February 5, 2013 by Heidi
Last week I posted about the awesomeness that is The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, but I also want to take the time to highlight another excellent web series that the LBD led me to: Squaresville.
You guys, this series is so YA. In a fantastic way. Squaresville chronicles the friendship and high school experience of best friends Zelda and Esther. Here’s the thing I love about Squaresville: the characters are real. Zelda and Esther aren’t the cool kids, but they also don’t want to be the cool kids. I think that today’s media (and too many YA books) forget that a lot of kids out there are really happy being themselves. It’s possible to be smart, studious, and a generally good kid without pining after popularity or fitting in. In fact, their social standing has little to nothing to do with the plot. They’re just two best friends dreaming of getting out of their hometown, trying to navigate the awkwardness of relationships, and seeking a bit of adventure. More than anything, it’s a story about friendship and accepting people for who they are.
Squaresville, created by Matt Enlow, is sarcastic and hilarious, with many a laugh-out-loud moment. It stars Mary Kate Wiles as Zelda and Kylie Sparks as Esther.
It should come as no surprise to those of you who know my affection for the LBD and their incarnation of Lydia that I followed MK Wiles on over to see her other web series. I love seeing her play Zelda, because she is such an incredibly different character than Lydia. Zelda is a kind, smart, fun girl who’s idea of rebellion is midnight gardening. She’s also a really believable high schooler, which is somewhat surprising given the fact that I think she’s actually a year older than Ashley Clements who plays her big sister on the LBD.
I may have come to Squaresville to see MK Wiles, but Kylie Sparks’s as Esther is one of the biggest aspects that grabbed me. Esther is sarcastic, less willing to give people a chance, and somehow manages to simultaneously know exactly who she is while struggling deeply to trust others with that knowledge. When the show starts, she seems to be more the follower of the pair, but I loved seeing her grow over the course of Season 1 into someone who won’t let her best friend dictate the terms of their relationship, no matter how much they love one another.
The relationship dynamics between these two are fantastic, but the show also wouldn’t be as fun as it is without it’s supporting cast. Both Zelda and Esther have older siblings, Zelda sorta kinda has a boy, they have a potential new/old friend in Shelly, and then there is my favorite–their best guy friend, Percy.
Austin Rogers doesn’t get the starring credit he deserves–you hear me Matt Enlow? Austin Rogers deserves to have his name listed as a star on all Squaresville About pages, because he is fantastic. Percy is that glue that holds Zelda and Esther together, which also makes him that unfortunate soul who gets stuck between a rock and a hard place when the girls fight. Most of my favorite scenes and episodes in this show involve Percy–he’s the character who’s most on the outside, but that also makes him one of the most interesting.
Squaresville posts a new video each Friday, and the second season just premiered on February 1st. The videos are very short (many only about 2 minutes long), so it’s possible to sit down and blow through the first season in about an hour. You can follow them on Tumblr (which is where I got all these pics and gifs), Facebook and Twitter, and of course, watch the series on YouTube starting here:
When you’re done–come back and talk about it!