Much as I love NMTD as my favorite adaptation of my favorite Shakespeare play, LBD for introducing me to the genre and the genre to the world, and so many other literary-inspired webseries for so many reasons, Lovely Little Losers will always be my favorite.
The premise is simple: Benedick, Balthazar, and Pedro (now going by Peter) from Nothing Much To Do are going to university in Wellington and living in a flat together with the lovely and awkward Freddie Kingston. Freddie and Ben decide to impose some order on the flat with a set of absurd flat rules that everyone has to follow, including a curfew, vegetarianism (and vegan Fridays), Ben getting to film everything, imposed flat bonding in the form of challenges, and the worst rule of all, no romantic relationships, aka no shenanigans.
The series is loosely based on Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost, but in reality there are only about five episodes that have anything to do with the plot of the original play. Apart from those moments, the inspiration mostly just creates the premise and the names of certain characters.
Freddie, Benedick, Peter, and Balthazar sign a bunch of ridiculous flat rules that at first seem like a good idea and quickly spiral out of control. Then Beatrice and Meg decide to road trip to Wellington, where, due to The Rules, they end of sleeping in a tent in the back garden along with Kit, another friend of the flat. It’s hard to say more about the actual plot without spoilers, since it’s barely revealed what’s been going on until almost the end (starting around “SARDINES” and going until “FEATHERS”), so I’ll move on to my other categories.
All actual episodes are posted on the Lovely Little Losers YouTube channel, with Ben as the main (unreliable) narrator, Meg as secondary (mostly reliable) narrator, and other characters (such as Beatrice and Peter) occasionally filming/uploading videos as well. Fifteen videos are devoted to “Balth in a Bath,” which was all filmed on the same day in February but is uploaded sporadically throughout the year. There are also between fourteen and seventeen song videos, depending on how you define “song” (more on that later). There are also a few extras on other YouTube channels that, while not technically part of the story, help illuminate things considerably (the channel I’m referring to here is Zoos Job, though there are also two videos on the Nothing Much To Do channel).
How to watch LoLiLo:
This is ordinarily not one of my categories, but in this case it is very necessary. You MUST read the video descriptions, and also check the comments section, to have ANY idea what’s really going on here, and even then most of it’s going to be subtext. You can watch the series either in the order it was intended to be watched in or in chronological order (which ruins a little of the mystery but averts a Zoos Job marathon later on. Links to both playlists are below). Keep in mind that Benedick is the narrator of nearly the whole thing, and that he is editing the content to fit his own agenda – the one @beatriceeagle calls “Project Birdy-Fingers.” This means that two-thirds of the love stories in LoLiLo are almost entirely hidden from the viewers and once again need to be read through subtext.
Off the charts dedicated. This series has a much more experimental style than NMTD – several episodes use more than one camera angle, nearly every episodes has multiple characters in it, and is frequently filmed over multiple days and edited into non-chronological order – but there is still always a reason for the camera to be there and always a reason, in-universe, for it to have been edited and uploaded the way it was. This dedication to realism made things that much more difficult for The Candle Wasters, but it also adds hugely to the value of the series.
As I mentioned above, many, many episodes of LLL are actually songs. The series has been referred to by many people as a “secret musical” because of this. 11 songs are almost entirely character development. “A Merry Note” was written by Shakespeare and was mostly The Candle Wasters being clever and making us think our ship had sailed. “Heaven in Her Lips” is a cute love song. “Stay” is secretly plot, though the lyrics also assist in understanding “one foot on sea one on shore one in the boiling hot lava,” which is the real first episode of LoLiLo. Then we get to the question of whether certain other videos are songs. “Berry Nice,” while a Balth in a Bath episode, is clearly a song. But what about “Beatrice and Ballads,” which is essentially the reprise of “Beatrice, You’re Vivacious”? What about “A Sonnet,” which, although not a song, is the inverse of “An Ode” and should therefore be included for the sake of symmetry? Of course, the numbers don’t matter, because the songs are amazing. The songs themselves were mainly written by Reuben Hudson, Elsie Bollinger, and Maude Morris, with some help from other writers, and are performed mostly by Reuben Hudson and Mouce Young, with help from most of the rest of the cast.
Very strong. Several characters are not white at all (Kit and Jaquie), and race just generally is a non-issue. LGBT representation is also great, especially for a pre-2016 webseries: Peter is now openly bisexual, Balthazar actually uses the word “gay” to describe himself, Paige and Chelsey are a lesbian couple who have basically the only functional relationship in the whole series, and the sexuality of several other characters (Kit, Freddie, Costa, Vegan Fred), is never defined, though I headcanon them all as bi. Though there are no disabled characters, there are extensive explorations of mental health issues, though as usual for The Candle Wasters, this is largely in subtext. Also, people actually talk about money in this and have realistic issues with money, which is a nice change from every other webseries I’ve seen.
Fantabulous, especially since The Candle Wasters had an actual budget for this series. As mentioned before, there are even episodes shot with multiple cameras THAT ACTUALLY WORK. Yay for realism and quality combined is all I can say.
My three favorite things about Lovely Little Losers:
1) My two favorite episodes, “RUSSIANFUDGE” and “ACCOSTED”
2) Balth in a Bath, because Balth in a Bath is perfect and innocent and lovely and actually includes a lot of exposition and character/relationship development that doesn’t exist anywhere else.
