Confessions of an Anyone But Me Addict
by Gemma Jacob
January 13, 2010
“Hi, my name is Gemma. I’m addicted to Anyone But Me. For the record, I was addicted before Zachary Quinto jumped on the bandwagon and declared it was his addiction. Also, long before Liza Weil decided she ‘”wanted her ABM,” I knew I needed my ABM.” If there was a support group for people addicted to web series, that’s how I would have to introduce myself. I am a card carrying member of the ‘I love ABM’ fan club.

It’s a running joke with my best friend that trying to get me to take an interest in something, anything, can be like pulling teeth. However, once that spark is ignited, I become a source of encyclopaedic knowledge on the subject in a phenomenally short time. Of course, that’s what happened with ABM.

As do many Internet users these days, I have a short attention span. I have multiple windows open at once, I listen to music, have various chat programs open and Twitter notifications popping up every other second. When ABM is on my screen, however, I find myself engrossed, physically unable to do anything else. As an example, for the Season Two Premiere a few weeks ago, I clamoured out of bed at 6.30am, injuring myself as I slammed into my bedroom door and scrambled to turn my PC on. These are not the actions of someone who simply “likes” a show.

Quote me dialogue and I can tell you what episode it’s from. Show me an outfit I can probably tell you who was wearing it and what they were doing. It is almost guaranteed that I will tweet at least once a day – often more — something related to ABM. Over half of the links in my Facebook have to do with ABM. I have blogged at length on my love for ABM. If you were to ask any of my friends what ABM was, they may not be able to tell you anything about the show yet but they would tell you I love it. But I promise I’m not crazy, I’m just addicted to this wonderfully brilliant show.

It would be easy for me to blame Nicole Pacent’s smile. I admit that’s what first hooked me. The resemblance to a younger – only hotter— Angelina Jolie was not lost on me. However, it wouldn’t be fair to lay all of the blame on her. It may as well have been her co-star, Rachael Hip-Flores. Her character, Vivian, has become one of my favourites. Her uncertainties make her vulnerable. Her charm makes her strong. The fact that she is played perfectly by Rachael Hip-Flores only makes me love her more. Rachael Hip-Flores might just be one of my favourite people, in life.

I love that she is an absolute and completely unapologetic geek who gets excited about cheese. I love that she has problems with day to day functioning and isn’t ashamed to tweet things like, ‘Few things as humbling as waving wildly in front of a paper towel dispenser before realizing it's not automatic.’ I love most of all that she appears to be completely in awe of everything that happens to her, despite being one of those people who you would not begrudge a single thing.

It is a combination of the talent onscreen and behind the scenes that has me so completely wrapped up in anything and everything ABM. The writing from Susan Miller and Tina Cesa Ward is exquisite. The directing, again from Tina Cesa Ward, is entrancing. The acting is simply superb.

You have the sweetness of the scenes between Archibald (Josh Holland) and Elisabeth (Alexis Slade), the butterflies each of them is feeling almost palpable. Then you have the passion of the scenes involving Aster (Nicole Pacent) and Vivian. My heart breaks every time these two are on screen together. In the space of one eight minute episode I have had my emotions flung from one end of the spectrum to the other. Still I dust myself off and come back begging and pleading for more.

The most painful moments of ABM, however, are the spaces between each episode. The last six months in which ABM has been on hiatus have been excruciatingly painful. I’m not sure, but it may actually be worse now that Season Two has started because you know at least some of the episodes have been shot – you just can’t see them! Somehow, although incredibly frustrating, the wait makes you want more. Susan Miller and Tina Cesa Ward manage to give you just enough to tell the stories that need to be told but leave you throwing your hands up as the credits fill the screen.

I am hungry for any piece of ABM information I can get. I read every interview that’s posted, This only adds to my love of ABM. You can tell how much the actors and the creators love being part of the show, because of the people involved and the relevance and importance they believe the show to have. Their fervour is absolutely contagious.

Because of its medium, the web series is heavily dependent on word of mouth. For this show, I have a big mouth. When season two premiered, I made it my personal mission to try and get #anyonebutme as a trending topic on Twitter. No small feat when you’re up against a world of tweeters talking about the latest movie release. For the first time in my life I thought I might be twittered out.

This kind of behaviour doesn’t go unnoticed. I follow almost all of the cast and crew of ABM. The first time I got an @ reply from the ABM twitter account I don’t think I stopped smiling the whole day. They’ve mentioned on more than one occasion that they’re not entirely sure what to do with me and the love I have for the show. They are always appreciative of the support everyone gives. Every time you tweet about the show or click on a link to vote you are increasing its visibility, and I’ve learnt that if I say ABM enough times then people start paying attention. When it feels like what you’re doing makes a difference, that’s addictive in any situation.

Once the machine decides to choose the lottery numbers on my ticket I plan to bankroll production on this show. My only prerequisites being that they keep on doing exactly what they’re doing and that they keep that Craft service table fully stocked with cheese for Rachael Hip-Flores. I make no apologies for my love of ABM. I love it because it is all at once smart and funny and moving and heartbreaking. I love it because in those too short minutes that it fills my screen I switch from laughing out loud to yelling at my screen to struggling not to clap so that I don’t look like a maniac. I love it because when I watch it I am always smiling. I am smiling at the wonderful acting. I am smiling at the amazing writing. I am smiling because this show exists.

I want my ABM. I need my ABM. I am proud to be completely and utterly addicted to ABM.
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