7 Early '00s References You Might Have Missed in HGQLC Season 1

Written by Lauren McEwen

You may have noticed that a few aspects of HGQLC seem a little dated. That’s because it picks up in 2004, a few years after the end of the Second Wizarding War and Hermione is now 25 – the prime age for a quarter-life crisis.

Ever the consummate Potterheads, the show’s creator, and writers wanted to keep to J.K. Rowling’s original timeline, but setting the show in the early aughts also allows us to really reflect on that time period. Of course, we can wax nostalgic about early ‘00s pop culture and fashion (how they convinced us that things like trucker hats and glitter jeans were acceptable, I shall never know), but on a more serious note, Hermione decided to make Los Angeles her home just as the U.S. was waging its own, highly controversial wars. The first season of HGQLC touches on all of this. Let’s take a look to see if there’s anything you might have missed.

1. “What’s cooler than being cool?”/”Hey Ya”

Ep. 1 – “ASIB (And So It Begins)”

This is probably one of the most obvious references on this list, but it’s also one of this OutKast fan’s personal favorites. During a game of Most Potent Potions, Tae Joon and Dez annoy Parvati and Juniper by working in a “Hey Ya” joke. It’s perfect because 1) can definitely imagine the Parv & Juni being sick TO DEATH of hearing the guys make that joke and 2) it was one of the biggest hits of ‘03. It got so huge that Polaroid even had to release a statement advising customers to avoid shaking their pictures, which is thoroughly hilarious.

2. “That’s 100...just like Britney Spears.”

Ep. 2. – “AILG (And Introducing LaQuita Granger)”

One thing you need to know about 25-year-old Parvati Patil is that she is a Britney Spears stan (something early backers of our Indiegogo campaign probably sussed that out based on all of the Britney featured on Parv’s exclusive playlist), but she will defend her against all criticisms, and even chooses to work out like her fave by doing exactly 100 pushups during every session.

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3. Hermione’s flip phone

Ep. 4 – “SISOSIG (Should I Stay or Should I Go?)”

During one of our live tweets, this scene actually made one viewer realize our show was set in ‘03. We get a look at Hermione’s text messages to better understand all of the pressure she’s under in LA, and it’s pretty obvious that she is tweeting from a flip phone with an extendable antenna. It’s all in the details.

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4. “Nicky Hilton-level boring”

Ep. 5 – “SYMON (Share Your Magic or Nah)”

Struggling to get into her boss’s good graces, Parvati asks her very famous friend, Hermione, to write a piece for Bewitched, the Wizarding fashion magazine where she works. Unfortunately, Hermione’s idea of a good piece is a historical essay about the history of war (which does sound pretty interesting, IMO), that Parvati’s editor calls as boring as Paris Hilton’s less popular sister.

5. “Don’t make me go all Nivea on you.”

Ep. 5 – “SYMON (Share Your Magic or Nah)”

LaQuita and Dez start crushing on each other after that awkward brunch in episode 3, and although Hermione’s completely supportive of the match, she does take the opportunity to tease Quita about it, since Parvati originally wanted to set Hermione up with the strapping young wizard activist. This quickly backfires when Quita’s “Don’t Mess With My Man” reference leads to some uncomfortable questions about where Hermione has been for the past 15 years (i.e. at Hogwarts, deeply entrenched in the Wizarding community, and almost completely detached from her Muggle family).

6. GWB protest

Ep. 5 – “SYMON (Share Your Magic or Nah)”

In 2004, the U.S. was at war and still reeling from September 11th. It’s been more than 10 years, so it’s kind of difficult for some to remember exactly how fearful and angry many Americans were at that time. Being at the anti-Bush/anti-war protest brings up some important feelings for Hermione, including the fact that she just survived a war herself and is a former anti-slavery activist (even if her approach to S.P.E.W. was woefully misguided). Attending the protest just another piece of the L.A. puzzle that helps to remind her of who she is.

