The YouTube Files – Goth Girl.

Goth Girl (YouTube, 2009-2012)

Time for something a little different. This is the first time I have reviewed a show that was made for online rather than TV. In doing this, I might as well reveal something about me. I do seem to rather like women who have a goth/punk look (and I know that goths and punks aren’t the same thing, there is a difference!). But I’m not sure why. Without wishing to overanalyse, I’ve never dressed in that way myself, and I don’t have any interest in the music or culture or anything like that.

I suppose it’s because I do like something a little different and it’s an example of having an extrovert personality (even though I’m as introvert as they come). If you have read some of my pieces, you might have noticed that I have become attracted to some TV shows because they feature representations of such people in the mainstream media, and for a while in the 80s, this became something of a cliche in sitcoms and the like.

Examples include Christine in Home To Roost, Wendy in The Wolvis Family, Mojo in Once In A Lifetime, and even Coronation Street have got in on this with the recent introduction of Nina. And of course, one example in pop music are my old mates Shakespear’s Sister. A lot of people have accused these people of being “fakers” though, and they seem to have become rather annoyed by what they claim is the commercialisation and trivialisation of such imagery.

Now I’m not really interested in the debate of how “real” you have to be if you want to be accepted in a particular tribe or culture. I suppose it’s a way of me saying that I can only deal with the imitators, rather than the real thing. One day, when I decided to try and find some more examples of this online, I came across something that interested me, as I thought that it was real at first, but it was actually a scripted series featuring actors and made for YouTube. The first episode was uploaded over a decade ago, so it was about time that I discovered this. vlcsnap-00098

Firstly, Goth Girl starred Vera Vanguard. Now I didn’t know who this was, but as it’s so easy to find out more information online now, so I had a look, and noticed that she has had a rather varied career. Vera was born in Moscow, and as well as acting, she has also been a model, writer, producer, make-up artist, and has won awards for her cosplay and everything. vlcsnap-00027

Goth Girl is an American series that has a comedy-drama style, and every episode was only about four or five minutes long. The main character is 17-year-old Susan Anderson, who one day decides that she is going to become Selena Ravenvox, and considers herself to be “The Divine Queen”! Selena has multicoloured hair and lives with her parents (her dad often calls her “pumpkin”), and her annoying sisters, Erica and Taylor. I don’t think she ever went down The Batcave though. vlcsnap-00012

Among the other characters are Asteroth, who Selena is in love with (although he isn’t in love with her), Sadisto, who is rather creepy, and her main rival Trinity Divinity. Most of the early episodes take place in Selena’s bedroom (with various posters on the wall). She likes to write a blog about her life (calling herself “an internet blogging gothic goddess”), and hopes that she can influence others. But she is also rather angry, and likes to go around shouting at her parents, punching people and telling them “get out of my face, freakshow!”, causing chaos at parties, and answering her phone with “worship me or die”. vlcsnap-00050

There were 38 episodes of Goth Girl in three series, and it clearly wasn’t big budget, being made in a house rather than a studio set, and featuring about one camera and one microphone too. Vera was also credited as the co-producer and make-up artist. I’m not sure why someone went to the trouble of doing this, but I’m pleased they did. Discovering all the episodes in one go was rather an experience. vlcsnap-00084

All these years on though, some episodes still have barely 1,000 views, so its fanbase didn’t even reach a cult level, and things like the website and social media promoting the show have either long-since expired or closed. I was also rather amused that the final video uploaded to the channel features the writer asking viewers to help fund a fourth series, which didn’t work as this never happened. vlcsnap-00070

I noticed that some of the comments on the episodes consisted of “being a goth isn’t like this!”, Vera has gone on to work on further projects including attending fan conventions in character and various films, and she now has blonde hair, I suppose that she was a faker too. I do have to say though that Selena has definitely joined the list of my favourite (fictional) female goths.

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