Hope is a sensitive, angst-ridden teen who is always in an emotional crisis and desperately seeks advice from her viewers in this farcical video blog. Created by Crista Flanagan of MAD TV and Kent Nichols and Douglas Sarine of Ask a Ninja fame, Beatbox Giant Productions began production of Hope is Emo in March 2006. Unfortunately, dealing with such a depressive character must have had an impact on the producers. They presumably moved onto lighter and happier fare when new episodes of the series stopped appearing in January 2007.
Hope, played by Flanagan, is emo (short for emotional), a term that has been resurrected from the ‘80s to describe the sensitive goth-like musicians and teenagers that have sprung up in the last few years. She is whiny, angsty, and cries at the thought of chalk dust. She considers herself introspective (self-indulgent) and waxes poetic on deep topics like gym class with the kind of disturbed language used by last decade’s Goth kids to describe death and misery. The episodes, which are all about four minutes long, feature great writing, some fantastic editing, and an original theme song by Very Tasteful Productions (which you can download here). Hope stays put in her room in her parent’s house or settles into a secluded area outside the house for the entirety of each chapter, but moves around to give different camera angles, usually shifting from a forlornly cocked head to distressed shrug. What’s brilliant is that the series has inspired a host of video responses. Some parody the site while playing along with its disingenuous plea for advice and, in a true redux of Lonelygirl15, some offer genuine advice without realizing that the site is fictional.
Crista Flanagan and the Ask a Ninja team have made something great with Hope is Emo. One scene that’s typical of the series’ hilarity involves her father interrupting her podcast to ask her which yogurt to get from the supermarket, sparking even more waterworks and frustration from Hope.