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Lovely Little Losers is a 2015 New Zealand YouTube webseries based upon Love's Labour's Lost by William Shakespeare and a sequel to Nothing Much To Do. It takes the form of a Vlog Series, updating the plot and setting of the original play to modern day New Zealand.

Unlike the first series, which was a single story told through three channels, this series tells two interconnected tales through one channel shared by the same group of friends. The first takes place at Elizabeth University in Wellington and follows four flatmates narrated by Benedick; the second takes place in their hometown of Auckland and is narrated by Margaret.

Despite basically all of the main story taking place in the main channel, a few extra scenes can be seen in other channels of YouTube.

"Lovely Little Losers" contains examples of:

  • Adaptational Angst Upgrade: A significant amount of the plot hinges on an unhappy backstory that is entirely absent from the original play.
  • Adaptational Sexuality: The main romance is between a gay man and a bisexual man, which was very much not a feature of the original play.
  • Adaptation Name Change: Ferdinand to Freddie; Rosaline to Rosa; Costard to Costa.
  • Aerith and Bob: Peter, Meg, Rosa, Paige... and Costa, Balthazar, Freddie (as a girl's name), Benedick. All the more noticeable because the characters talk about each other's names a lot.
  • The Alcoholic: It's debatable whether Peter is actually, clinically, an alcoholic, but his drinking definitely becomes a problem for himself and the flat.
  • Alliterative Title
  • Almost Kiss: Twice; once in "CHICKEN," when the flat plays, well, chicken. And then again, right after "Stay".
  • AM/FM Characterization: In the interviews for the cereal challenge, Ben asks Balth and Peter each what their favorite song of the moment is. Balth mentions (or, rather, Ben mentions for him) "Lay and Love" by Bonnie "Prince" Billy. Peter singles out "Glare" by Sheep, Dog & Wolf. At a time when Balthazar is being uncommunicative about his feelings, and Peter is outright lying, the songs give an idea of what's actually going on in their heads. (Peter's headspace is, apparently, terrifying.)
  • Armor-Piercing Response: When Peter tells Costa that he slept with Jaquie, hoping to get himself kicked out of Doctor Faustus, Costa's response disarms him, both figuratively and literally.
    Costa: I forgive you.
  • Ascended Extra: Balthazar went from a tertiary character to one of the main characters of Ben's side and Meg took Bea's place as main female vlogger. Pedro, though not an extra in Nothing Much to Do, takes a step up from being a supporting character to being, arguably, the protagonist of Lovely Little Losers.
  • Aside Glance: Occasionally from Ben, all the freaking time from Peter.
  • Binge Montage: Hidden between the lines of "TOWN" and "BALTHDAY."
  • Birds of a Feather: Bea and Ben, in contrast to the other two major romantic couples.
  • Blame Game: Between Freddie and Ben in "RUSSIANFUDGE," before Peter points out how absurd the whole thing is.
  • Break His Heart to Save Him: Peter's stated intention behind some of his behavior, though the full cause is more complicated.
  • Break the Haughty: Peter's backstory, in a nutshell.
  • Call-Back: Numerous ones to Nothing Much to Do.
    • Freddie references Ben's first video on Benaddicktion about serial bird killing as the reason that she hasn't watched the videos from last year, which is the same reason Bea originally gave for not watching Ben's channel.
    • In "TRIANGLES," Pedro jokes that Ben is his bitch, a reference to what Bea said off-screen at Pedro's party in NMTD.
    • "RULES" and "TEA" both mention Pedro's fear of spiders, which was established in NMTD's "Vox Pops."
    • The central metaphor of Balthazar's song "Fish in the Sea" is often taken as a reference to his "hook, line, and sinker" exchange with Pedro in NMTD's "PROJECT IV - MAKEUP BLOOPERS."
    • In "Boyet's Brownies: A Tutorial," Bea jokes that she's great at cutting up chocolate, referencing the time she failed miserably at that task in "How to Be a Hero in the Kitchen."
    • In one of the "Balth in a Bath" videos, Peter expounds on the difference between "chucking" and "lobbing," a distinction he first made in "A Special Announcement."
    • Pedro's former tagline, "All Around Great Guy," is referenced several times, pretty much always ironically.
