Carmilla is a web series about a journalism major named Laura who’s trying to solve the mysterious of disappearing girls at her university, including her old roommate. With the help of her friends and her vlog, Laura soon discovered that her new roommate Carmilla may in fact be a vampire and may also be the person at the center of her mystery.
Carmilla is a youtube web series spawning two seasons with twitter accounts that tell stories in between seasons and extra footage here and there to add to the story as well. This review is going to talk about specifically the second half of season one, aka episodes 19-36.
If you’d like to start from the beginning click here.
The Review (Spoilers Ahead):
After watching the second half of season one I have to say it’s grown on me. I’m not in love with the show, but I’m enjoying it. Sadly, the worst thing about it to me is its main character. The writing and acting for Laura are terrible! I don’t like that I don’t like Laura, but that’s just how it is. The actress for Laura continuously acts terrible from anticipating lines before hers and responding too quickly to heavy-handed delivery of her lines. She’s just not good. She has her moments, but they are far too small in number.
That said, there is a lot of good in this second half. There was a noticeable change in directing and acting decisions that were very well done. Like the straw thing in episode 19, blocking in episode 32, or when Perry (played by Annie M. Briggens) decided to clean up in episode 25. Speaking of Perry, she and Lafontaine (played by Kaitlyn Alexander) really shined in this later section of the season. The actresses playing them are perhaps the most talented, which makes the characters my favorite. They get the best lines, besides Carmilla who gets her own set of witty one-liners and who is also doing an ok job of acting, and the whole Lafontaine being non-gender binary thing makes them even more interesting in my eyes.
In addition to the good job of directing and acting there was a good makeup job in episode 19 with a greyed out, starved Carmilla. Also, the fighting choreography was very well done in episode 21. That throat punch by Laura was probably the best thing she did all season.
All that said, there were some issues with the season (besides Laura). First off, they killed off one of the male characters! Now there’s only one! While both men got a little more development they were still pretty pointless to the story overall. When the vampire Will showed up I was so excited for a new guy, and then I realized he was the same guy from one or two episodes in part one of the season. That’s just how unmemorable he was before.
In addition, this whole vlogging thing is still a problem, but now for several reasons. First, it’s starting to become terrible storytelling. Yes it helps with the tight budget of this show, but it has missing parts like the library excursions and the whole fight at the chapel. I missed a vital climax of the story and then had to be told about it afterwards instead of seeing it for myself. Second, the vlogging creates the plot-hole of how are people watching it and not caring! Laura has documented proof of vampires. Why isn’t this a bigger deal? Why isn’t the Dean shutting it down like before or more people raising a stink about it? Vampires are real people! Tell the press, get the pitchforks! Don’t do nothing!
In addition to that, the fantasy aspect of the story is skyrocketing and not in a good way. First there were vampires, then there were giant mushrooms, then AIs and then demon light monsters! Too much happening too soon! I understand why Perry was having a breakdown, because the show wants us to just forgo any disbelief and just go with it all. This again makes me think how can people just not care or just take it all in so quickly. It’s completely world-breaking and unbelievable to me. The viewers and the characters need more time to process!
All that said, I don’t want you guys to think I hate the show CAUSE I DON’T! In fact, I kinda like it, but I want the show to stop being so sloppy all the time. I see the promise in this show, and I like most of the characters. I want to get to know most of them more, so I hope the show will get better. Here’s hoping it does in season two!
This second half of the season gets 3 out of 5 stars.
Where to watch: