virals-series

Everything Comedienne Quinta Brunson Does Goes Viral

Quinta Brunson never imagined she’d become a real-life Spider-Man.

No, she doesn’t crawl walls and she doesn’t have enhanced strength or speed, but her love for Spider-Man as a child set the groundwork for her passion for creating good work to help others visions come to life. “I’ve always been into helping others,” she tells ESSENCE. “I never set out to be an inspiration, I just try to make good work. I [just] want to drink water and not hurt people.”

Watch any of Brunson’s Buzzfeed videos (we recommend Seeing Your Ex In Public) and you’ll see one of the brand’s youngest content creators (she’s only 27, y’all) doing her thing in a powerful way.

Brunson isn’t your typical writer or video producer. She’s more than that. Her focus is to blur the lines between digital and TV. Her viral Instagram series “The Girl Who’s Never Been on a Nice Date” put her on the map, giving her the opportunity to become the development partner at Buzzfeed and even create three shows, and even sell one entitled "Broke,” to YouTube Red.

She’s also a unicorn—she’s a Temple University drop out who appears on a Forbes 30 under 30 list, but she remains humble. “I’ve removed the thought that I’ve made it because it keeps changing,” she says. “Thinking I’ve made it would stunt my growth.

Although the Philadelphia-native has accomplished a lot, Brunson has yet to work with Chris Rock, who tops her list of comedians she’s dying to work with. “Chris Rock is so amazing to me,” she says. “ He does an excellent job at storytelling—he’s done what they say a Black man couldn’t do.”

Brunson’s incredible command of the craft is apparent, but she’s also happy and willing to offer words of advice for future Instagram stars looking to create a viral video.

“It needs to be shocking, and plain ol’ fun to watch,” she says. “Relatability is huge. Remember, people want to see themselves in something.”

Spoken like a true superhero.

(Post Terminal)

She had almost immediately asked the others if they had noticed anything about having bright blue eyes. Tory had developed a general hypothesis, but she needed to know that she wasn’t alone in the mystery.

With relatively positive answers, it was all she could think about during the school day, and it dragged on forever until she was alone with the boys and they could actually talk about what they guessed was happening.

(”Unless if we’re all just imagining it,” Hi had teasingly suggested.

He had elected not to respond to Ben’s even stare.)

With Coop nearby they had started experimenting to determine what all was happening with what they termed to be ‘icing’ as opposed to ‘flaring.’ It was more consistent, more connected, and arguably less obvious. Sure, it was going to take some adjusting to being able to communicate that much more quickly and in some respects they felt they weren’t as developed as with flaring, but the Virals weren’t over.

They’d been given a new start, Tory reflected as she and Coop played, and that meant everything.

