Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Honourable Mention: Carmilla (web series) - Season 1

Done in the form of a vlog, Carmilla was a web series based, obviously, on J Sheridan Le Fanu’s novel. The first season ran for 36 episodes (of roughly 2 – 4 minutes length per episode) and a 2014 Christmas special was also produced.

The series is less a reimagining of Carmilla and, I guess, one could almost call it a sequel. Carmilla (Natasha Negovanlis) describes her early years of undeath as a round of carriage crashes, becoming firm friends with a young lady post the crash and then handing her over to her vampiric “mother” but we get ahead of ourselves.

Elise Bauman as Laura
Laura Hollis (Elise Bauman) has started at Silas University, in Styria (why the Austrian University is full of North American students and has fraternities is never really touched on). Part of her degree is journalism and she wishes to investigate a prank in the library (this actually does resurface later) but when her roommate Betty (Grace Glowicki) vanishes after a social event, a disappearance that the college do not seem to care about, and is replaced by the mysterious Carmilla she senses a different story.

Carmilla is described as the roommate from Hell and, eventually, we do get evidence that she is a vampire. She sleeps late (as the original character did), goes out all night, can turn into a cat, has super strength and displays pyrokinesis. However the story takes things in a distinctly Lovecraftian bent with a cult worshipping an entity described as an eldritch light. And description is what we primarily get with Laura and others speaking to the vlog camera. To a degree this then becomes much like a radio drama in construction.

captured vampire
The lesbian undertone remains – although less an undertone and more, perhaps, matter of fact. The portrayal of men, however, is less than positive – with the two examples pretty himbo like Frat boys. But hey, perhaps it’s time that men got the treatment more often reserved for portrayal of female characters .

At the time of this article there are two IMDb pages, here & here. You can watch the series through their YouTube channel here.

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