  • Can't Have Sex, Ever: The flatmates, thanks to Rule 5.
  • Commitment Issues: Peter, kind of.
  • Competition Freak: Freddie, Ben, and Peter are all like this, to one degree or another, with surprisingly far-reaching negative consequences.
  • Control Freak: Freddie.
  • Covered in Gunge: In a video called "GUNGE." And yet, somehow, not a comedic example.
  • Dark Reprise: After Beatrice and Benedick call it off, Peter uploads a "Balth in a Bath" video of Ben and Balthazar singing "Beatrice, You're Vivacious"—the song that Ben performed in Nothing Much to Do to tell Bea that he loved her. Peter's intent is obviously to try to get them back together, but for the audience, it's a dark reminder.
  • Demoted to Extra: Hero and Claudio. Bea is not an extra, but is no longer a main character.
  • Derailed Train of Thought: In the middle of a speech about why the flat should abandon the rules that are making them all unhappy, Peter gets sidetracked by worrying about Balthazar overworking himself.
  • Diegetic Music: An odd case, closer to Once than anything else. The series is not a musical, but characters occasionally upload videos of songs they wrote and performed themselves, and these songs are some of the only explicit insight into the characters' inner emotional lives.
  • Disorganized Outline Speech: Balthazar can't tell a concise story to save his life.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Vegan Fred tells Balthazar there's always a place for him at Vegan Fred's house. Peter throws an egg at him.
    Peter: That may have been a slight overreaction.
  • Downtime Downgrade: Nothing Much to Do ends with Pedro asking Balthazar to go outside with him. Implication: They're going to get together. Lovely Little Losers begins with Peter making out with another guy, and the revelation that he and Balthazar never did get together. Much, much later on, we discover that Ben and Bea also started having relationship problems pretty much the moment the camera stopped rolling in Nothing Much to Do.
  • Duet Bonding: Subverted with "Stay."
  • Dysfunction Junction: An understated one, to be sure, but it's hard to deny that everyone in the flat has some serious issues they need to work through.
  • Easily Forgiven: Peter, when he tells Costa that he slept with Jaquie while trying to get kicked out of the play. It's sort of a big deal.
    Peter: It makes everything complicated!
    Costa: No, it doesn't! I forgive you.
  • Easily-Overheard Conversation: In "SARDINES," one of the few plot points directly adapted from the play. Half-justified by the fact that the characters were, after all, playing hide-and-seek.
  • Eek, a Mouse!!: In "TEA," Peter jumps up onto the couch when he spots a spider on the floor. Balthazar helpfully gets rid of it for him, while Ben helpfully edits in the word "SPIDER" with a giant arrow, after the fact.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: At the beginning of the series, Peter will get very angry if you call him "Pedro," which Ben and Bea occasionally do by accident. As time goes on, he stops calling people out when they forget—and eventually, he reclaims the name for himself.
  • Enter Stage Window: How Peter gets into his own room for several weeks. He's trying to avoid his flatmates so that he won't have to tell them what the Fs on the calendar mean. (Because he knows it's bothering them.)
  • Ethical Slut: Peter aspires to this.
  • Facial Dialogue: If you're not looking at Peter's face, you probably don't know what's actually going on.
  • Flynning: During Peter and Costa's swordfight. Of course, they are fighting with prop swords, explicitly using stage combat techniques, so...
  • Forgets to Eat: It's not clear whether he forgets or intentionally skips meals, but according to Ben, Peter hardly eats at all.
  • Forgiven, but Not Forgotten: It's never stated outright, but there's an implication that some of the characters—Bea, in particular—feel this way toward Peter. Also, Meg's feelings toward John are either this, or outright non-forgiveness.
  • Forgot I Could Change the Rules: The flat, as a whole, en masse.
  • Four-Philosophy Ensemble: An unbalanced one, with Freddie as The Cynic, Ben as The Idealist, Peter as The Apathetic, and Balthazar as The Conflicted. In "RUSSIANFUDGE," Peter switches and becomes The Realist.
  • Friends with Benefits: Peter and Jaquie have had sex at least once, but Jaquie is positively disdainful when asked if they're in a relationship.
