Queer Review: CLAIREvoyant (Episodes 1-5)

In the late 1990’s through early 2000’s, TV psychics were all the rage. You couldn’t go a day without hearing a Miss Cleo’s commercial, with testimony from callers who had received a grand psychic reading from Miss Cleo, herself. Each commercial always ended the same: “Call me now for your free reading!” she’d tell viewers, as she sat in front of her Tarot deck.

Fast forward fifteen years and gaze into your computer screens, as the newest Shaftesbury production coming out of Toronto has been unveiled!

CLAIREvoyant is the brand new magical web series on YouTube’s KindaTV. Starring Natasha Negovanlis and Annie Briggs, CLAIREvoyant tells the story of Claire Ganski (Negovanlis) and Ruby Renaud (Briggs), two best friends in their mid-twenties who use the scheming power of the internet and the mystery of psychic fortune-telling to make some quick cash. But there’s a catch (because, isn’t there always?): Turns out Claire actually has psychic abilities, which she seems to have inherited from her Bubbeh (grandmother). While Ruby’s focus is bringing in some more moolah and testing Claire for her true clairvoyant potential, Claire has her eyes on the girl of her dreams, Nico (Sabryn Rock). The Lucy and Ethel dynamic between Briggs and Negovanlis’ characters is incredibly funny and a kismet match for the two.

Now it looks like the “Seeing Sisters” might have ruffled a few mystical feathers of another online psychic extraordinaire, Madam Sonnom (Theresa Tova), who had a falling out with Claire’s Bubbeh years ago. We are guessing that Madam Sonnom probably won’t be too thrilled with losing business to the Seeing Sisters, especially given Claire’s incredible ability to really see the future.

CLAIREvoyant is a hilarious comedy about two young women trying to get by in the world, with a New Age twist. Facing all the challenges that come in your twenties, Claire now has to deal with her supernatural abilities… which is so much harder than figuring out your love life, honestly.

Not only are Briggs and Negovanlis the stars of the new digital series, they co-created, co-wrote and co-produced it as well. Teaming up with Dillon Taylor and Smokebomb Entertainment (the masterminds behind Carmilla, another digital web series on KindaTV – turned feature film, starring Negovanlis and Briggs), CLAIREvoyant came to life. With help from fans, the CLAIREvoyant team launched an Indiegogo campaign in the summer of 2017, ultimately raising over $27k.

The first five episodes dropped today and we are here to summarize and review them! And we will be doing so every week episodes are dropped, as long as the Seeing Sisters don’t give us some ominous news. Needless to say, our reviews will not be spoiler free, so skedaddle if you don’t want the deets.


First of all, let’s start off by acknowledging the genius behind the episode title names! Each episode is named after a Tarot card. For those not in the know, Tarot is a card game used by mystics and other occult practices for divination purposes. So for a show about psychics, nothing is better suited!

 

Episode 1: The Tower

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Before entering inner space, we enter the cozy apartment of Ruby and Claire. As Claire’s 25th birthday approaches, she opens presents from her Bubbeh, a crystal ball, and from Ruby, a box with a book of poetry by “Claire Ricardo.” We quickly find out that Ruby blew all of the rent month ($4,562 to be exact) on boxes full of these books. But before Claire can lay into Ruby about how she can afford such a gift, Ruby distracts her with alcohol and plans to get her some much needed sexy time.

Waking up to a phone call on your birthday telling you that you’re going to get evicted if you don’t come up with several months of rent is everyone’s idea of a good time, am I right? Claire’s organized persona mashes with Ruby’s carefree attitude. And though at first glance one might think that these two women shouldn’t get along, it is very clear that Claire is the Yin to Ruby’s Yang. The episode ends with the best rendition of Happy Birthday I’ve ever heard (eat your heart out Marilyn!)

Episode 2: The Four of Cups

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Let the scheming begin! While Claire is slaving away as a barista to make a living like any responsible adult would, Ruby calls Claire with her ideas to make money fast; ranging from feet fondling to nude cleaning services (side note: is that a thing? That should not be a thing). Thankfully the awkward scheming comes to halt when Nico, Claire’s crush to end all crushes, comes strolling into her work. And we are shipping it already!!! NiClaire? We think yes! Note to Claire: “Get on me” is not a pick up line (though your awkwardness is quite adorable).

