In Haters Back Off, Emily has a grounding presence and brings out the best in Miranda Sings. These are just a few reasons why she’s the best character on the show.
When Haters Back Off premiered, long-time Miranda Sings fans were looking forward to a more intimate look at the singer’s background. The show finally let fans see Miranda’s family, including one unexpected character: a sister.
Miranda’s sister Emily is never talked about in Miranda’s YouTube videos, unlike reoccurring topics Uncle Jim and Miranda’s “annoying” mom. She’s a new character for the show, and the show is better for it. I think Emily is the best part of Hater’s Back Off. She offers the comedy series something fresh and unexpected.
Here are four more reasons Emily is the best character on Haters Back Off.
She keeps the show grounded
One of the best things about Emily’s presence in Haters Back Off is that she keeps the show grounded in reality. With so many eccentric characters, the show could easily feel over-the-top and unrealistic. Emily recognizes the eccentricities in her family members.
She knows Miranda’s quest for fame and the toilet in her uncle’s bedroom aren’t things that every family experiences. She points that out to them and to us as viewers. Emily allows the show to be self-aware.
Viewers aren’t left rolling their eyes at the crazy events that happen because the show uses Emily to acknowledge that the events are crazy. This self-awareness lets viewers sit back and enjoy the ride instead of picking apart “unrealistic” events.
Emily also points out the character’s flaws. Uncle Jim is a little too sexual sometimes. Her mom’s illnesses aren’t real. In pointing out those flaws to viewers, she lets us love them a little bit more.
Her family is a little bit different, but she loves and supports them anyway. Her acceptance lets viewers accept them too. That acknowledgment Emily brings makes the show more watchable and the characters more lovable.
She is imperfect
Over the course of Haters Back Off season 1, Emily also does some things that aren’t so great. In the first episode, she writes mean comments on Miranda’s video. In Miranda’s mind, Emily’s comments get built up to death threats!
That’s not the only instance of Emily’s unkindness toward Miranda. Emily and Miranda get in fights at the nursing home and during Bob Hamburg’s funeral. She makes snide comments during the living-room-turned-backyard-musical.
In one of the final scenes of the season, she ignores Miranda’s phone call during Miranda’s time of need. She isn’t a perfect sister, but that’s part of what makes her a great addition to the show. Who with siblings can’t relate to that fighting and tension?
When she’s done something mean, she also isn’t above apologizing. Her apology to Miranda about the hate comments is one of the most authentic apologies I’ve seen on TV.
She confesses that she posted the comment because she was embarrassed and afraid that people would be mean to her because she’s Miranda’s sister. She’s concerned for herself, in all the complicated ways of a teenager, but she’s also deeply aware that her actions were wrong and that they hurt Miranda.
Emily isn’t perfect, but she’s trying to be a good person and a good sister. This awareness of her imperfection makes her standout among the narcissistic band of characters on the show. It’s refreshing to see, and makes me love her even more.
She is vulnerable
She is also vulnerable. Emily’s vulnerability is refreshing, because she is vulnerable in ways that are much different from Miranda and the rest of her family. Her apology to Miranda about the hate comments shows her vulnerability.
Miranda’s willing to show herself to the world. Emily’s vulnerability is a little more quiet. She’s willing to show Miranda — and the Netflix audience — why she’s so scared of other people’s opinions. Her apology to Miranda explains that she doesn’t want people to be mean to her. She doesn’t want to suffer the consequences of Miranda’s performances.
Her vulnerability comes through strongly in her art. Her piece titled “The Never-Ending Abyss” shows that, and her willingness to share that piece with her mom shows that too.
Emily is most vulnerable during her interview for art school. She shares how art calms her, makes her chaotic and Miranda-filled life a little less overwhelming. Her tear-filled eyes at her ruined work show just how much of herself she’s invested into her art.
Throughout season 1 of Haters Back Off, this vulnerability adds to the richness of her character, and is one more reason why I think she’s the best character on the show.
She lets us see Miranda’s kindness
Maybe best of all, Emily’s character breathes some much-needed life into Miranda. Miranda’s self-obsession and need for fame are traits that have made viewers love her — or at least love to watch her — for years. Those traits often lead her to do things that are seen as selfish or unkind.
Remember how she handled the church choir and Bob Hamburg’s funeral? She isn’t perfect by any means, but her relationship with her sister Emily allows viewers to see a side we haven’t been able to see in her YouTube videos. She can be thoughtful and kind.
At the end of the first episode of Haters Back Off, Miranda promises Emily that she won’t let anyone know they are sisters. Miranda doesn’t do this because she wants all the attention to herself, though she easily could have. She does it for Emily.
Emily is afraid of people being mean to her because of Miranda’s videos and Miranda consoles that fear with her promise. She keeps that promise to Emily, even outside of the internet. When Miranda and Uncle Jim put on a production of Annie with local actors, staring Miranda as Annie and Emily as a tree, Miranda doesn’t let anyone know that Emily is her sister, keeping her promise to Emily.
Miranda also tries to help Emily with her application to art school. Though her good intentions turn out to hurt Emily instead, she tries to make Emily’s art more attractive to the admissions panel. She decorates Emily’s canvases with glitter and pasta.
She thought she was fixing the paintings and helping Emily into art school. Miranda took an hour out of her day to help someone else with their dreams, which shows just how dedicated she is to her sister. The show doesn’t show Miranda doing acts of kindness like this for anyone else in her life. Normally, she is all about her career.
In Haters Back Off, however, she takes time away from the things she loves to support her sister. This kindness of Miranda’s that Emily enables us to see makes both characters more well-rounded. It makes them more human and lovable, and is one of the many reasons why Emily is the best part of Haters Back Off. I hope to see more of Emily and their relationship in season 2.
Haters Back Off season 2 recently finished filming, and the season is expected to release later this year on Netflix. What do you hope to see in season 2?