Random Virals Headcanons
  • One time Ben called Hi “Bye” for a week when he was annoyed at him. The only reason he stopped was because Hi found N’SYNC’s song Bye Bye Bye and played it nonstop for the next hour
  • Hi says “Jesus Christ” a lot
  • Actually he’s just constantly forgetting he’s supposed to be Jewish in general
  • Shelton is the tech L O R D but Tory owns his ass in video games
  • She just owns them in general honestly
  • One time when teasing Tory and Ben about their future kids Hi said, “Yeah, and me and Shelton will be their gay uncles!” and nobody mentioned it at the time but Shelton couldn’t stop thinking about it for weeks
  • I really feel as though Shelton is on the aro/ace spectrum omg does anyone else get demiromantic vibes?
  • Whitney cornered Ben about Tory once and she called Tory her daughter by accident
  • When Ben mentioned it in passing to Tory she was super embarrassed
  • (He was actually really scared)
  • But during that conversation Whitney learned Ben’s favorite food
  • Which Tory didn’t know at the time
  • So she was really insistent that Tory learn the recipe
  • And they cooked together and then she’s like “oh there’s too much why don’t you take some over to that boyfriend of yours?”
  • Whitney is not dumb don’t even think for a minute she is
  • Ben jokingly asks Tory to marry him
  • Hi has proposed to Tory more than once and one time she said yes and Ben just threw something at the two of them
  • (her apology to Ben was a really hot make out session after until she mentioned Hi which was n o t a good move)
  • Madison has a secret Tumblr that nobody knows about and she and Tory are mutuals
  • One time she posts a super artsy picture of Tory from the back and Tory recognizes it
  • Madison 200% is a good photographer I mean she was part of the Tri-Pod (get it that was a really bad pun)
  • There’s no mention of it after but for Madison’s birthday Tory and Ella pitch in to get her a digital camera
  • (because Ella and Madison eventually become friends honestly Tory needs all the girlfriends she can get)
  • Jason is bisexual
  • Morris Island is pretty much only accessible by boat which is super inconvenient but also leads to a hell of a lot of texting
  • But also if Tory hangs out with Ella or Madison after school it morphs into a sleepover
  • One time she forgets to remind Kit though and he calls her but she left her phone like downstairs or something and doesn’t pick up
  • He goes to Ben like ??? is she here???
  • Ben’s like “what no it’s a sleepover”
  • Super awkward exchange honestly
  • Like Kit is like oh right I forgot
  • (wait why did I think she’d be sleeping over at Ben’s house what was I thinking OH MY GOD WHAT IF SOMEDAY SHE SAYS SHE’S GOING TO ELLA’S BUT SPENDS THE NIGHT WITH BEN)
  • Awkward father 11/10
  • After that he resolves that it’s a better idea to check with Hi or Shelton
  • Remember how in Code they mention that there’s like 6 Tumblrs devoted to the trial with the Gamemaster?
  • Well Tory follows all of them and one of them starts shipping her and Ben and she just sends in an anonymous ask like why? and gets like an MLA formatted 10 source 15 paragraph research paper
  • (not actually but it’s a super long list of reasons)
  • She sees one of them that she hadn’t considered and the next time she meets Ben she becomes hyper aware it’s super awkward and then she finally tells him
  • (another hot make out session until she mentions that the Tumblr account would love to see it and b a m bad move Tory is the queen of killing the moment)
  • One time the Trinity and the pack are talking and Will says something and Shelton just is like, “Will Speckman, what the heck, man?” and that becomes a meme
  • M E M E S
  • Hi is the king of memes
  • He is the meme lord
  • He threatens to wear a dat boi costume to some event
  • Just honestly man what a dude
  • Ben is secretly a Buzzfeed addict
  • Like you know that thing where it’s like “What are you looking at?” “[taking a Buzzfeed quiz to find out what candle I am] Porn.”
  • That’s him
  • Conspiracy t h e o r i e s
  • Nobody knows about their new flaring abilities which is really annoying
  • But at the same time it leaves a lotta room for headcanon
  • Like I’ve headcanoned them before but I will again it’s most certainly not Terminal but it makes things weird
  • Because they’re trying to make sure they don’t get bloodwork or anything
  • ANYWAY super fast forward to years in the future
  • And they can’t go see doctors for normal problems
  • They get used to it but like
  • P r e g n a n c y
  • But because of this I feel like Shelton would totes go through med school
  • ‘Cause you know our man is way smart and can do it
  • Like can you imagine going to the doctor
  • “Shelton I think she’s in labor” “It’s Braxton-Hicks go away I’m busy Ben”
  • Anyway Kit texts his daughter, y’know,  a reasonable amount
  • Hi decides to teach him some abbreviations
  • Except he teaches him them wrong
  • Like he tells Kit that “smh” stands for “so much hate” and not “shaking my head”
  • Kit uses one for the first time and Tory replies with something like “no dad that’s wrong smh”
  • “Smh? You hate me?”
  • “Who taught you text speak???”
  • He never trusts Hi again
  • The guys have a group chat without Tory and it’s all well and good but they name it weird things
  • One day Tory is sending herself a message from Ben’s phone and she accidentally exits and she’s like ??? why is there a chat labelled “Ben can’t satisfy in bed” and why did the name just change to “Ben can’t even get a girl to bed” and why is the most recent message “lol true”?
  • She tentatively opens it up and when she does the next message pops up “Maybe that’s why Tory’s so grumpy all the time”
  • She never tells Ben she read it but she makes an off-hand remark and Shelton just turns to her, aghast, and is like “Please say you didn’t read all of the messages.”
  • She’s like what the hell have they talked about on there?
  • The entire group chat is just guys being dudes
  • But the part Shelton doesn’t want her to read is where he said he kind of wanted to be a gynecologist and 2 hours later he still hadn’t heard the end of it
  • HI/BEN/SHELTON GROUP CHAT SOMEONE WRITE A FIC ON THAT
  • I would kill for that honestly
  • This list is so long I hate you Kathy and Brendan Reichs for leaving so much out of the books
  • But hOnEsTlY give me a sequel or give me death

1920s Helton AU: Hiram, as an up and coming journalist from the South, who’s come to New York for his big break. Shelton as the jazz player he meets in a speakeasy in Harlem, their eyes meet across the room and its not love at first sight, no, but it feels inevitable.

Just imagine that, the soft tentative brushes of fingers, the lingering glances when the other thinks they aren’t looking, the reverent whispers in the dark. I have to go right now immediately.

“Tell me why, Ben. Why would you want to trick us in the first place?”

Ben stopped pacing. Looking directly at me. “Don’t you know?”

I shook my head, confused.

To impress you, Victoria Brennan.” His voice cracked. “I wanted you to think I was special.”

Oh, Ben.

He’d started this madness… for me?

I missed the last part of Virals Appreciation Week (I think) so here have a Bluenan edit as an apology

Hey Virals fandom!

Would any of you be interested in doing anything related to Valentine’s Day, kind of like a mini week? Some content suggestions include Virals themed valentine cards and fic/art/etc. for your favorite relationship of the series!

I’d propose the tag #ViralsValentines if anyone is interested in doing something with this! 

Shelton’s head reared back, his mouth opening to protest. Then he shut it with a thoughtful expression. Hi was already nodding. “This would make a badass clubhouse. A place where we control the rules for a change. Super best friends need a sweet place to congregate. For book club. And snacks.”
His lunatic rambling was oddly touching. “Is that what we are?”
Hi looked confused. “Huh?”
Now it was my turn to blush. “Super best friends.”
Hi froze a beat, then barked a laugh. Embarrassed, Shelton began studiously cleaning his glasses.
I looked at Ben. He cracked the first smile I’d seen from him.
“Of course, Tory Brennan.” Hi thrust out a hand, palm up. “Bring it in. Morris Islanders have to stick together.”
Ben added his hand to Hi’s. Then Shelton.
All three looked at me, grinning like monkeys. Waiting.
I damn near cried.
—  Excerpt From: Kathy Reichs & Brendan Reichs. “Shock.”