Hey MySpace era Internet dweebs, get ready to feel old af; that whole LonelyGirl15 craze popped off a decade ago.
For those of you born in the ’90s, LonelyGirl15 was arguably our first viral YouTube phenom. LonelyGirl15, whose real name was Bree, uploaded straightforward, confessional vlogs, offering an intimate window into the mind of this particularly introspective teenaged girl (think Peyton Sawyer from One Tree Hill).
After racking up millions of viewers, it was revealed that LonelyGirl15 wasn’t for real, but rather a character concocted by filmmakers Mesh Flinders, Miles Beckett and Greg Goodfried, portrayed by New Zealand-born actress Jessica Lee Rose. Some viewers were outraged while others applauded the hoax—after all, nothing even remotely like this had occurred before. Rose wound up with a Webby for Best Actress.
Anyway, Bree is back with her first video in eight years, which she uploaded to YouTube last week. Though little is revealed, it hints at a reboot of the beloved series. “Did you think that because they were quiet this was over? Isn’t that when you’re supposed to worry, when the guys in suits and symbols disappear all at once?” she says. “They didn’t go anywhere, kids. You did. The world doesn’t just freeze when you close your eyes.”
But will kids today, with their Vines and Snaps, tune into videos that runs a whole 2 minutes? Probably not. Is LonelyGirl15 irrelevant now that we know she’s a fraud? Probably. But it’s still fun to revisit this moment, when the Internet was still a strange, misunderstood space and a handful of innovators duped us all.