  • Geek Reference Pool: Averted. All the characters are total dorks, but they geek out about different things: Freddie's walls reveal a love of history, strong women, Harry Potter, and David Bowie; Peter's bookshelves are filled with manga; Balthazar is, of course heavily into music; and Ben is into everything. "FELLOWSHIP" indicates that they're all Lord of the Rings geeks, but it's New Zealand, so that's to be expected.
  • Gender Flip: King Ferdinand is now female Freddie Kingston, and Moth the page is now Paige Moth.
  • Grand Romantic Gesture: After Balthazar, Kit, and Bea leave the flat, the flatmates send them apology gifts. It doesn't go over well.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: After Balthazar, Kit, and Bea leave them, and go to stay with Vegan Fred, the flatmates become extremely envious of—and therefore, snippy about—Vegan Fred. None more so, however, than Peter, as the flatmates sort of decide out of nowhere that Vegan Fred is his romantic rival.
    Peter: The only lovely thing about Vegan Fred is how much he looks like Sheep, Dog & Wolf.
  • Grew a Spine: Stanley Balthazar "Never Been Much One For Confrontation" Jones becomes very vocal about his concern for Pedro's well-being in "TOWN." Later, he turns down an advance from Pedro because he didn't like the terms it was being offered on, despite having been in love with Pedro for years. Even later than that, he leaves the flat, when it becomes clear the rules have gone too far, and refuses to give in to Ben's requests that he hang around and give him information about Bea.
  • Hakuna Matata: "Extraordinary."
  • Heroic BSoD: After Balthazar, Bea, and Kit leave them, the flatmates find themselves unable to summon the energy to vlog. According to Ben, Pedro has spent nearly 24 hours sitting on their couch.
  • "The Hero Sucks" Song: "Forget."
  • Hidden Depths: All of the main characters appear to have clear character types, at the beginning of the series, but through flashbacks and, more rarely, plot twists, all of them are revealed to have more complicated motivations.
  • His Own Worst Enemy: All of the flatmates—that's kind of the point—but especially Peter.
  • Holding Both Sides of the Conversation: Ben creates an Irish alter ego, Benji, to narrate challenges and interview the flatmates. In two videos, "BENEDICK" and "TRIANGLES," Benji and Ben speak to each other, via creative editing.
  • Hotter and Sexier: The creators explicitly said this series will be more grown up as the character move from being teenagers to young adults.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Ben, before he even carries out his plan, in "PUNISHMENT".
  • In-Series Nickname: "Pedro," "Vegan Fred," "Meg," "Stan" and all variations thereupon.
  • Instant Humiliation: Just Add YouTube!: The punishment for Peter and Balthazar kissing is that the video of it is uploaded to YouTube. Even Benedick seems to realize that this is a step too far, but by that point, the flat has become such a toxic environment, nobody is capable of walking it back.
  • Interesting Situation Duel: In the living room of the flat, with prop swords. The dueling characters jump over furniture and throw cushions at each other. (Note: This is not a pretend duel. This is a real duel, done with fake swords.)
  • Ironic Echo: Several, but most important is Costa's unwitting echo, four months later, of Peter's words in "TOWN."
    Peter: My choices are only affecting me.
    [four months later]
    Costa: Your actions affect everyone around you, whether you like it or not.
  • Irrelevant Act Opener: "Heaven in Her Lips," while a lovely song, is also one of two songs in the series that give no insight into what's going on with the main characters. It's there to give Paige and Chelsey a moment to themselves, and to justify some exposition in the video description. The other song that doesn't say anything about the characters, "Stay," is there to drive the plot. Specifically, it is directly after this song that Peter tries to kiss Balthazar.
  • Lampshade Hanging: In "PETELEY," Freddie reveals that she watched all of Nothing Much To Do and berates Ben for having two exes room together... except Ben says that they never dated after the last vlog due to exams and timing, which Freddie proclaims as "so unsatisfying," right along with the fans.
  • Leave Me Alone!: Peter's reaction to his flatmates' attempts to rein in his self-destruction.
  • Like Brother and Sister: Freddie and Ben, on their better days.
  • Long-Distance Relationship: Ben and Bea are in one, to the considerable relief of fans.
