Web Series Wednesday – Barbelle
BY: Gwenlyn Cumyn, Karen Knox and Kinda_Tv
This series is created/written/starring Gwenlyn Cumyn and Karen Knox.
WHY SHOULD I WATCH?
Not only does Barbelle provide an interesting, captivating and original character driven story, it provides positive LGBTQ+ representation. Barbelle follows the story of two pop star sensations – Veronica Vale (played by Karen Knox) and Alice O’Hara (played by Gwenlyn Cumyn). At first introduction, Veronica appears to be a vapid, selfish and vain party girl and Alice appears to be your honest, sweet, grounded girl next door. As the series progresses, you finds out there is far more than meets the eye when it comes to these characters.
In the first episode, after becoming a success, Alice informs their agent that she and Veronica are no longer together and, thus, the band Barbelle also needs to breakup. Her agent immediately informs her that due to their contractual obligations, the two ladies need to continue living with each other and continue to pretend to be a happy, in love, couple. Veronica appears to be very pleased with this turn of events, as it does not seem that Veronica wanted her relationship with Alice to end in the first place. Alice, on the other hand, is very dismayed. It is later revealed that Veronica is very much so trying to win Alice back and that Alice has already moved onto another girl. The duality that both actresses constantly play in a subtle and impactful manner is what truly won me over.
My favorite scene of the series and that the audience has seen thus far occurs in Episode 4. There is a scene where the two women are preparing for their interview and Veronica figures out that Alice is dating someone one and who that someone else is. This significant plot point is revealed in a conversation that takes places between the characters, using no words, only their eyes and facial reactions. This scene is a testament to the amazing caliber of acting both Gwenlyn Cumyn and Karen Knox bring to the screen in Barbelle. The look of utter desolation on Veronica’s face, the pain in her eyes, the solemn tone of her voice, the whisper at which her lines are delivered – all of these facets created the moment where I started to route for Veronica to win back Alice. It is also the moment that I completely fell in love with the tour de force that is Karen Knox.
Karen Knox manages to take a selfish, self-destructive character, which Veronica is very often in the series portrayed to be, and brings true gravitas and heart to the role. When first introduced to Veronica, I planned on her being the villain character that I would root against for the rest of the series when quite the opposite occurred. From Episode 3 on, I saw the good, the vulnerability and false bravado of Veronica and became her loudest cheerleader.
Gwenlyn Cumyn’s portrayal of Alice is layered, gentle, subtle and perfect. There is never a point in the story where I was not rooting for Alice to get her happy ending, with whomever she chooses. In the first four episodes, Cumyn had to continually portray Alice as knowing she is having a secret affair, but not letting other characters (particularly Veronica) find out. Cumyn’s natural comedic timing and endearing awkwardness that she lends to Alice is perfect for the part and sure to make Alice a favorite in anyone’s eyes and heart.
There is so much more to discuss regarding the rest of this season of Barbelle; however, I do not want to give any spoilers away. The Wednesday following the release of the final two episodes for this season, I will post my overall review and feature on Barbelle.
Until then, if you haven’t already, subscribe to Kinda_Tv and don’t miss out on this amazing new series!
WHERE CAN I WATCH? Barbelle can be found on Kinda_Tv. New episodes are released every Monday at 11:00 a.m. EST.