“Haters Back Off” Season Review

hatersbackoffFor the uninitiated, Miranda Sings is a combination of Napoleon Dynamite and Mary Katherine Gallagher from “Superstar.” I’ll admit I was only made aware of the Youtube comedy personality “Miranda Sings” about a year ago, and that’s due to the tributes by Youtube family “The Eh Bee Family.” Miranda Sings is a brutally deluded and creepy woman who spends a lot of her time performing and is a celebrity in her own mind. She’s the girl you’d likely see during opening auditions of “American Idol” back in 2001 who would argue incessantly with the judges after giving a heinous audition. After opting not to send her to Hollywood, she’d argue with them for twenty minutes before having to be escorted out of the room, and would likely force her way back in a few times begging for another song to sing. She’d then storm down the lobby swearing the judges knew nothing about singing.

Created by comedian Colleen Ballinger, Miranda Sings has reached the point where she’s earned enough fame for her own offbeat comedy series on Netflix. “Haters Back Off” is a surprisingly funny and weird sitcom starring Miranda Sings in full form. In the series, Miranda is a sheltered child in a woman’s body who was home schooled by her hypochondriac mother. Her best friend is her uncle Jim, a man who has an incredibly inappropriate relationship with his niece Miranda, with who he fawns over, and dotes over to the point where the pair can be mistaken as a couple. The incestuous overtones are intentional, and allow for some hilarious wordplay and unusual situations between Ballinger and very talented actor Steve Little. Jim is just as hopelessly deluded as Miranda Sings, which helps their quest for fame which, as you can imagine, reaches pit fall after pit fall.

Co-starring, there’s the great Angela Kinsey who is hilarious as Miranda’s hypochondriac mother. There’s Patrick a young man who is hopelessly in love with Miranda, and finally there’s Emily, Miranda’s sister, as played by Francesca Real. She’s the only normal member in the family who is hopelessly forced in to Miranda’s antics, whether she wants it or not. Oddly enough while Real is the only straight man in the whole series, her presence is a welcome anchor, as she balances out a lot of the rapid fire humor and weird antics by Miranda and her family. At one instance as the family argues over Miranda’s mother dating a local church worker, Emily simply sits silently, watching in amusement while eating a bowl of chips. “Haters Back Off” takes off pretty quickly as we get a quick introduction in to the character, and view her misadventures as a “celebrity” when her first video (hilariously misspelled “My Fist Video”) goes viral with over fifty views.

Along the way there’s Miranda hosting a disastrous meet and greet at a school (the sign is spelled “Meet and Great”), Miranda Sing’s battles with commenters on her video whom she labels as “Haters,” and her failed attempts to network, and land her first Hollywood gig. Ballinger’s series is gross, weird, and cringe inducing, but damn it’s so funny. Miranda Sings is such a petulant, and rotten character, but one you want to see more and more of as her series progresses. The writers come up with such off the wall comedy that even folks that have never seen a Miranda Sings video will find something to enjoy. Wisely, the first season is only eight episodes with the show never risking overstaying its welcome with audiences. I’m still not sure how long they can keep the character fresh and interesting season to season, but so far, “Haters Back Off” translates Ballinger’s character in to a more mainstream format very well.

Perhaps she might end up being another cult hero like predecessor Napoleon Dynamite.

Season One of “Haters Back Off” is now on Netflix.