So I spent the better part of the last two days binge-watching Carmilla seasons 1-3 instead of doing my copious amounts of homework or studying for my exams or even working on the group project, to which I was thrown under the bus as the group leader.
“A modern take on Sheridan Le Fanu’s gothic novella, Carmilla follows Silas University freshman Laura Hollis, as she investigates her the disappearance of her roommate while dealing with her odd, nocturnal and sarcastic new roomie Carmilla – who may or may not be a centuries-old vampiress. Mixing the camp of Buffy, the snark of Veronica Mars and the eerie quality of Welcome to Nightvale, Carmilla is a transmedia narrative that expands to fictional twitter and tumblr accounts to Wattpad storytelling.” -summary retrieved from IMDB
Ads, gifs, and pictures from this series constantly show up on my tumblr and I was finally procrastinating enough to want to check out this series to figure out what was going on with it and I’m glad I did.
The first and most important thing I have to say about this series is how wonderful it was to have such a plethora of representation. The main characters, Laura and Carmilla, are definitely lesbians and Laura is even openly a lesbian, as mentioned by her father in season three. Another main character, LaFontaine, is non-binary and uses they/them/their pronouns. LaFontaine is also incredibly smart and uses a lot of science to solve many of the concerns of the team during the three seasons. Perry and LaFontaine have an extremely powerful platonic relationship and LaFontaine seems to have issues with excessive personal contact. Mel is fun for her athleticism and dislike of Laura and Carmilla and it was highly amusing to watch her hunt Kirsch. Mattie was a wonderful character and I absolutely enjoyed her fashion and culture discussions while she made mass murder sound positively refined. The students all represented different organizations commonly found on college campuses and it was interesting to see them all interact.
I wasn’t really a fan of the vlog-style of story-telling at first but as the episodes carried on, I was mildly surprised at how much story and character this represented. The story was told entirely through the purposeful direction of the characters and this required very minimal special effects and set changes. The characters made a willful choice to interact or not with the potential audience, which meant they mostly had to describe events from their own perspective. This is kind of fascinating to me because without being able to witness certain events ourselves, the viewers are limited to what could be a series of unreliable narrators and the audience would never know. So I found it to be a rather fascinating method of telling the story.
Overall, I think I would rate this show as a high three on my rating scale or perhaps even a low four. All of the characters were very endearing and I really needed to see a story with multiple happy endings, both the return of an important friendship and ways for someone who believes in others to have a happy ending. And that redemption might actually be a thing. There were a lot of really moving moments and a lot of strong emotional considerations in this show. I think I’m going to see if it’s one of those things I can buy on dvd, as well as the Carmilla movie. I also think that if I can find the whole thing on dvd that I will happily purchase all of it and watch it again in the future. Possibly repeatedly.