LIW Pride: Middlemarch

(Aubrey Johnson) #1

Fast Facts

  • Series title: Middlemarch
  • Created by: Something Cool Productions
  • Starring: Mia Fowler, Oliver Shoulson
  • Elevator pitch: Plain, regular college students record their plain, ordinary lives and discover that people can be jerks, friends can be wonderful, and they’re way more insecure than they thought they were.
  • Features: humor, demisexual rep, gay rep, bisexual rep, nonbinary rep, POC rep, gaslighting, various sets, sibling relationships, great ensemble, empowering female friendships, friends to lovers, M/M relationship, NB/F relationship, over dramatic nerds, plot twists, sooo much miscommunication, precious cinnamon rolls

Instead of rewatching an old webseries, I actually jumped into a new (and still releasing) one! For Asexual Awareness Week I bring to you the newest LIW demisexual Dorothea (Dot) Brooke and the cast of Middlemarch.

This webseries is instantly unique, because rather than the characters posting the videos as they happen, all of these videos were filmed six months before being posted. To respect the integrity of her documentary film project, Dot distributed cameras to her friends, collected the footage, and refused to look at it until the six months were up and she began editing. This closes any plot holes about characters seeing footage of each other, but it does create somewhat of a distance between the characters and the audience. Rather than watching their lives unfold present time, this is more like watching a video diary with most of the truly personal bits taken out because the videos were intended to be reviewed by professors and maybe submitted to film festivals. Even Dot admits that all of the footage was posted with permission, and anything the characters didn’t want to be seen (i.e. insulting each other) was taken out. This becomes a plot point later on, which I appreciated because it drove home the message of consent in filming.

Dot Brooke is sophomore in college with high ideas about who she wants to be: respected, intelligent, and serious about life. Her rambunctious roommate Celia Arroyo finds her academic ways boring, and would much rather prefer artistic pursuits like building blanket forts. But Celia’s enthusiasm is not shallow; her Psychology 101 class lends itself to her words of wisdom and thoughtful insight that she provides throughout the series. Like an classic novel, Dot finds herself swarmed with suitors, starting with the funny, if awkward, Jamie Chettam. She is oblivious to their advances, and they eventually give up after Dot starts dating the serious philosophy grad student Edward Casaubon and also befriends his cousin Billie Ladislaw, an art student.

Alongside these videos, we see another side to Middlemarch, Connecticut. The world of Fred Vincy is bright, happy, and in complete denial of having to grow up and apply for med school. His best friend, Max Garth, balances Fred’s loquaciousness by saying very little at all, but you can tell that they live in the comfortable companionship that only comes from being friends since childhood. Fred’s sister, Rosamond, is a sophomore striving to make her life as much like a rom-com as humanly possible. When she meets Thomas Lydgate, the pompous prodigy who is also pre-med, she obviously and quickly falls in love. Fred is not pleased to encounter so much heterosexuality in his own apartment, but he puts up with it. All of the characters are quirky, complex, and fun, but as I said, the formatting and editing style can take some getting used to. Once you do though, this series will provide a fascinating look at what people do to those around them when they’re angry, in love, or struggling to keep their secrets inside.