Home Featured Haters Back Off Review – Hate’s A Strong Word But…
Haters Back Off Review – Hate’s A Strong Word But…

Haters Back Off Review – Hate’s A Strong Word But…


I live in a pretty isolated YouTube bubble. I use it but I don’t quite get it! I mean I like making, producing and editing video content but I’ve never been caught up in the whole phenomenon of the Big YouTuber following. I write this because I just want to make it clear that I’d never heard of or watch a video by Miranda Sings. Miranda, a character developed and portrayed by Colleen Ballinger. The YouTuber takes her character from the video site to streaming service in a new Netflix series and Haters Back Off.

I spent the entire eight episodes, asking why?

Miranda is a home schooled, fame obsessed, talentless hack suffering from serious delusions of grandeur. Ballinger uses the series to explore the life of her YouTube character. The series looks at the people around her and just what Miranda gets up to on her quest for stardom. Miranda isn’t a likeable character but she is believable or at least we like to think these people exist so we can hate them. Miranda is a struggle, there are fleeting moments where we sympathise with her but those are quickly dispersed by another obnoxious outburst. Her family makeup the core of her social group and the cast.

Her mother, a hypochondriac looking for love and appreciation feeds her daughter’s delusions. Her uncle who clings to her in the hopes of rising to the top and realising his lost goals. Her sister overshadowed by everything she does with unrecognised artistic talents of her own. The boy next door who puts himself at the beck and call of the would be starlet in the hopes of winning her affection.
The supporting cast, in particular Angela Kinsey (The Office) are sublime in making us feel uncomfortable. They are the family we recognise but pretend we don’t know. To a point they feel very real and for me they wind up making the 8 episodes somewhat worthwhile.

You’ll want to end up forgetting Miranda. Ballinger never seems certain where she wants to take the character in this medium. Unsure if she’s the butt of the joke, the sympathetic loser or the pushy fame hog, flip flopping through them all. In her own right Miranda feels and looks like a genderbent PeeWee Herman. She is all in all a little too cartoonish and utterly unrelatable.  The series may have wanted to give fans of the YouTuber personality a chance to see her in a new light but it doesn’t come across well to newcomers. It’s the people around her  that I was drawn to and just how they’d react and handle Miranda’s latest scheme/outburst.

The series focuses on Miranda’s quest to achieve fame. A five point plan devised by her disturbingly devoted Uncle Jim (Steve Little) sees her rising to the top. It’s this plan and Miranda’s utter determination to make it happen that sees her caught up in upstaging a funeral, wrangling with a mattress queen and falling in love with the chiseled choir boy. Miranda might be the central character but it’s the path of destruction to stomps and smears with lipstick that makes the show.
Coming into the series, the fact I knew nothing of Miranda and her personality meant I didn’t know what to expect. The series pens itself as “surreal and absurd” and that it is but more not in a good way. It’s a strange, watch, not overly uncomfortable with some interesting and worthwhile performances. Unfortunately it doesn’t really go anywhere and never really finds its way by the end.
It’s not a drama, it’s not a comedy, it’s not a mockumentary, it’s not quite sure what it is. Haters Back Off is no Malcolm In The Middle! The slice of life is missing real substance which is a shame! I’d love to have seen more of her family but true to character Miranda hogs the screen time!

I can see the appeal for diehard fans of the Miranda channel and I did find myself falling in love with her family. I still can’t help but feel this was carried by the supporting cast, helping Ballinger shake off the YouTube glaze. Transforming a series from some webisode series into something that sits in a niche category on Netflix. Haters Back Off isn’t the greatest series ever made but there is something there that made me follow through on the eight episodes, you just need to drown out Miranda to find it!