If you follow Geek Girls Network, Geek Girl Diva, or any other number of awesome geek girl websites, you’ve probably heard of Awkward Embraces.  If not, you really should be following those sites AND watching this web series.  This is one of those web series where you just can’t stop watching.  It was midnight and I had to work the next day, but I needed to finish the first season.  That’s how much I love web series.

Awkward Embraces follows the dating lives of Jessica and her two closest girl friends, Candis & Lyndsey.  Jessica is a geek girl.  She loves Star Trek and comic books and is not afraid to let it be known.  While the basic tag line sounds very similar to Sex & the City, I find that the situations these girls go through are much more along the lines of stuff I would encounter via dating.  Or maybe it’s just that I can actually relate to these girls.  In one episode, Candis is set up on a blind date by her mom.  You expect that it won’t go well, but the best part is the way Candis gets out of it.  Let’s just put it this way, don’t annoy Jessica and then watch a movie with her.

Another reason this web series rocks is because it does what so few actual TV shows fail to do, which is show a realistic, diverse cast.  Each character represents a nice little slice of life, without being reduced to a stereotype.  The dialogue is smart and witty, with story arcs that are not cliche or predictable.  The production value is excellent and, most important, it looks like it was so much fun to work on!  I love when you watch a show and you can just tell that everyone on set had a blast while filming.

Jessica Mills, writer, producer & star of Awkward Embraces, was kind enough to answer some questions for Nerds in Babeland.  At the end, please consider donating a few dollars to the production of Awkward Embraces Season 2.  Once you’re done watching Season 1, you’ll see why we so badly need a Season 2!

1) Where did the idea for the show come from?

I have TONS of awkward dating stories that I love to share with new friends because they never stop being funny. I turned the worst/best story (Episode 4 The Morning After) into a short film. The shoot went so well and it was so fun, I decided to make it a web series.

2) How did you come to work together?

I went to college with Candis and Lyndsey. I couldn’t imagine doing anything comedy and not including them. They are two of the funniest women I know. Then Adam was referred to me by a friend because he had a Canon 5D Mark II and I’d been wanting to shoot something on that camera. We didn’t even MEET until the day we shot that first episode! But he’s great and we all had such a good time that everyone stuck around for the duration.

3) Web series are extremely difficult to fund, in particular when it comes to production costs. Awkward Embraces looks awesome in terms of production quality in general. How did you go about raising money to make the first season?

I didn’t. ha ha I literally shot that season for the cost of pizza. I was working a lot of overtime then, so all the costs (food, snacks, website, domain hosting, etc) just came out of my own pocket. Everyone did phenomenal work for free. I just got REALLY lucky when I found Adam. He does great work. For Season 2 we did an Indiegogo campaign for the first half, and we are about to roll out a second Indiegogo campaign to help us fund the last 6 episodes for Season 2.

4) How many of the stories throughout the first season are inspired by real life events?

Every single one. HA! It’s true. Sometimes it’s a little thing, sometimes it’s a conversation, or it’s an actual story that is mine or that I hear. I find awkward inspiration everywhere. It helps that I’m awkward and end up in awkward situations often.

5) What made you want to do a web series in particular? What do you think about the future of web series in relation to other forms of media?

I was a struggling, frustrated actress. I saw what Felicia Day was doing and just had so much respect for her and the way she took control of her own career that I felt inspired. The web is the best way to do your own thing and get it out there in front of an audience. I do feel that web series are going to become more and more mainstream. Eventually we’ll be streaming all of our television. The place I see web series taking in the future is with branded entertainment. People aren’t watching commercials anymore, and I think these companies are starting to figure out that if they can find someone to build great character and great story around their brand, they’ll get a lot more eyeballs than the commercials we all currently fast forward through on our DVRs. Branded entertainment is sort of the new buzz word in Hollywood. But technology and the business are changing so fast, it’s impossible to tell where we’ll be, or what will happen in the industry. I just hope I’m able to continue to tell good stories and entertain people the way I want. It’s about constantly moving forward and snatching the opportunities as they come along.

6) What can we look forward to in Season 2?

The girls make it their mission in life to find Jessica the perfect mate. So we see Jessica in some situations that she would normally never be in, and she’s got to figure out what to do. It’s a lot of fun. Candis has actually written three of the scripts for Season 2 and I’m very excited for us to get to play with them.

7) You’re a Star Trek fan, clearly, but here is a twist on an age-old question. Spock vs. Picard? AND Kirk vs. Riker?

Picard all the way. I LOVE it when Picard gets angry or upset. Stewart is just SUCH a phenomenal actor, so getting to see him run the gamut of emotion, as an actor, it feels like taking a master class. I love Nimoy, of course, but his range was somewhat limited as a Vulcan. As far as Kirk or Riker, I still have to go with Riker. He’s just dead sexy. Though I am doing a TNG rewatch and every time he hits on a chick, I feel SO AWKWARD. I don’t know what it is! He’s just so confident and overt about it! ha ha. But, he’s hot, so it’s ok.

8 ) Besides Star Trek, what are some of your other favorite things to geek out about? Will we see a lot more of these references in Season 2?

YES! I am obsessed with Doctor Who, so we are definitely going to see some of that. There’s some cute little BSG action in there, and I have a Mythbusters shoutout in an episode. This show is so fun, I love being able to celebrate all the stuff that makes me happy.

You can find more about the series at their website http://www.awkwardembraces.com or on Facebook and Twitter.

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