When all show has is a webcam and no budget, you know you’re doing something right when the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times both not only feature your site just three months into production, but they award it with front page coverage. After trying to make his way in the traditional film industry, Mesh Flinders teamed up with “medical school drop-out” Miles Beckett to start Lonenlygirl15 in June 2006. Since then, the fictional webcam zeitgeist has been stringing along a remarkable amount of regular viewers, many of whom believed the series to actually be a true-life account of an estranged girl’s entrance into the occult. After the show took off, co-director and co-producer Miles Beckett quit his job as a surgeon, took a loan from his parents to create Lonelygirl15 LLC, and he and Flinders acquired married agents Greg and Amanda Goodfried to deal with the incredible amount of publicity that the small, serialized, fictive vlog managed to receive.
Bree, played by Jessica Lee Rose, is a just a normal 16-year-old girl going through problems with her boyfriend, her parents, and her mysterious religion that requires a restricted diet, daily “injections,” and a dangerous ceremony that Bree found both scary and exciting. Some people have been calling Lonelygirl15 an alternate reality game, but that seems like a stretch. It’s hard to get any more low-budget than a webcam, props from Target, and a minimal salary for its workers, but that’s part of the show’s appeal. It’s a fictional show with two-minute videos updated once every few days, sometimes more and sometimes less. The length of the show makes the amount of episodes prolific, although the show’s central mysteries will probably remain unsolved until the series ends. (But if you want to get caught up, the official Wiki and forum is your best bet.) When fellow vlogger Jonas appeared, a longtime fan of Bree’s vlog, offering sympathy and support, the lines between reality and fiction blurred even more. When Bree and her boyfriend Daniel decided to run away, Jonas, played by Jackson Davis, offered them shelter and became the third member of the show’s growing cast and creative, ever-expanding storylines.
The episode I Completed the Ceremony brought somewhat of a conclusion to months of speculation as to what would happen to Bree. It didn’t end, however, and neither did the mystery of Bree’s religion (though we did find out for sure that it is a cult). Usually, unmentioned bandages and vaguely ominous phrases are all that fans have to go on amidst whiny conversations about her boyfriend and her schoolwork, but this is one of the rare episodes where the creepier elements of the show are discussed openly.