Alright, who’s going to gif I Ship It / LWL parallels? because those are the only lady-rocks-a-battle-of-the-bands videos I know of.

Omg I do not have time to rewatch Little White Lie right now but I’ve been wanting to for months and now I really want to. Here’s the playlist just to tempt people. 

I Ship It


There were lots of lines of dialogue in I Ship It that I loved.

However, the line I’ve spent the most time thinking about is not one that initially jumped out at me as being clever. It’s not a line that made me smile. Ostensibly, it’s an ordinary line.

(And now the word “line” has ceased to feel like a meaningful word…)

"You know, we’ve never been single at the same time before."

What I like is how much information is packed into it.  Zoe and Charlie have been friends for a while (but probably not since childhood). They’ve had a strictly-platonic friendship, because one of them has always been romantically unavailable. 

It implies that they have both been through break-ups before, so this is not their first relationships that they’re recovering from, and it’s not the first time they’ve support each other through break-ups, either. In a lot of ways, they’re in a place they’ve been before - one of them talking about their relationship woes, the other listening - but it’s not familiar, because all those other times, only one of them has been single.

"You know, we’ve never … before" tells us that Zoe and Charlie have history, and it tell us something of their history.

Moreover, that line isn’t just a statement, an observation. It reminds them that this situation is different to other times. It raises questions about the status quo of their friendship… are they platonic friends because that’s all they want to be (and are suited to being) or are they simply platonic friends because they haven’t previously had the opportunity to be anything else.

Then there’s the way Zoe says it. With surprise and a frown, as if this has just occurred to her. As if she hasn’t ever considered Charlie as anything other than a purely platonic friend before.

And the way Charlie doesn’t really react. He mumbles acknowledgement. She’s turned to look at him but he doesn’t meet her gaze. It’s possible to read lots of things into this - it’s very open for interpretation - but I think it indicates that he’s at least thought before about what could maybe happen if he and Zoe were both single, even if he’s only thought about it in passing.  

On the surface I Ship It is about how Zoe and Charlie respond to their respective break-ups and the wizard rock battle, However, I’d ague that the underside of that story is about how they both respond to "You know, we’ve never been single at the same time before”.


One of my favourite things about NMTD is that Ursula is the solution to every problem.
How will we explain the existence of ‘The Story’ playlist? Ursula.
Who could film this video? Ursula.
How do we include this important plot point? Ursula.

In conclusion Ursula is perf.

I know I’ve reblogged this before, but this time I have commentary! Has anyone read Robertson Davies’s Fifth Business? Ursula strikes me (at least in NMTD) as very much in the role of fifth business (although perhaps the watch are the fifth business more in Muchado). 

I found a quote from the RD book via Goodreads although I’m not sure if the book it refers to actually exists or it was created for the purpose of the novel.   

Fifth Business…Definition

Those roles which, being neither those of Hero nor Heroine, Confidante nor Villain, but which were nonetheless essential to bring about the Recognition or the denouement, were called the Fifth Business in drama and opera companies organized according to the old style; the player who acted these parts was often referred to as Fifth Business.

- Tho. Overskou, Den Danske Skueplads

  • Bea: Hey Ursula told me Balthazar likes Pedro!
  • Balthazar: Wtf I helped your boyfriend play you a love song and this is how you repay me?

anonsally replied to your post “I seem to have ended up purchasing cough drops with motivational…”

How big are these cough drops?!

Ahahahaha no they’re on the wrappers wow such cold brain go me.

imaginarycircus replied to your post “I seem to have ended up purchasing cough drops with motivational…”

While you are coughing your head off—here’s an inspirational thought for you to immediately forget because you’re just so damn happy you stopped coughing.

Yeah I’m at the congestion stage not the coughing stage and they unfortch don’t have as much menthol as I was hoping (or maybe any? I can’t tell, they’re advertised as vitamin C but sometimes the vit C ones have menthol too).   

mollyscribbles replied to your post “I seem to have ended up purchasing cough drops with motivational…”

oh yeah, halls is kinda neat that way. Though it can be seen as somewhere between ‘that’s stupid’ and ‘that is awesome’ depending on the degree of loopiness your cold has you at, IME

I mean, my reaction was “must tell tumblr” so. I’m not sure what that says about my cold-loopiness levels. 

I seem to have ended up purchasing cough drops with motivational quotes on them. So…that’s a thing.



And then the next day…

Internal awareness of storytelling in webseries versus traditional media, or, What 4th wall?


In October 2014, Beatrice Duke, Hero Duke and Benedick Hobbes watched through (and livetweeted) their own videos and those from their friend Ursula’s channel. Except Beatrice, Hero, Benedick and Ursula are fictional characters, and the videos they were watching are the show Nothing Much to Do as we have been watching it for many months. The playlist that we use to track the channels became, for the characters, a playlist organized by Ursula. The mysteries of their lives were suddenly exposed. "Holy f*** this was online?!" Beatrice exclaimed during a particularly revealing moment on Ursula’s channel, suddenly realizing how much drama could have been averted by simply watching all these videos when they came out (as the viewers did).

