Picked up last months Seventeen magazine as I ALWAYS do if I find one of my favorite young women actors on the cover-Chloe Grace Moretz, Ashley Benson, Lucy Hale, AnnaSophia Robb, and so on. This month, it was Chloe Grace Moretz again and after her article, which was typical Hollywood teenager B.S., was an article on young women doing "pretty amazing" things.
Enter Paige McKenzie.
Nick named Sunshine in childhood by an aunt, she decided she wanted to be a star, but didn't want to move to Hollywood to do it, so she became a YouTube star. She was sixteen when she started by researching the most searched for term on YouTube. As it turned out, ghost was the second most searched word, and "Ghost: The Haunting Of Sunshine Girl" was born. At least, according to Seventeen magazine. The ever unreliable Wikipedia has vastly contracting information, stating that The Haunting of Sunshine Girl was instead created by some unknown guy named Nick Hagen and one of the costars of the show, Mercedes Rose, who it is rumored is actually Paige's real life mother.
Over the past week or two, I have been binge watching the show in my spare time.
First, I'd like to say that this show suffers from the same cliche film-making that became widely popular thanks to the horrid "Blair Witch Project" and, more recent, the popular "Paranormal Activity" films. That is to say, disgraceful handheld cinematography known as shaky camera. I hate that amateurish look and feel and despise just how cliche it is today, thanks a lot "Blair Witch Project" creators, and may you rot in HELL for all eternity.
That being said, or written as the case is, I do find the technique acceptable on YouTube, and consider it fitting for content created by an inexperienced sixteen year old girl.
I hate seeing big blockbuster budget movies with bad acting. If you're getting paid to act, then do a good job. But, low budget television programs can be lax on the acting as long it's fun to watch. I loved "Hey Dude", "Saved By The Bell", and the more recent "iCarly", "Hanna Montana", and "The Suite Life of Zack & Cody". So even though the acting sucks, and I mean really really sucks, on "The Haunting Of Sunshine Girl", it is entertaining and fun, I love the energy, and camera tricks, so I put up with the bad acting, and enjoy the show.
Paige herself, is quite cute and adorable, and I consider it irresistible for a heterosexual male to develop some sort of crush on her. I also found it hard not to relate to Sunshine. On the personal level, she struck me, from the very beginning, as the female version of me when I was her age. But when I was that age, YouTube, of course, did not exist. Options for my generation were limited to Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), and that was too difficult and unpredictable for amateurs, and teenage productions had no chance of getting broadcast. Anyway, I'm pretty glad she has the opportunity she has in this modern age.
The story has no real discernable arc to it, and established facts are often forgot about. I am reminded of the television show "Lost", in that respect. I watched "Lost" late in it's life, like season 5 or whatever, (there are blog posts about it here and here) and therefore was able to binge watch all the old episodes. It was somewhat entertaining, but not enough to warrant watching the latest episodes when I got all caught up; there was simply no reason to anticipate another episode justifying a weeklong wait. All because of the lack of a singular coherent story arc. I get the impression each episode of The Haunting of Sunshine Girl is written on whim under the premise, 'what can we do next?' approach, rather than establishing a complete story first, and releasing a single scene every release day. Paige, and her team would benefit greatly from watching old serials from the pre-television days.
I am all caught up on Sunshine's show, but unlike "Lost", I will continue to watch, even though last week she killed off one of the fun and favorite characters.
I have subscribed to her channel, and even joined Facebook just to vote on her entry into The ABC's Of Death 2 contest. I figured, if I can help her with her dream in such a small and easy way, why not do that? Youtube is making a lot of stars, and some of them actually deserve it, Paige McKenzie is one of those. Seasons 1-6 can be found here and seasons 7-10 (current) here.