Series title: Lovely Little Losers
Created by: The Candle Wasters
Starring: Jake McGregor, Caleb Wells, Reuben Hudson, Bonnie Simmonds
Elevator pitch: Four flatmates set themselves rules that make no sense and follow them…for some reason?? Needless to say, shenanigans ensue.
Features: various sets, strong female characters, hidden lovers, m/m relationship, f/f relationship, humor, unique plot structure, multiple perspectives, musical numbers, great ensemble, POC representation, multiple perspectives, closed captions (English and Spanish)
Before we begin, I advise you check out last week’s recommendation of The Candle Waster’s Nothing Much To Do. Lovely Little Losers is the sequel of NMTD, set after the main characters of NMTD have started university in Wellington. This, however, is an adaptation of an entirely different Shakespeare play - Love’s Labour’s Lost. Perhaps this brings images of Kenneth Branagh dancing through a library, but brace yourself, LoLiLo is a whole different ballgame.
The first thing we discover is that Benedick, Pedro (now going as Peter), Balthazar, and a new character named Freddie are all flatmates who have found that in the past couple months they haven’t felt quite as connected as they used to be. So Freddie and Ben decide to make rules that are intended to unite the flat and keep things from falling into chaos…including no romantic relationships. While this is mostly targeting physical behavior, Ben realizes that the rule aimed mainly Peter also affects his long-distance relationship with Beatrice, who is still in Auckland. The series is made up of punishments for breaking the rules, flat bonding experiences, a surprise appearance by Meg and Beatrice, and the characters coming to terms with how hard the ‘no relationships’ rule is.
For any fans of the style of NMTD, LoLiLo can be a bit of a splash to the face because you’re up close and personal to deeper flaws and internal justifications of the characters, but the character arcs become incredible meaningful because of that. LoLiLo also hosts a collection of new supporting characters who quickly become fan favorites due to well-written lines and a sense of levity that can be hard to find in the more dramatic parts of the series. When you get to Costa and Vegan Fred, you will know what I mean. LoLiLo is a brilliant sequel showing the characters beloved in NMTD struggle to understand themselves, their relationships, and who they want to be versus who they used to be.