Many modern webseries take advantage of transmedia and new media in general to further their story. In the Lizzie Bennet Diaries, much of the story revolved around the “secret” of Lizzie’s vlogs, and keeping them hidden from certain people. Slowly, characters became aware of Lizzie’s videos through different means, and thus were able to move the story forward. Caroline’s awareness enabled her to manipulate various aspects of the situation, Darcy’s exposure allowed him to better understand Lizzie and himself, and ultimately even the final moments of the show touch on the matter (however humorously).

The Autobiography of Jane Eyre took this a few steps further, having an entire episode devoted to Jane introducing her new friend to her story. This episode cast Jane’s previous videos as both a documentation of her experiences until that point and a subtle criticism of it. Mary questions certain plot points (“why is there blood?”), views the character development sharply (“oh, you like him”) and ultimately reflects the audience experience.

AoJE referenced on multiple occasions the complicated double-nature of Jane’s videos (when Rochester first discovers them, at the show’s end, etc.), but it also struggled at times with balancing realness and plot. Rochester’s insistence on uploading certain videos became suspect at some point and little moments that weren’t cut began to seem like they were truly geared towards an audience, not reflective of the vlogger herself.

Many modern webseries have stumbled quite seriously at this point, most obviously Emma Approved. In that show, the ambiguity of the filming and editing made certain scenes feel distinctly scripted and unbelievable. In essence, Emma Approved resembled The Office much more than it did shows like AoJE or NMTD - there are moments that clearly stretch the credibility of the medium, but the endgame addresses the medium (and some of its inconsistencies) explicitly.

The comparison to The Office is an important one for me. Throughout its (long) run, The Office gradually let go of the restrictions of the “documentary” style. There were scenes that could not have been filmed, cameras in places that made no sense, situations where it was no longer possible for the “filming” crew to remain behind, and ultimately the structure became a background idea. There were a few minor points at which the medium became relevant throughout the series, but a clear addressing of the “documentary” only arose at the show’s end. The discussion - of what’s edited, what ends up included in the story, the purpose, etc. - proved to be one of the strongest ideas the show ever dealt with. In addressing the character’s internal awareness of their own story, the show made its medium credible once again. The Office is one of the only shows that has ever explicitly dealt with the question (that I’m aware of) of who is telling the story and why.

Which leads me back to NMTD. NMTD distinguished itself by having different channels with clearly defined objectives. Unlike Emma Approved (which used a second channel for specific videos that were actually published, in a manner that ended up being extremely confusing to fans), NMTD made clear from the beginning who was watching which channels, and who was showing what to whom. There is a constant acknowledgement of where and why certain characters have not seen certain videos. Videos are edited with care according to the character uploading the video (and often explained in the video description). Problems are addressed within the story. While it’s legitimate to argue about the effectiveness of these excuses (and whether or not they don’t stretch credibility somewhat as well), there is no doubt that they clear up many of the confusing aspects that trip up bigger productions.

And then finally, moments before the show is due to end, the characters walk straight through the 4th wall and watch all the videos, livetweeting every step of the way. Like Mary in AoJE, they too question certain unbelievable aspects, but they also add extra commentary. They fill in the gaps (certain missing scenes that viewers had eagerly waited for), they speak to their audience, and they simultaneously remain in character the whole time. No 4th wall after all. More than that, the experience is an optional experience - many viewers do not track Beatrice’s rarely updated Twitter account, and will never read these tweets.

Part of the appeal of vlog webseries is their realistic nature: we connect on a personal level with the characters, convincing ourselves that they’re real people. The various aspects of transmedia flesh these characters out further, distinguishing them even more from traditional media. The “meta” moments in which the characters wink at the audience thus walk the fine line of acknowledging realism problems (pulling us out of the story) and telling the story as it ought be best told. Some shows are upfront about everything (interestingly, these are the shows with teenage characters, like NMTD or Green Gables Fables), while other shows live in a more traditional ambiguous realm (Frankenstein M.D.).

Most normal TV shows don’t have internal character awareness (Community is the obvious exception). Many webseries opt for the TV style as well, even if they add different tricks to make it feel more intimate (The New Adventures of Peter and Wendy, for example). My personal taste remains loyal to the new realism form, where it’s possible to simultaneously tell a story and have everyone aware that the story is being told. I’ve found it to be more interesting, and certainly more thought provoking.


Something I find really interesting is just watching Ursula’s projects one after another instead of watching the whole series. It is still kind of a complete adaption of Much Ado About Nothing which is really strange. The tone is totally different and it feels like a cool artsy production but all the main plot points and tensions are still there. (save for john but allow me this). The best word I can use to describe it is minimalist (but I’ve only ever seen that in the context of character posters so idk but that feels right).

It’s so coooool it really gets you thinking about adaptions. Anyone with knowledge on MAAN could watch just the Ursula videos and if told it was the full production would probably believe it.

"No wonder he was so good with horses, I thought blearily, feeling his fingers rubbing gently behind my ears, listening to the soothing incomprehensible speech. If I were a horse, I’d let him ride me anywhere."

(Source: littledovess)