How complicated does it get when you have two fanbases for two shows running at the same time in which you play two comparable characters? [Mary Kate Wiles also plays the role of Lydia in the popular webseries Lizzie Bennet Diaries.]
Mary Kate Wiles: It can definitely be weird, like this week, as I’m writing this, the things that are going on in the two shows are both really important and charged and so on the opposite ends of the spectrum. Sometimes I feel like I’m throwing a lot of stuff at people, but they always respond positively. I am really lucky that I’m getting to play two wonderful, very different characters, in two very good webshows at the same time. It’s fun to hear people be like, “Wow, I love you as Lydia, and then I watched Squaresville, and you’re like, a completely different person!” and I’m like, cool, I guess I’m doing okay then. :)
In Hollywood, shows and films are often specifically designed not to pass the Bechdel Test, but a number of successful webseries (Squaresville, Lizzie Bennet, The Guild, Wigs, Awkward Black Girl, I could go on) seem to be all about actively telling girls’ stories. Why do you think that’s happening online?
Kylie Sparks: I think online content creators are getting tired of seeing the same thing happen over and over again in the entertainment industry. To be fair, I won’t lie, some of my favorite shows immediately fail the Bechdel Test (Sex and the City, Girls, etc) and it doesn’t bother me—because women do discuss a lot of things, including men. However, the truth is that we live in a patriarchal society where even in 2013, the cultural message is still “ladies, you better find a man to take care of you because you can’t do it yourself,” especially with the War on Women still at play.
With the Internet being such an open forum, people are standing up and creating content that has plotlines that would pass the Bechdel Test. I hope that with Squaresville, not only are we telling the story of two girls trying to grow up and figure out who they are, but also that we’re not alienating our audience by not being realistic in what we discuss in our storylines, including boys.
Matt Enlow: I think if you’re going to be making things for an online audience, you should be offering your audience something they can’t find elsewhere. Whether that’s a show about gamers, pride and prejudice or suburban teenagers, it has to have an eye towards something fun and new.
- Fighting the robots with the stars of “Squaresville”