicated to unraveling the mystery of Laura’s missing roommate and brings with it a host of interesting characters including a sentient disembodied spirit living in a USB flash drive.
What I love most is the strong female characters in this series. Women are not just a side dish to be seduced by Dracula, women are front and center in many of the roles and the focus of the main narrative. Also, there are characters with different interpretations of gender and sexuality played in a way that feels more genuine than what is on network TV these days. Also, while season 1 is pretty white, season 2 added more people of color to the acting roster which makes me even happier. I really enjoying watching a diverse cast that better reflects the world I live in and Carmilla has paid attention to diversifying their lineup while still casting great actors.
So, what are you waiting for, start watching Carmilla already?! You can blow through season 1 in a couple hours, take a snack break for the holiday episode, then hunker down for the first 16 episodes of season 2. We are not quite to the halfway point in season 2 so there is plenty of time to get caught up and turn into an obsessive fan like myself! Really, Carmilla has one of the most passionate fandoms I have ever experienced and now you can be sucked into it with the rest of us!
Check out season 1 here: Carmilla Season 1