The Curious Case of FiendTV and Netflix’s Christine McConnell Show

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The credits for Best Fiends Forever

Recently, creepy kids across the country began tuning into Netflix’s new show The Curious Creations of Christine McConnell. McConnell is best known for her treats and decorations that over the past couple years seem to go viral around Halloween. For fans of the Youtube Channel Fiend TV, home of the show Best Fiends Forever, some of the content seems a bit too familiar. Co-creator of Best Fiends Forever and voice of Cubbie the bat, Anjelica Abejuela, was heartbroken to discover that many of the concepts she and her partners Cameron Vamp, Kevin Cable, and actress LeeAnna Vamp had put together were showing up with a bigger budget on Netflix.  We interviewed Anjelica to get the Fiends side of the story.

Intro for McConnell’s show

FGN: How long have you been working on FiendTV?

Abejuela: FiendTV is actually newer, we put that up about 3 years ago just for the Fiends content. Before our episodes were out on LeeAnna Vamp’s regular channel. So FiendTV is only about 3 year old, but our content goes back to 2012

FGN: What creatures does FiendTV feature?

Abejuela: We have Vamptress LeeAnna who plays our caretaker, teacher, big sister/mom; DeeKay, who is a constantly hungry Zombie, especially for sweets like cake and cookies; Cubbie is our fruit bat that loves apples; We have Boo, who is our speechless spirit; and Howlin our big brother, laid back wolf.

FGN: You and your co-creators, Kevin Cable, LeeAnna Vamp, and Cameron Vamp hand-made your puppets, correct?

Abejuela: Yes. Cameron was the original brains behind the concept. He and LeeAnna brought it to Kevin and Me. Kevin and I hand built our puppets from Cameron’s vision. Except the wolf; he’s human sized and we commissioned him from a friend.

FGN: When did you first find out about Netflix’s The Curious Creations of Christine McConnell? What was your response?

Abejuela: A friend messaged me this week regarding the show and if I had seen it. I told her I had not and she told me ‘it’s your show’ and I didn’t quite understand her. She had said to me that she began watching it and she felt like she was watching our show and I needed to check it out. So I did, and I was flabbergasted. Right out of the gate with the beginning and the Halloween concept. I get we aren’t original with the spooky theme, but the baking creepy dishes with puppets in a spooky mansion was too close to our Creepy Treats & Spooky Eats segment of our show. The more I watched it, the more similar the look and format got, and even the characters. I mean, I get it, Christine McConnell does her baking and she’s really good at it, but when they threw puppets into the mix and the house and kitchen and the interactions of her also being a caretaker to these creatures, it really threw me for a loop.

FGN: When you watch the show are you able to find images that are close to yours? Like set design and episode concepts?

Abejuela: Oh absolutely.

Best Fiends Forever (top) and McConnell (below)

Best Fiends Forever (top) and McConnell (below)

Best Fiends Forever (top) and McConnell (below)

FGN: Have you had a chance to speak with Netflix or McConnell’s PR team?

Abejuela: We have not. We haven’t, we posted in social media but no one has said anything.

FGN: How have fans of the show and LeeAnna Vamp responded?

Abejuela: LeeAnna and I have received a lot of comments saying they also noticed the similarities. Many of LeeAnna’s close friends have messaged her as well telling her about the show. We all kind of found out about it around the same time and looked into it together and are hearing from more and more people that they feel the same, that they’ve seen it before and are now realizing it’s our show, or it instantly reminded them of our show. Same goes for the others, Cameron, Kevin, friends have all pointed us towards the show because of its clearly similar content and concept.

FGN: So what does this mean for Best Fiends Forever and Fiend TV? What are your next steps?

Abejuela: As of right now, we’re just going to continue what we are doing. We’re definitely not stopping anytime soon. What they copied is only part of our entire show. We have our Imagination segments, and Our Adventures Segments that just debuted (with special intro by Nathan Fillion), we also have our ABC’s & 123’s we’ve been working on. So we’re not going to stop. We just know we were the first and we definitely aren’t out there for money. We’re doing this because we love it and our characters. They mean a lot to us. And they may try and steal our ideas and capitalize on it, but we know they can never be us. We know the concepts and our storylines work because we have the chemistry between our characters to make it work. So the fiends are just going to keep making our content. We have other things in the works, including our cartoon versions and more songs we’ve written. So we have plenty to keep our creative juices flowing.

Cubbie the Bat can be seen in the back center on a shelf after Abejuela gave a mini version to her hero Paget Brewster in 2014.

 

At time of publication, Netflix has yet to respond to our request for comment. 

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