This week I found a free webseries that gives the viewer our favorite fanfiction trope + amazing writing, which definitely makes it a dream come true
Last week’s link round up included the link to a brazillian webseries called RED; at the time of the Link Round Up, I had not yet watched it. On Monday, I sat down to watch it. The premise of the show is two actresses play two women who fall in love in a short film entitled RED, and then, as a result, fall in love. I was worried, at first, because the show is in Portuguese, but then I found out that it has English subtitles, and I never looked back.
As the title promises, RED is a webseries based on the most basic fanfiction trope ever. We’re all suckers for two characters trying to resist their chemistry with each other.AfterEllen summarizes the show as “Liz, who has no trouble attracting women, can’t seem to get the very married Mel off her mind. Mel, who has always assumed she was happy in her life and marriage, begins to feel a pull towards Liz that she never expected.”
The thing is though, because this show is not fanfiction, it has to be more delicate than your average ao3 story. While your average fanfic can bank on you, a person who is searching the character A/character B tag, loves those characters as much as the author, a show has to sell you on these characters. And the show does that with amazing skill. Not only does the camera linger on the bodies of the actresses, which seem to glow with chemistry, but the writing really brings out complicated character tropes. In the past, web series have disappointed me with embarrassing or cliched dialog, but not RED. There is a scene set in the bar in which Liz and Mel have a debate. The dialog is so fluid, the ideas are bright and different and the entire flow of the scene allows you to fall in love with the characters beat by beat. I honestly am so excited for any other projects that creators Viv Schiller and Germana Bolo plan to do, because the 100% have my interest.
This brings me to another interesting point. The show seems to be very aware of its audience, and to whom its catering, and as a result it navigates the themes and the ideas of the drama really well. Specifically, the second season shows an interest in criticism and a nuanced discussion of bisexuality. Mel, one of the protagonists, is married to a man; the show clarifies that she has always identified as bisexual, and that people (like her brother) don’t want her to leave her husband because he’s a man, but rather because he’s a hack. The show also gives you a scene at a party full of queer women where one side character complains about dating a bi girl, and several women correct her, shaming her even for using that over simplistic trope.
But not only is the show wonderfully written (and well translated!), but there is more artistry. The show reminded me of Carol (2015) in the sense that the entire show seemed to be shot for the female gaze. The emphasis on gold lighting and close shots on character’s faces, using the space between the two women as an image itself really spoke to me. I couldn’t stop myself; the colors and dynamism of the work pull you in. The music for the show also adds a lot, and they even have a spotify so you can listen to it in your own time!!
Anyway, you should watch it. Honestly. Also, the actress who plays Liz is so fucking hot.
In conclusion, I’m also not saying the only reason you should watch RED is because their social media team threw massive shade at the 100, but you should watch RED because their social media team Knows What’s Up.