3) The fact that I keep getting more out of it on every rewatch – and I have now seen this thing in full ten times, though it’s been more like twenty for some episodes (”TEA,” “RUSSIANFUDGE”), and I have no idea how many times I’ve watched/listened to some of the songs.
Difficult things about Lovely Little Losers:
On first viewing it can be almost impossible to understand what’s going on almost all the time, and it can be easy to skip things because the series seems largely plotless. Do not give up hope! There is indeed a plot, but you have to hunt for it. If you finish the series and still feel confused or dissatisfied, I recommend a rewatch and @beatriceeagle and @marydebenham ‘s LLL rewatch metas, which have been invaluable for many the confused/dissatisfied viewer. It can also be frustrating that certain things (like apologies) are never said on camera, but we can blame realism for that.
All I can say is, despite its surface flaws, LoLiLo is not only my favorite webseries but also only of my favorite pieces of literature of all time. There’s so much here, in character, in content, and in theme, and I could talk about it for ages more than I already have. Although on first viewing I had no idea what to make of it, I now give LLL a solid and glowing 5/5 stars.
Maureen O’Hara (born August 17, 1920) passed away earlier today at ninety-five years of age after living the last few years with her grandson in Idaho. O’Hara, a no-nonsense Irish-American actress whose father frowned upon her dreams of becoming a stage actress, was one of the final surviving superstars of Hollywood’s Golden Age/height of the classic Studio System and leaves behind a body of work in which she is best remembered for playing headstrong, assertive characters that retained an extraordinary sense of warmth. O’Hara, as seen in the uppermost picture, received her only Oscar - an Honorary Academy Award - alongside Harry Belafonte, Jean-Claude Carrière, and Hayao Miyazaki last November (in that ceremony, Miyazaki, in his acceptance speech, remarked how ecstatic he was in finally meeting O’Hara).
Nine of the films she appeared in appear above. The names of the films follow (left-right, descending):
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939) - directed by William Dieterle; also starring Charles Laughton, Sir Cedric Hardwicke, Thomas Mitchell, and Edmond O’Brien
How Green Was My Valley (1941) - directed by John Ford; also starring Walter Pidgeon, Anna Lee, Donald Crisp, and Roddy McDowall; featuring music by Alfred Newman
Miracle on 34th Street (1947) - directed and written by George Seaton; also starring John Payne, Natalie Wood, Edmund Gwenn, Porter Hall, and Gene Lockhart
The Black Swan (1942) - directed by Henry King; also starring Tyrone Power
The Parent Trap (1961) - directed and written by David Swift; produced by Walt Disney and George Golitzen; also starring Hayley Mills, Brian Keith, Joanna Barnes, Charlie Ruggles, Cathleen Nesbitt, and Una Merkel
Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation (1962) - directed by Henry Koster; also starring James Stewart and Fabian
McLintock! (1963) - directed by Andrew V. McLaglen; also starring John Wayne, Patrick Wayne, and Yvonne De Carlo
Only the Lonely (1991) - directed and written by Chris Columbus; also starring John Candy, Ally Sheedy, Anthony Quinn, and James Belushi; featuring music by Maurice Jarre
The Quiet Man (1952) - directed and co-produced by John Ford; also starring John Wayne, Barry Fitzgerald, Ward Bond, and Victor McLaglen; featuring music by Victor Young and cinematography by Winton Hoch
Other films of note: Jamaica Inn (1939), Dance Girl, Dance (1940), Rio Grande (1950), The Wings of Eagles (1957), Spencer’s Mountain (1963)
Heyo! Good luck on yer midterms and other papers! I remember there being a mini writeup you did of the skelebros' dynamics... all I remember are US and SF though, being Finn/Jake and Calvin/Hobbes respectively. Do you remember the other two, and is the post in the lineup? And as a side note, whose dynamic is closest to the Mafiatale bros? :3
Warning, Gravity Falls spoilers below
The Undertale Bros are Bugs Bunny (Sans) and Daffy Duck (Papyrus). Daffy’s a little bit more of an asshole but the relationship is very similar.
The Fell bros are Stan and Ford Pines
As for the Mafia bros…..honestly I’m drawing a blank on this one. Somebody give me a hand?
Within my version Sans is still a lazy slob, but he’s also over-worked as hell as a negotiator and generally pretty stressed under his facade. He knows at any minute it could all go to shit and he’ll have to be the one to put it back together, unless he wants to watch his friends die in gang warfare. That said, he’s fairly charming and has the same fake smile as his Tale counterpart. Is okay with doing less than good things as a mafioso but tries to be a semi-decent person, at least.
Papyrus is a little more tied down than his Tale counterpart and has killed before (though he will avoid it whenever possible). But he’s still extremely optimistic and a touch on the romantic side. He’s a low level but with his close ties to Undyne its possible he’s due for promotion. A ray of sunshine, almost half his cut on a given job will go to street urchins.
The two have a good relationship, although Sans still drives Papyrus crazy with his bad jokes and rumpled clothes. They work as partners, more often than not, and Papyrus has often pulled Sans back from taking the easier, more violent route. Sans is continually thrown by his brother’s faith in people, even members of rival gangs, and while it has gotten them into trouble before, he wouldn’t have his bro any other way.