web series + wlw [1/3]

[middlemarch: the series, words from wilde, carmilla, away from it all, all for one, nothing like the sun, the emma agenda, lovely little losers]

made possible by @lgbtpluswebseries​‘ list of lgbt+ web series characters [x]

[full lgbtq+ representation gif series]

How many have you read?

The BBC estimates that most people will only read 6 books out of the 100 listed below. Reblog this and bold the titles you’ve read.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 Lord of the Rings - J. R. R. Tolkein
3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffeneger
20 Middlemarch – George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House – Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
34 Emma – Jane Austen
35 Persuasion – Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne
41 Animal Farm – George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving
45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding
50 Atonement – Ian McEwan

51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel
52 Dune – Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
72 Dracula – Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses – James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal – Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession – AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchel
83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web – EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
94 Watership Down – Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo


web series +  mlm

[middlemarch: the series, lovely little losers, the emma agenda, call me katie, the new adventures of peter and wendy, the better strangers, words from wilde, nothing like the sun]

made possible by @lgbtpluswebseries​‘ list of lgbt+ web series characters [x]

[full lgbtq+ representation gif series]

“Sometimes I have the strangest feeling about you. Especially when you are near me as you are now. It feels as though I had a string tied here under my left rib where my heart is, tightly knotted to you in a similar fashion. And when you go, I am afraid that this cord will be snapped, and I shall bleed inwardly.”
- Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë

All the Reasons to Watch Middlemarch: The Series

This series is one of the best LIWs I’ve ever seen. It has everything we all love about literary-inspired webseries, and then some. It also doesn’t have nearly enough subscribers yet, so I’m going to list some of these things in the hope that more people will go and watch this wonderful series.

1) High production values (for a webseries). Funding from Yale makes that sort of thing possible, and this show is very pleasing to look at.

2) Everyone has problems. All the characters are struggling with things, none of them are willing to admit their issues, and their struggles are all realistic and relatable. These are normal people with normal problems, and yet it somehow all feels so important.

3) A baking video gone wrong. Need I say more?

4) An angsty m/m ship whose obstacles to getting together have nothing whatsoever to do with either of them being closeted (huzzah!)

5) An adorable couple in which one person is female and the other is nonbinary. Did I mention they’re adorable?

6) Internship drama.

7) Conversations about art and the meaning of life and whether we should bother finding the meaning of life.

8) The most beautiful f/f ship I have ever laid my eyes on. Seriously, this ship is beautiful in every sense of the word.

9) They have actual merch for their fictional college and pizza place. How cool is that?

10) Interesting format (everything is being uploaded several months after it was filmed, with commentary from the characters looking back on things).

11) The catchphrase “Ladies, gentlemen, and otherwise,” which I freely admit to having stolen as the opening to my valedictorian address. Thanks for that :)

12) There’s just a lot of gay going on, and everyone is out, which is a nice change, though I still do think it’s important to show fictional characters coming out when that’s part of the story – it just doesn’t need to be part of every queer character’s arc.

13) Reuben Hudson’s singing in that one episode.

14) All the other music, which I will not list because I will forget people, but it’s all really good and really well-chosen. Sadly none of the characters sing, but the soundtrack makes up for it.

15) A relatable and highly flawed protagonist who we still root for even though she does all the wrong things. That is not easy to find.

There are more, but the bottom line is that MMTS is very well written, very well made, very well acted, and very, very gay. Go watch it if you enjoy any of these things (and I know all of you do).


web series +  asexual & ace-spec leads

[middlemarch: the series, the march family letters, away from it all, the blair goddess project, the glad game, the adventures of serena berg, hamlet the dame, all or nothing, the adventures of jamie watson (and sherlock holmes), nothing like the sun]

made possible by @lgbtpluswebseries​‘ list of lgbt+ web series characters [x]

[full lgbtq+ representation gif series]

“Most of us who turn to any subject with love remember some morning or evening hour when we got on a high stool to reach down an untried volume, or sat with parted lips listening to a new talker, or for very lack of books began to listen to the voices within, as the first traceable beginning of our love.” 

from Middlemarch by George Eliot

The Literary-Inspired Webseries Awards Have Some Issues

Now, I’ve been reviewing a lot of series that are up for the LIWAs this year, and I encourage everyone to go nominate and vote for all of these amazing and talented people, because they deserve credit for their work.

