Haters Back Off is a perfect example of a web series that doesn't need the full TV treatment
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THE SHOW: Haters Back Off, Season 1, Episode 8 (Netflix)
THE MOMENT: The false poignancy
Miranda Sings (series creator Colleen Ballinger), who believes she’s destined to be a star and ignores all evidence to the contrary, is on stage belting out I Will Always Love You in her nasal over-tremolo. Owen (Dylan Playfair), the singer she adores, cuts her off.
“That was so funny, that was a little joke I wanted to play on you,” he says.
The audience sighs with relief.
Owen asks Miranda for the engagement ring he gave her backstage, to hold until he proposes to April. Miranda thought the ring was for her; she won’t let it go. They tussle.
Owen proposes. April accepts. The crowd claps. “Stop clapping!” Miranda orders.
The audience titters.
“Why are you laughing?” she screeches. “Why is it funny that someone would love me?”
I’ll tell you why: You forgot to give yourself even a single redeeming quality.
Haters Back Off is one of several new shows that began life as a web series. But unlike HBO’s High Maintenance and Insecure, this idea is way too thin to stretch from two minutes to 30.
Miranda is grating in a webisode; in a full episode, she’s obnoxious. And through an entire season, as she terrorizes her family, remains doggedly ignorant, and simply repeats those notes over and over, she’s unbearable. It’s a mistake a lot of TV shows are making: confusing a flawed character with a total jerk.
You can’t give us eight episodes of a one-note monster, and then suddenly expect us to care when she cries in the rain.