By now you may have heard of the webseries Carmilla, which is an adaptation of the Gothic novel by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu. The buzz surrounding the series is for a good reason: It’s completely addictive. The updated Carmilla centers on college student Laura (a positively delightful Elise Bauman) who attends the creepy Silas University. When her roommate mysteriously disappears and is replaced by Carmilla (a perfectly cast Natasha Negovanlis), Laura sets off on a mission to expose the school’s dangerous secrets.
If you aren’t already a fan of the series, here are a few reasons why you should check out Carmilla.
1. It is perfect for bingewatching. So far, Carmilla has 20 episodes waiting for you to discover. The episodes are long enough to get you invested, but short enough to leave you wanting more.
2. If you loved Buffy and Supernatural, you’ll love Carmilla. Carmilla gives us Laura, a heroine who is easy to root for with her obsessive need to discover the truth, all the while being a digitally savvy college student. The series is most definitely influenced by Buffy, among others. According to writer/co-creator Jordan Hall, “I think of Carmilla as a love letter to Buffy and Veronica Mars and Lovecraft and Neil Gaiman and The Lizzie Bennet Diaries and Welcome to Nightvale– and to so many other things I adore for their richness and humour and post-modern irony.”
3. The cast has ridiculous chemistry. It’s rare to have an entire cast that clicks as well as the Carmilla cast does. This is particularly true in Laura’s interactions with her crush/T.A. Danny (Sharon Belle) and the mysterious and quite possibly vampiric Carmilla. (You’ll have to tune in to find out.)
4. It’s oh-so shippable. The series has already amassed an army of devoted shippers for both the Laura/Danny and Laura/Carmilla pairings. FYI, the Carmilla fandom has nicknamed itself Creampuffs. Also, the Carmilla team is totally on board with its ships and actively engages with fans, and showcases their fan art. Like this one!
Fan art by surimistick.tumblr.com
5. It has 36 episodes planned…and that’s just season 1! Originally, they were aiming for 100, but settled on the still impressive 36. Here’s Jordan Hall on how they managed Carmilla’s epic storyline: “As a writer, I’m a big fan of strong arcs and aggressive act turns–go big or go home, y’know? We essentially broke the episodes in one long Google Doc, then moved the whole mess into a huge spreadsheet to make sure all the various streams of narrative were tracking. In a lot of ways that spreadsheet was our writers’ room.”
6. Carmilla has lots of awesome ladies in front of and behind the scenes. A huge majority of the cast is made up women. Writers Jordan Hall and Ellen Simpson are at Carmilla’s helm, and the series is featured on the VerveGirlTv Youtube channel.
Natasha Negovanlis as Carmilla and Elise Bauman as Laura
7. This ain’t your granddaddy’s Carmilla. “We decided pretty early on that we didn’t want the story follow the original’s intent of being a cautionary tale of female sexuality. Laura’s shift from a victim to a young woman with her own agency came from this as well. We wanted to present a girl who had a great deal of self-confidence, but who maybe didn’t understand the world as well as she thought she does,” story editor/co-creator Ellen Simpson tells AfterEllen. So a young woman with autonomy, who likes girls and solves mysteries? Sign me up.
8. Gay ladies. I repeat, gay ladies. The show has at least three ladies who like ladies and two of them are leads! Yes, queer lady leads. With a tight and funny script, fantastic performances, and some serious shipping possibilities, Carmilla is must see. This week’s episode is a serious game changer, so it’s time to sink your teeth in and start from the beginning.