When Julia Diddy included the words “young lesbian love” in the headline for her initial review last January of Anyone But Me, yeah, we picked up some traffic. But those tuning into gawk at attractive young women doing the two-tongue mambo instead got to watch a somber but quick-witted look at adolescence, with a strong ensemble cast, compelling characters, and a fresh take on the well-trod ground that is the teen drama genre.
And it looks like none of that will change in Season 2. After a two and a half minute “Last season, on Anyone But Me…” sequence that should catch up both old fans and newcomers, the show jumps right back into the ongoing drama, but with a twist. Rather than deal head-on with some of the repercussions from last season’s finale, we delve instead inside each character’s head for a look at their deepest desires and fears — circling primarily around Vivian’s (Rachael Hip-Flores) concern that she’s about to get outed as a lesbian to her school, after being spotted kissing her girlfriend Asher (Nicole Pacent).
Two interesting things come with the launch of the second season: First, rather than principally running on Strike.tv, where the show originally launched, Anyone But Me will now be premiering new episodes on Blip.tv before feeding them out to other content sites. About that decision, executive producer Susan Miller said via phone that “Strike was all-volunteer and very experimental, and they wanted to give us the world. But during that first season they weren’t able to get the advertising and the deals they thought they would have to be able to compensate both themselves and the writers. Strike is run by writers, whereas Blip has actual offices and executives and tech people. We had a meeting with them and they said, ‘Oh, you’re just the kind of show we would like to have, and if we don’t show you the love you can call us and complain.'”
Miller also cited Blip’s new dashboard and the fact that their offices are in New York, where Anyone But Me shoots, as reasons for the switch, but she and co-executive producer Tina Cesa Ward didn’t make this decision without consulting Peter Hyoguchi and Ian Deitchman of Strike.TV — “We just wanted to make sure it was cool with them,” she said, saying that she and Ward would always be loyal.
Secondly, in an ingenious bit of self-promotion, some of Miller’s previous collaborators, Heroes‘s Zachary Quinto, Gilmore Girls‘ Liza Weil, and Eric Stoltz, have all filmed video testimonials about their love for the show, which debuted in the weeks leading up to today’s launch. (There have also been additional fun extra features, like the show’s stars trying to get some scoops on next season’s plot.)
According to Miller, Anyone But Me has reached over a million cumulative views, which is quite an achievement with no stars and minimal advertising. She chalked a great deal of the show’s success up to support from the gay community online, including sites like After Ellen. “They were hungry for this, and serendipitously we launched right after the final season of The L Word [on which Miller had written],” Miller said. But the show’s definitely found its audience outside the community — because people in general are always hungry for good content.