A new series is looking into the fictionalized real life of a fictional vlogger. That twisted, confusing sentence is the best way I can describe Versus Valerie, the web series that stars Sexy Nerd Girl vlogger Hannah Spear as Valerie Lapomme, the character she plays on the Internet.
Sexy Nerd Girl, for the uninitiated, is a lonelygirl15 type vlog where Lapomme is treated like a real person even though she is not. Versus Valerie then examines Lapomme’s invented home life, focusing on her problems with boys and her family, many of which are caused by her nerdiness and generally awkward self. In a way, it can be likened to 30 Rock: Spear is Tina Fey, Lapomme is Liz Lemon, and Sexy Nerd Girl is The Girlie Show. Versus Valerie even gives its leading lady a platonic male friend to be her Jack Donaghy (minus the gravitas and expensive suits).
And like 30 Rock, Versus Valerie is not shy with its guest stars. After a debut episode that riffed (intentionally, according to Spear’s Twitter) off of the BBC’s Sherlock, episode 2 has a Star Wars vibe, featuring ApprenticeA vlogger Corey Vidal as a hunky doctor version of Darth Vader and Wheezy Waiter as, um, a waiter.
Some may see Versus Valerie (and, for that matter, the entire Sexy Nerd Girl persona) as a transparent grab for the portion of the YouTube viewers who are entranced by attractive women who play video games. In truth, the show is written with a real love for its lead character’s nerdy pursuits. It’s a celebration of nerd-dom, not an exploitation of it, and it works.