YouTube Red has dropped ‘Hyperlinked’ their much anticipated series about girls who code on YouTube Red.
The show was inspired by the girls behind Miss O and Friends, and while the series clearly has fantastic intentions of exposing girls to the world of coding, it gets bogged down in a lot of other attempts at being in the know of internet lingo, that the message feels lost.
All press surrounding the show points to the desire for the show to interest the girls in coding, but alas, these girls spend way more time talking about smoothies, fashion, YouTube vids, and, really, pretty much anything else but coding.
Press releases also point to writers working with a group of advisors including Kimberly Bryant of Black Girls Code, Google’s Computer Science in Media team and The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. This paid off with the character of Justine who is the main character who actually works on the logistics building the site, and when someone has an app idea (she can actually build it).
We just wish the writers had consulted with some actual teens and pre-teens and used less cute abbreviations in place of authentic teen voices. That said, at least these girls are focused on entrepreneurial ventures over boys, even if those ventures are decidedly and stereotypically “girly.”
That said, this show will likely do well with its pre-teen audience. With Disney ad dollars behind the show, and a cornerstone spot in their new digital network (in addition to its spot on YouTube Red), the show has prime placement for eyeballs- we just wish the girls felt a little more real (and, you know, talked about actual coding).