Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Couple-ish 1x05 "Panic Mode" & 1x06 "The Partner Tag" (Using the Millennial Playground) [Contributor: Melanie]

"Panic Mode" & "Partner Tag"
Original Airdate: December 26, 2015

Last week’s batch of Couple-ish episodes saw the odd couple finally finding some common footing via a minor heart-to-heart over breakfast and a little bit of fun in their newest vlog update. We learn that Rachel, for an as-of-yet unknown reason, has been disowned by her mother back home, resulting in her need to remain in Canada. We also see more of Dee’s workaholic attitude when it comes to their work as an illustrator. Both instances create a moment of quiet understanding between two people who hate each other, but undeniably need each other. Which is probably the most fun dynamic to play with and see.

The other interesting bit we got we the first blatant reference to Dee’s gender identity. Kaitlyn Alexander confirmed via social media that future episodes will be solely devoted to Dee’s identity, in order to give this story element the time and attention it deserves (especially considering the personal connection many viewers may have to the plotline). But Dee asked for the gendered “Girlfriend” tag game to be renamed to the gender-neutral “Partner” tag. It doesn’t seem like much, perhaps, but it proves even the smallest moments in life aren’t always friendly to everyone. It was a nice moment, if born out of some unfortunate binary truths about the way society works.

The other nice thing this episode explored was the use of the Internet. This is one of the few webseries I’ve encountered that actively tries to break its own fourth wall. Carmilla came close as the actual audience that comprised the viewership on YouTube also became a part of the story as “Laura’s viewers,” and later her “private channel” when her videos were on lockdown. With this, the social media is more in-story but it creates an interesting commentary, referencing “Tumblr famous” blogs, subscribers, and view counts. Essentially, it comes to feel almost like one part metafiction on modern day internet media in addition to its two parts sitcom. This owes itself to Alexander’s extensive work as a YouTube personality on their own channel. And it’s working well in the story, which has a unique place among floods of webseries utilizing transmedia in ways The Lizzie Bennet Diaries made popular.

But in preparation for this week, here’s what went down last week...

The episode opens with Dee passed out on the floor and Rachel on the (semi)quiet prowl for breakfast. They have a bit of a disagreement over their current situation (again), where Rachel reveals her family has disowned her back in England. Amy arrives home to inform them their channel has gone viral after she posted the video on her Tumblr.

The next episode opens as another one of Dee and Rachel’s vlog updates, this time honoring 5,000 subscribers with a Q&A. The title “The Girlfriend Tag” ruffles Dee a bit, who asks they name it the “The Partner Tag.” After a few beers they begin delving into questions, making up answers as a game of revenge. By the end of the game they find themselves having fun before signing off.

Check the Couple-ish YouTube channel every Wednesday and Saturday for new episodes!


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