7. The DC3 Debate

Bonus Clip – “The Wizard's Voice Online! STOLEN MOMENTS: The DC3 Debate”

Before the complete first season was available, we released The Wizard’s Voice online, a series of interviews and “stolen moments” featuring the HGQLC characters. One of my personal favorites is this clip of Hermione, Parvati, and Juniper having the classic “Which member of Destiny’s Child” debate.

HGQLC: Looking Back & Looking Ahead

If you follow us anywhere on social media, chances are that you’ve heard we’re raising money to bring “Hermione Granger and the Quarter Life Crisis” back for season 2. You probably also know that this show is a labor of love for everyone involved. This time, we want to delve further into the L.A. Wizarding World, spend some more time with our original characters, figure out exactly why Draco is being so awkward and off-putting, and watch Hermione put the pieces of her life back together, and we need your help to do it!


It’s not just that we’re excited to bring the show back because it’s a project we love working on, but because this show means so much to all of us, but because we mean so much to the people who have supported us over the past year. It’s a chance for Potterheads of color to really feel represented in the Wizarding World. It grants us an opportunity to leave a lasting impression on the fandom to which we’ve been loyal for so long. And maybe most of all, it allows us to imagine a more fitting ending to Hermione’s story – one in which she strays from her very well-planned path for a bit to explore the world, figure out who she is, and reconnect with the people who meant the world to her before Hogwarts.


The good news is that we’ve already raised over $13K. The bad news is that’s still about $13K shy of our goal and, as of this writing, we only have six days left in the campaign. Donate what you can, spread the word far and wide, and wish us a ton of luck.

For more info, including some interviews with the cast and crew, check out this video from the team:

It's Our Anniversary!

“Hermione Granger and the Quarter Life Crisis” dropped on YouTube one year ago, today. A lot has happened in the past year. It has been, in a word, magical. In honor of HGQLC’s first birthday, we wanted to look back at some of the best moments we’ve had, so far (and tease a few things that are coming up in the near future).

We dropped the full trailer on January 1, 2017. It was a major moment for us because we’d been working like Hufflepuffs and were so excited to let you all know what was coming.

The response was amazing!!! We even started to get some press.


And then came Episode 1!! Where our Hermione popped up on her old Gryffindor roomie, Parvati, after deciding that she didn’t like where her life was going and seriously needed a break from Ron.


Her first few days in the US, she reunited with her No-Maj cousin, LaQuita, and her old Hogwarts nemesis, Draco. She also met Ilvermorny grads Juniper, Tae Joon, Dez, and Ben. The West Coast Wizarding community was so much fun to imagine.

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Before the next 4 episodes dropped, we came out with a The Wizard’s Voice video series. They were interviews and “candid” moments with characters from the show.

Then the rest of the season was done. Episodes 2-5 followed Hermione as she tried to figure out exactly what she was exploring in LA, dealing sign complicated relationship with Draco and her family problems — and all while avoiding Ron’s text messages at all costs.

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VidCon 2017. It was our very first con. We got to meet a ton of other YouTube creators, and just left feeling really inspired, and with plenty of popular teen vloggers to Google.


Comic-Con 2017. Our very own Eliyannah Amirah Yisrael and Sinead Persaud spoke on the “From Fandom to Creator” panel at Comic-Con with Jamie Broadnax of Black Girl Nerds and Robyn Jordan of Black Girls Create and #WizardTeam. 


LeakyCon 2017. The HGQLC team flew to Dublin for one of the biggest Potterhead conventions in the world. Four panels, a couple of screenings, one (honestly, v. cute) booth & photos for days.


This shining moment of #BlackGirlMagic happened. (Apologies in advance for any baby fever it might cause.)

In honor of Hermione’s bday, we had our first #HermioneDay celebration, sharing Hermione appreciation essays, an interview with our Hermione, Ashley Romans, and hosted two #HGQLC live tweets.


And we pretty much lost it in all of our HGQLC-related group texts after every story was written about us.


CONjuration in Atlanta last November was so much fun. We had three screenings and enjoyed checking out some excellent cosplay.


