Sometimes the internet is an unfriendly place for women, especially geeky women. Let’s face it, much of the Nerderati is made up of guys, and while their gender in no way precludes them from making quality entertainment, it’s nice to see online media where women are at the forefront, with content that is not all about a lack of dudes. Whatever the female equivalent of bromance is, these web series have it in buckets.
Ghost Ghirls – The newest female-led web series on the list is bound to become a phenomenon, with all twelve of their first season episodes available now on Yahoo! Screen. I found out about this hilarious show about a pair of clueless ghost-busting gals wading through the paranormal through Ben Acker and Ben Blacker of the Thrilling Adventure Hour, and went through the whole season in one sitting. Populated with a ton of great guest stars, Ghost Ghirls is produced by Jack Black and stars Amanda Lund and Maria Blasucci. It’s beautifully shot and directed, and had me laughing out loud at the Scooby-Dooish antics of Heidi and Angelica. (Next season I hope to see a chase scene in a haunted house hallway with too many doors.)
The Guild – You’ve probably heard of The Guild, the web series about a group of gamers trying to function outside their MMORPG which turned Felicia Day into Queen of the Geeks. It’s won awards and stuff. As the show gained attention, momentum, and sponsorship, its seasons got more and more ambitious, the entirety of S5 taking place at a convention with more than a dozen cameos from beloved celebrity geeks. In addition to the regular series, the team behind The Guild has made three fantastic music videos for original songs: “(Do You Wanna Date My) Avatar,” which featured cosplay of their in-game characters, “Game On,” a Bollywood production number, and “(I’m the One That’s) Cool,” my personal favorite.
Feminist Frequency – Anita Sarkeesian is kind of my hero. As a media critic she’s hosted this web series about representations of women in popular culture for many years, and she regularly lectures at fan, media, and technology conferences, but it was in 2012 when she launched a Kickstarter campaign specifically to fund a series of videos about gender tropes in video games that she made a big splash. Sarkeesian found herself the target of a brutal harassment campaign that included threats of violence and rape. Instead of cowing to the internet bullies, she turned their hatred into a platform and is now a recognized voice in the area of combating online sexual harassment.
The Lizzie Bennet Diaries – This Emmy-award winning web series is a modern day vlog-version of Jane Austen’s classic, with Twitter accounts, Facebook posts, Tumblrs, and a devoted fan community all tied in to the story. 100 episodes (with more than 60 tie-in videos) follow media grad student Lizzie Bennet, whose biggest problems include student loans and an interfering mother, and her two sisters Jane and Lydia, as well as her best friend Charlotte Lu. Starring Ashley Clements, Julia Cho, Laura Spencer, and Mary Kate Wiles, this series really highlights the relationships among the women – though, of course, no adaptation of Pride and Prejudice could possibly exist without a Mr. Darcy. Having fallen in love with LBD, I can’t wait to see what the team turns out with Emma Approved.
Not Literally – The gals behind Not Literally put together great comedy sketch videos, but it’s their music video parodies that always make me smile. From the Hunger Games version of a Mulan song, to the Hogwarts House anthems “Gryffindors,” “Sorted This Way,”and “We R Slytherins,” to the impressively costumed “Character I Used to Know” song for Game of Thrones, Ginny and Dana continue to write and perform hilarious tributes to geek culture.
Team Unicorn – They are Clare Grant, Rileah Vanderbilt, Michele Boyd, and Milynn Sarley, and by their geek powers combined they are Team Unicorn, the creative geniuses behind superHarmony, A Very Zombie Holiday, Alien Beach Crashers, and For the Win. And you can be a part of the magic by joining the Unicorps – because, like unicorns, girl geeks aren’t supposed to exist.
Have other suggestions for web series that put ladies in the spotlight? Add them in the comments.