This week I am delving into some web series that I have already previously discussed in some capacity on The Nerdy Girl Express. I absolutely adore both I Put the Bi in Bitter and Barbelle, both of which I covered in Fangirl Freakouts videos, and second seasons of both released earlier this year. I know I’m a bit behind in talking about them, especially since I covered roughly the first half of Barbelle Season Two a while back, but I am here and ready to gush.
I want to start with the series I promised to do follow-up for after I released my original video about the first portion of the season. In the new season of Barbelle I previously highlighted how great the comedic elements were, but I wanted to give time to focus on the more emotional and socially connected points. While Alice and Veronica are dealing with their own relationship journey, the characters in Lulu’s group are also coping with a variety of their own issues. Lulu was previously outed by Veronica and her parents have not handled this new information well. Her mother is following her social media, but the two aren’t really communicating and when they do Lulu feels misunderstood and ostracized. Her family was so close prior to this outing that this push from her parents has her floundering to understand what is happening. This relationship does get better with time and with a little bit of help from an unexpected source, but Lulu does spiral a bit in response to all of this upheaval in her life.
Her bandmates Sandrine and Gerard are also working through their own emotional journeys outside of their connection to Lulu. Gerard’s story is a sort of coming out, which he trusts Sandrine with. He reveals that he is actually a werewolf and has not told anyone before. While that isn’t a traditional coming out it is a still a journey of opening up to someone about a deep personal truth. Sandrine’s story is heartbreaking and ties into the #MeToo movement. After a photoshoot with a woman named Tommy, Sandrine is asked to spend time with her one on one. As an up and coming performer she is flattered and agrees to stay later than the other members of the band. Wine is brought out and Tommy begins taking pictures, she then asks Sandrine to take her clothes of. Sandrine reluctantly agrees, though specifically makes Tommy agree that the pictures won’t be released. The dynamic is uncomfortable and based on Tommy’s previous actions it feels very predatory. When Sandrine is finally able to leave Gerard is waiting for her and says he smelled a predator. Later in the series the photos of Sandrine are made public and Alice and Veronica both think something is very wrong. When they talk to Sandrine they learn what happened and Veronica reveals Tommy also did something like this with her. At that point the entire main cast decides that they need to take Tommy down. While there are still moments of levity, the end of the series is tremendously thought provoking and pushes you to think. I highly applaud Karen Knox and Gwenlyn Cumyn for their decision to include this in the new season.
Delving back into comedy, I Put the Bi in Bitter, which is a short, sweet, and hilarious web series from Sad Girl Productions, released a second season recently. A third season is already planned, which is tremendously exciting, but back to the episodes that are already out. The second season starts after a school break and while Sam and Naomi technically started dated they haven’t really spent much time together during their time away from school. While they were active on social media, they never initiated any in person hangout time. Alex, Sam’s best friend, tries to understand why that was the case, and while she doesn’t say it I think that some of what motivated this time apart was the fact that Sam is still not out to her mom. That isn’t to say she hasn’t tried, but in Season One she really didn’t think she should have to come out as bisexual, but her mom hasn’t picked up on her subtle hints about her sexuality and relationship with Naomi. With school back in session Naomi and Sam pick back up on spending time together and this culminates in an adorable promposal-esque moment (it is actually a Sadie Hawkins dance, but promposal describes it a bit better), even though Alex is super anti-dance. Beyond the big dance ask, Sam finally is able to have a frank discussion with her mom about her sexuality and who she is dating, which was so sweet. They also decided to have an episode focused on parents, which was really interesting to see within the context of what we knew about the younger characters already.