  • Longing Look: Peter throws several Balthazar's way, but the best example is the time that Bea and Ben roleplay a longing look between the two while reenacting a larger group conversation.
  • Love Confession: In the form of Shakespeare's 128th sonnet.
  • Love Triangle: Discussed but not actually present in "TRIANGLES."
  • Meaningful Background Event: Because the series is also a vlog series in-universe, and the narrator (Ben) has imperfect knowledge of his world, what's going on in the background of the shot, or even half out of frame, is often much more important than the ostensible subject of the video.
    • In "TOWN," while Ben chatters about the flat's plans for the night, Freddie and Pedro are getting ready in the background—and Pedro is pregaming, which sets up the video's ultimate conflict.
    • In "FELLOWSHIP," while Ben is introducing Kel, Freddie and Kit can be seen flirting in the background.
    • In "CEREAL," Pedro takes a phone call and briefly leaves the video. Based on the timing, this call is from Costa, telling him he's gotten the part of Faustus.
    • In a more figurative sense, the true narrative purpose of many videos (that is, what the video tells you that you didn't already know) often is hidden as an aside, is glossed over, or takes up very little of video's run-time.
  • More Hero than Thou: Peter and John arguing over who should take the punishment for John staying in the flat.
    Ben: Can't stop a Donaldson.
  • The Musical: If Once counts as a musical, Lovely Little Losers probably should too. Sixteen of the approximately 80 videos in the series are devoted to songs that the characters wrote and performed themselves, whose lyrics relate (sometimes overtly, sometimes obliquely) to what's happening in the plot. These aren't extras, either; all but one of the song videos is in the official video line-up, and if you skip them, you'll miss a good chunk of what's going on.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Benedick has this reaction before he even uploads "PUNISHMENT", but is too stubborn to back down once the punishment has been announced.
  • Neutrality Backlash: Poor Kit, when the characters are discussing whether the rules should be bent to allow John to stay in the flat.
    Bea: And Kit was kind of just like, "You know, I just think that we should just do whatever's best for the people."
    Ben: No, everyone sort of turned on him for that bit. No one wanted to do what was best for the people.
    Bea: He just wants to do what's gonna make most people happy, but no one's happy.
    Ben: He was thinking logically, but that was not the time for logical thinking. That was the time for rash conclusions and not thinking things through.
  • No Antagonist: The only thing making the flatmates unhappy is the flatmates themselves.
  • Obstructive Code of Conduct: The Rules. Though of course, the rules only obstruct the characters as much as the characters let them.
  • Old Flame: A significant element of Peter and Balthazar's relationships.
  • One-Steve Limit: Averted. Freddie Kingston is one of the flatmates, while Fred Boyet is the heir to a vegan empire who allows the flatmates' friends to stay with him. To avoid confusion, the characters refer to Boyet as "Vegan Fred," and since Vegan Fred is a Nice Guy, he cheerfully adopts the nickname.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Ben's videos are always titled in all caps, so when one is called "i don't know what to call this," you know something big is happening.
  • Opposites Attract: Quiet, nonconfrontational Balthazar and boisterous, contrarian Peter. Also, uptight, Control Freak Freddie and laid-back, go-with-the-flow Kit.
  • The Penance: When one of the flatmates breaks a rule, he or she is punished in some way that the others decide. Most of the punishments are fun or harmless. One of them... is not.
  • Pep-Talk Song: "Cloud Control" and "Forget."
  • Poster-Gallery Bedroom: The flatmates' rooms reflect their personalities. Ben's is a cluttered mess, with walls covered in posters and pictures; Freddie has plenty of posters and knickknacks, but they're painstakingly organized; Balthazar's walls are hung with musical instruments; and Peter's walls are almost entirely bare.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: Neither the time period shift (Elizabethan to modern), nor the medium shift (play to vlog series), nor the genre shift (comedy to slice-of-life character study) would have allowed Lovely Little Losers to strictly follow the story of Love's Labour's Lost. Instead, the Candle Wasters took the play's most general conceit (four people who agree to abide by an unreasonably strict set of rules), and then mostly did their own thing with it, using the play as a thematic guide and occasional plot inspiration. Characters have been added, merged, and split up; of the four main characters in Lovely Little Losers, only Freddie can be directly mapped to a character in the play, and her love interest has been shifted to an entirely different character, whose roots in the play are debatable. The main romantic story of the vlog series does not exist in the play. While the play devotes most of its time to mistaken identity mix-ups and comedic foibles, the vlog series spends the majority of its time exploring the psychology that would be required for four people to institute and then follow such absurd rules. The play is a comedy. The vlog series is, by any reasonable standard, at least a dramedy. Of the 80 or so videos posted so far, only a few—"RULES," "TEA," "SARDINES," and "ACCOSTED"—can be traced back to concrete plot points from the play.
