By Emelina Minero
There is a lot of queer media out there that is campy, poorly produced, poorly acted and portrays queer characters as tropes, instead of as whole human beings. #Hashtag web series doesn’t fit into that category.
Co-written by and starring Caitlin Bergh and Laura Zak, and guest starring Marnie Alton (Exes and Ohs), #Hashtag explores the Andersonville lesbian dating scene. It explores how social media and dating intersect. It explores how as a society we are addictively plugged into social media and how that hinders our in-person interactions. It explores the need for outside validation to receive fulfillment and love, as well as the difficult journey of being emotionally honest with ourselves and emotionally vulnerable with others. Above all, #Hashtag explores the deep connection and journey between two best friends.
#Hashtag gives you a slice into the life of two queer, twenty-something best friends in Andersonville, Chicago, Liv and Skylar.
Liv is mellow-natured, an avid reader and jumping back into the dating scene after a bad breakup with her ex from a year prior. Skylar is a high-energy standup comic navigating her identity and career amidst her insecurities of not being enough.
The great thing about Liv and Skylar is that they’re more than their one-sentence descriptions. We’re exposed to their endearing qualities, as well as their flaws, and both become endearing because it makes them human. Skylar has this child-like energy, open mindedness and perseverance, as well as this obliviousness and naiveté to what’s going on with those around her. Liv is grounded, sure in who she is, and loves Skylar unconditionally, and is sometimes cynical and unconsciously self-sabotages her romantic relationships.
One of my favorite things about season two is the character development. We get to witness different sides of Liv and Skylar.
Recently broken up with and homeless, Skylar is thrown into this liberating, confusing and scary state of limbo. Season two Skylar has more freedom to explore who she is and what she wants. In contrast to a new, and younger romantic interest and fan base, we get to witness Skylar take on a more adult role, become more aware of her surroundings and begin to question her identity and what she wants.
Season two opens up with Liv and Tash more coupled together, but their relationship quickly becomes uncertain with the in-person introduction of Marley’s Mom, Jo, which creates an interesting dynamic for Liv’s character. Jo has a strong, domineering personality, which brings out the more vulnerable, child-like and submissive aspects of Liv. We get to witness these unfiltered, completely in the present moment scenes where Liv is existing from her emotions, and not living in her head.
Season two of #Hashtag is more raw and intimate, and there’s an unexpected and humorous twist in how we see Liv and Skylar interacting with each other after their fallout in season one.
#Hashtag continues to bring light to the diversity of the LGBT community. With season one, there was the episode “Homoromantic,” and throughout season two there’s a thread on polyamory and bisexuality. #Hashtag is also cleverly hilarious, from one-liner pop culture references down to choice in clothing, like when Liv and Skylar are in the bathroom at Jo’s house, brushing their teeth, Skylar wearing a Justin Bieber shirt and Liv wearing a Michael Jackson shirt, subtly commenting on the age of each woman they’re dating.
#Hashtag is well acted with a diverse ensemble of unique and full characters, and is in our top 5 of best web series, and we set our bar high.
To watch #Hashtag, subscribe to Tello Films. For $4.99 a month, you’ll not only have access to #Hashtag seasons one and two, but you’ll have access to their entire selection of queer female web series. Also, you have season three of #Hashtag to look forward to.