Haters Back Off ☺ TV Show Review


Written by Tia

I love Colleen Ballinger, but I don't like her alter-ego/parody character Miranda Sings. At least, I didn't until I watched her show.

Because I've been following Colleen's YouTube channel for a while now, I knew she had a show coming out, which she had been working on for a while with her brother Chris Ballinger. I've always thought Colleen seemed extremely hardworking, honest, and kind, so I thought I'd watch Haters Back Off because I wanted to support her—but boy did I not give her the full credit she deserved.

Haters Back Off is really clever. It's touching. It's shot well, color graded well, edited well, acted well, written well—man, it impressed the hell out of me! I did go in with somewhat medium-low expectations, predicting Miranda would annoy me out of watching, but I feel I would have liked it just as much if I'd expected it to be as great as it turned out to be. And you bet I cried at the end! (Although, to be fair, I cry pretty easily.)

The Ballingers took annoying, sometimes despicable characters—basically: Miranda and her Uncle (Steve Little), who I've always seen as cast in a negative parodic light on YouTube—and humanized them in an incredibly fluid, realistic, and occasionally heart-wrenching way. Then there were the other, more normal characters—essentially the victims of Miranda's fame-hungry, cruel side—who created a full world around her and had me sympathizing with them each time Miranda would act out. But what was great about them was that they weren't just "the straight man," or completely bland and dry to contrast with Miranda's craziness. They were the exact appropriate balance needed to keep me entertained rather than annoyed, just like how the balance of smart and slapstick humor throughout the show really pushed each episode along in a way that I (an enemy of slapstick humor) genuinely enjoyed.

The episodes are constructed based around each YouTube video that Miranda makes, and the arcs that the stories and characters endure are subtly formulaic and undeniably effective. This is not amateur production. Each episode contains a well-thought-out little tale, and the season as a whole wraps up beautifully in increasingly epic shots with increasingly raised stakes and increasingly evolving characters.

And although there's a touch of romance, loads of ambition, and a little nod to coming-of-age/outsiders-finding-their-place type stories, it seemed to me that it was all about family at its heart. Haters Back Off is about Miranda's relationship to her mom (Angela Kinsey), her sister (Francesca Reale), her uncle, and her best friend (Erik Stocklin). It's about how people behave with one another, what people do to one another, and the connection or disconnect when people don't know how to be with each other until it's too late. It's tragic. It makes Miranda "the clown" or "the parody" look like Miranda "the person." And that's the best thing the Ballingers could have done with that character.

It's only 8 episodes long and is only on Netflix (as far as I know), so it's an easy and quick watch for anyone with a subscription. If you like bittersweet, perfectly constructed endings that refuse to reward the bad in people and reveal with sharp awareness the journeys of all the characters involved, then this show will really blow you out of the water. It's a little dark, a little gross, a little lovely, with some big Napoleon Dynamite vibes, and I could not recommend it more highly.

All 8 episodes of Haters Back Off can be watched on Netflix.


  1. i really enjoyed this tv show! it was pretty awesome!

    you have a super cool blog, i'm following! i'd love if you could hop on my blog and maybe follow me too =)


    1. Super cute blog!! Thanks for reading! Following back!