However, I have a lot of issues with the awards themselves, and I know that other people share them (often to the point of refusing to participate).

The main issue is the categories themselves. Costume and set design are combined into one award. There’s no music award, no directing award, no cinematography award. Then there’s the gender issue. The genre is progressive enough about gender these days that we should be able to have labels other than “actor” and “actress,” right? As it currently stands, it’s basically impossible to nominate nonbinary or genderfluid actors playing nonbinary or genderfluid characters in any category other than “best chemistry.”

Then there’s the issue of the voting. I like the idea of audience nominations, and even of audience voting, but there’s a clear bias in favor of series with larger fandoms. I don’t want to see one series win eighty percent of the awards again this year, and it’s hard to know how to prevent that and make the voting process fairer while still also keeping it democratic. 

To highlight the problems a little, let’s look at how many people are actually watching what:

Bright Summer Night was the most-viewed webseries of last year, with an average of 7-8,000 views per episode, sometimes many more (this is still way below The Candle Wasters other series, which is in itself an interesting phenomenon).

The New Adventures of Peter and Wendy Season Three, while not eligible for these LIWAs, is the other massive view winner, with similar numbers (so far nothing surpassing about 9,000 views, but it’s still happening in real time and it’s been a while since Season Two).

The Cate Morland Chronicles, one of the best series this year, appears to still have a viewership of fewer than 1500 people, despite being made by the creators of Lily Evans and the Eleventh hour. Nothing Like The Sun has very similar numbers.

The Adventures of Serena Berg, although the owner of a very active fandom, actually has very few viewers – about 200 individuals.

Project Green Gables, another fan favorite that deserves many awards, is currently averaging about 800 views per episode.

Twelfth Grade (or whatever) is a few months old now, so many episodes have massive numbers of views, but the number of individual viewers seems similar to those of The Cate Morland Chronicles and Nothing Like The Sun – around 1600.

Away From It All is being hailed as one of the best literary webseries ever, but it still only gets about 800 views per episode.

(Also, just realized I should mention Poe Party, which has about 40,000 views per episode but seems to belong to a different part of the internet despite clearly being an LIW and starring a lot of the cast of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.)

Why are the numbers so wildly different? Bright Summer Night and The New Adventures of Peter and Wendy have name recognition and budgets, which helps, and that’s where a lot of their views come from. The New Peter Wendy fandom is actually considerably less active than those for a lot of the smaller webseries because so many people from outside of the community are making up the viewers. 

The Candle Wasters still dominate LIW fandom world, but BSN hasn’t gotten much fan attention, and it’s really hard to know how to nominate the actors when there are so many point-of-view characters and when some characters and actors don’t conform to the gender binary.

A lot of people don’t enjoy watching in real time, and so they’ll wait until a whole series is finished and then binge it. This is likely happening with Project Green Gables right now. The views will likely go up massively after the end of the season, just as they did after Nothing Like The Sun finished. The Emma Agenda will likely have a similar viewer situation.

There’s also the question of simply getting caught up – I only discovered The Adventures of Serena Berg three weeks ago, and then I spent several days binging before I could be caught up. 

The third reason I think contributes to low viewership on good series is unfamiliarity with the source text. I haven’t watched Away From It All or Middlemarch, the Series yet because I haven’t read the books they’re based on, even though I know I’ll love both series when I do watch them. I suspect a lot of other people are doing the same thing with those two series, and possibly also with The Adventures of Serena Berg.

So what’s the solution? We can’t say that everyone who watches LIWs has to watch all of them, but perhaps voting in the LIWAs should be done by people who have seen all of the nominees, in order to ensure that voting happens on the basis of quality and not popularity. At this point in time, I’m not sure that’s possible – and I’m not sure it ever will be with the community as it stands now.