  • Queer Romance
  • The Quiet One: Balthazar.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Costa to Peter in "ACCOSTED."
  • Rejected Apology: Ben's to Bea.
  • Relationship Reveal: Freddie and Kit, in "SARDINES" and "i don't know what to call this", though the hints are seeded early.
  • Releasing from the Promise: In "RUSSIANFUDGE," Peter convinces the rest of the flat to release themselves from the rules they made.
  • Rewatch Bonus: Between the Facial Dialogue, Meaningful Background Events, Chekhov's Guns, and the near-total lack of exposition, it's pretty much impossible to fully understand the story from a single viewing.
  • Schedule Fanatic: Freddie.
  • Secret Relationship: Freddie and Kit.
  • Series Continuity Error: In one of the "Balth in a Bath" videos, Balth says that Pedro has two videos up on his channel, both of them music videos with Balth. The first two videos on Pedro's channel are music videos dated December 24, 2014 and March 25, 2015. The "Balth in a Bath" videos are supposed to have taken place in February 2015.
  • Serious Business: The rules. The rules are SERIOUS BUSINESS.
  • Sexiled: When Peter brings a partner home mid-day, Ben and Freddie retreat to Balthazar's room, where they can't hear what's going on across the hall.
  • Shout-Out: All over the place.
  • Shrinking Violet: Freddie when she knows she's being filmed, at least at the beginning. The rest of the time she is pretty outspoken, and as she acclimates to the camera, this becomes the rule rather than the exception.
  • Sidetracked by the Analogy:
    Ben: He only wants you for your body!
    Balth: I don't see him that way.
    Freddie: But he sees you that way. He thinks of you as a piece of meat!
    Balth: He's vegan!
  • Skewed Priorities: Freddie and Ben prioritize the rules over their relationships.
  • Slut-Shaming: Some of Ben's comments to Peter come off this way, with a touch of biphobia to boot. That's not how they're meant—Ben is trying, incompetently, to express concern over a somewhat drastic change in Peter's behavior, and he walks his words back when Peter calls him on it—but it's definitely how they sound.
  • Thinker Pose: What Ben uses to indicate that he's playing Peter during reenactments, because "he broods quite a bit."
  • Time-Compression Montage:
    • Freddie asks Ben to sum up all of 2014 in five minutes. He does so in 20 seconds by using clips from NothingMuchToDo.
    • There is another one in PETELEY, this one focused on Pedro and Balthazar's story.
  • Time Skip: Lovely Little Losers picks up nearly a year after the end of Nothing Much to Do.
  • To Be Lawful or Good: The central problem of the series, which is somehow simultaneously complicated and simplified by the fact that the protagonists are the ones who established the laws.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Pedro is a lot less friendly, and a lot more inconsiderate, than he was in Nothing Much to Do, though these qualities fluctuate a lot throughout the series, depending on where his head is at, and he has yet to do anything as outright awful as what he did at Hero's party in the original series. And then there's Benedick, who starts out seeming normal and friendly and decent, but later makes a whole bunch of unquestionably jerk-like decisions.
  • Tragic Hero: Peter, according to himself.
  • Wanderlust Song: "Running Mad."
  • Wham Shot: In the very first episode we see Pedro (now "Peter") making out with a guy who isn't Balthazar.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Jaquie drops one of these on Ben as a compliment.
    Jaquie: Remember when you made out with your girlfriend and then immediately kicked her out? So tragic.
  • Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: Ben doubts Peter's claim to be in a play because no one would name their kid Costa. Peter points out that no one would name their kid Benedick, either.