The final episode of Netflix’s new series Haters Back Off paints quite the juxtaposed picture for nascent YouTube star Miranda Sings.
On the one hand, the woefully-untalented Miranda (played by series creator and star Colleen Ballinger) has finally achieved her dream: a viral video. But it came at the cost of everyone in her life, including her best friend Patrick, sister Emily, mother Bethany, and uncle Ken, who have all abandoned Miranda after she, to be sure, abandoned them first.
Though Haters hasn’t been picked up for a second season yet, one can imagine that the image of Miranda experiencing the peak of joy at the nadir of her familial relationships is a tough one to swallow — yet it’s one that Ballinger has had in mind since before the series began.
“That was how I always intended for this story to go, and I’m so pleased that Netflix let me go there,” Ballinger tells EW about the series’ surprisingly sad undertones. “It’s a big risk to take. People are used to seeing me be this goofy, weird girl online, and I’ve never really shown that side of Miranda before.”
As Ballinger tells it, she’s known “since the beginning” that Miranda’s first season would end with her greatest achievement to date: watching a video go truly viral. “That final scene has been in my head since I started Miranda [eight years ago],” she says. “I just thought there was something so compelling to the idea that we have these Internet stars now and we get millions and millions of people who are watching us constantly online, and it’s this life of likes and comments and constant adoration, when really, our job is kind of…it’s us alone in a room. It’s kind of lonely sometimes. And I wanted to show people the truth to life. Life isn’t always wonderful. Sometimes things are hard, and sometimes you’re lonely, and sometimes you’re sad, and that’s a side of this character that I wanted to show.”
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There’s a bright side to Miranda’s story, though, and Ballinger teases that it’s — hopefully — only the beginning. “I already have a lot of plans for Miranda moving forward. The season ends with Miranda getting her first viral video, so there’s so much story to tell after that. A lot of the stories in the show, we pulled from things that actually happened to me in my career, and that’s how we plan on continuing. I’m excited to show people what was going on behind the scenes when I did my first big live performance or when I wrote my book — all these things that were going on with her family when Miranda was doing things that people knew about online. I’m excited to share those stories. But Miranda has a lot of mending relationships to do. She put herself in a corner that she’s got to get out of.”
All this, of course, hinges on the idea that the show gets a second season. Ballinger laughs and adds, “I sure hope we get a season 2, because if we don’t, it seems like Miranda’s life is just over.”