When Claire comes home, she finds Ruby mid-death warning via webcam to some random poor guy. Claire jumps in and seems to have her first prophecy moment, telling this man that him and his girlfriend Casey (oddly specific) will have a long and happy life together. The magical way we see Claire have her visions is incredible and fun, and a reminiscent nod for the That’s So Raven generation. In this episode we are also introduced to Xavier (Jsin Sasha), Ruby’s other half and resident artist.

The question everyone wants to know: What exactly was that gunk on Claire’s face the entire episode?

 

Episode 3: The High Priestess

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The worst name for a psychic: Poop Face. But that’s what Claire was dubbed, thanks to random webcam guy. Claire wants to prove to Ruby that psychic powers are nothing more than trickery, so she recommends calling the Internet famous psychic extraordinaire, Madam Sonnom. But when hearing Ruby call Claire by her last name (Ganski, the Macedonian root word for Gypsy… seers and psychics), Madam Sonnom mentions that she knew Claire’s Bubbeh and once worked with her but had a falling out (suspicious? We think so!).

Claire finally gives in to Ruby’s begging and the Seeing Sisters are born! Vicky (Ruby) and Vivian (Claire) are psychic sisters ready to help you explore your future! “Explore oneself, to believe oneself! Let us explore you!” How Negovanlis and Briggs ever managed to keep it together to film this segment is beyond us. I have never been so intrigued by a psychic’s commercial in my life! The Seeing Sisters are hilarious! And the costumes in this episode are amazing.

 

Episode 4: The Ace of Pentacles

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The Seeing Sisters are blowing up and the reviews are coming in! Everything that Vivian (Feldman? Well played, Natasha) says to her clients is coming true! Vicky, however, might want to stop telling people they’re going to meet an untimely death. Back in reality, Nico pays another visit to Claire at the café. If Claire’s awkward charm hadn’t already made you fall in love with this shy disaster of a human, her proclaiming to Nico that she is a “wiener enthusiast” but not in the straight way, cause she “likes vaginas” will definitely hook you. Love is in the air and we don’t need a crystal ball to see that! Claire’s not so sly approach to giving Nico her phone number is every baby queer person trying to ask their crush out and I think it is safe to say we’ve all had our fair share of squeals. Props to you, Claire!

Back at home, Ruby wants to continue the Seeing Sisters’ success while Claire would much rather prepare for her date. But it’s not long before Claire has yet another vision and congratulates Xavier on winning an art grant. This peaks Ruby’s suspicions that Claire is in fact a bonafide psychic and she proceeds to chase poor Claire around the house… trying to get her pee? Not really sure how there is a urine test for psychic abilities, but the chasing was definitely entertaining to watch. Until the power went out.

 

Episode 5: The Moon

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Putting on makeup by candlelight seems like a difficult task but Ruby nails Claire’s date look. Their discussion on sexy time and comparing their bits to inanimate objects is something we all do with our friends, right? Also, if Mary Floppins is not a name that goes down in history as “Best Nickname For A Vagina” ever, we will protest.

Before Claire heads out, she pops a brownie in her mouth just as the lights are finally turned back on. Unbeknownst to Claire, Ruby and Xavier had some special brownie treats prepared for their own jungle themed sexy time later in the evening (just… wow) and Claire just partook. Good girl Claire begins to freak out at the realization that she just ate a pot-laced brownie moments before heading out on her first date with Nico. Ruby manages to get her out the door, but not before we see the panic filled montage of Claire becoming high.

Once at the café, Claire is baked as a nervous Nico tries to hold a conversation. Things aren’t going completely terrible until Claire has another psychic vision and declares that Nico’s aunt is dead. DEAD. The deadest of the dead ladies. She’s just gone. Claire even goes so far as to sing about it! If this isn’t the worst first date ever, I’d love to know what could beat it.


So that’s it little Seers! The first five episodes of CLAIREvoyant are up and we couldn’t be loving it any more than we already do! Negovanlis and Briggs have an instant comedic masterpiece on their hands and we cannot wait for more!

More episodes will be posted next Wednesday, May 23rd, so keep your eyes peeled to KindaTV for those and make sure to stop on by to our social media for our review!

See you next week cosmonauts!


UPDATE: To read our Queer Review on Episodes 6 through 14, click here now!

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