HGQLC gifs became top-shelf #PatronusFuel.


The great feedback from you all was almost too much to handle and inspired us to dream even bigger in 2018.

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Happy to announce one of those big, 2018 moves here: PBS (yes, THAT PBS) invited us to be a part of their series on the power of reading. Shooting it was so much fun, and we can’t wait for it to premiere.


And last, but definitely not least, we started working on...season 2! We can’t wait to share it with you.


HGQLC @ CONjuration

We (well, technically just me, Lauren, HGQLC's social media manager) had the pleasure of screening a few episodes from Season 1 at CONjuration, a great magical fantasy convention in Atlanta. 

If you haven't heard of CONjuration, it's an annual con that features programming that would interest fans of everything from "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Supernatural" to Disney and, of course, Harry Potter, which is where HGQLC comes in. 

The original plan was to do a Q&A with some of the LA-based cast and crew via video chat, but as one incredibly understanding attendee pointed out, nothing goes right at a convention, so I present #HashingOutHermione: The CONjuration edition featuring Tamara French, who plays LaQuita, Stephanie Ezekiel, who plays Juniper, and Nicholas D. Johnson a.k.a. our Draco. 

[Note: #HashingOutHermione is the HGQLC aftershow.]

And while you're here, check out some of our CONjuration highlights. So much fun and so much good Potter cosplay. 

 Hermione (Ashley Romans) on the big screen during our last screening. 

Hermione (Ashley Romans) on the big screen during our last screening. 

 Shoutout to Lizzy, who won one of our HGQLC tees!

Shoutout to Lizzy, who won one of our HGQLC tees!

 Please say hello to the Weasleys. 

Please say hello to the Weasleys. 

 Anything from the trolley? 

Anything from the trolley? 

 Lol. Excellent Moaning Myrtle. 5 Stars. 

Lol. Excellent Moaning Myrtle. 5 Stars. 

The Evolution of Hermione Granger

Written by Tacy Rodriguez

In the beginning of Sorcerer's Stone, Harry and Ron didn’t like Hermione because of her goody-goody, know-it-all attitude. They kept their distance from her until she had lied to Professor McGonagall about the troll. At the end of the book, she learns that books and intelligence will never be more important than friendship or bravery.

The Prisoner of Azkaban divulges Hermione’s greatest development. A subplot in the book was overcoming fear (dementors and boggarts). Hermione’s biggest fear is failure. She dismissed dropping the classes that she obviously didn’t enjoy. We see this in Divination. In the beginning of the book, she goes on and on about how Divination is a total sham. She was also being told that she has too many classes. Snape even told her she takes pride in being a know-it-all. She also refused to accept that Crookshanks was a threat to Scabbers. All these unconnected points show Hermione’s development. They are resolved when Hermione drops Divination and Muggle Studies, and also when she punches Malfoy and stands up to Snape. She learns to lean towards what makes sense emotionally, perhaps more than using rationality. By the end of the book she apologizes to Ron, for the first time ever, finally seeing that she can also be wrong.

In The Goblet of Fire, Harry starts to count on Hermione more since Ron is absent. Her role in the book is to be Harry’s most supportive companion. Hermione does not only support Harry, but attempts to support and help give a voice to house-elves through the creation of S.P.E.W. Hermione’s physical appearance starts to showcase more now that she’s getting older. Boys seem to notice Hermione more since she put in effort into her look. For example, she shrinks her teeth into making them a better size and does her hair for the Yule Ball. We also see how Hermione gets upset that Ron doesn’t ask her to the ball. All of this is to illustrate that Hermione, although the brightest witch of her age, can also be your average teenage girl.

In The Order of the Phoenix, Hermione is shown to be making sure Harry and Ron focused and purposeful since they are both thinking more about girls, O.W.L.s, and the Ministry of Magic. The fifth book also shows Hermione’s leadership by her joining the D.A., and becoming a prefect.

The Half-Blood Prince illuminates and provides exposition for Voldemort, and does important work to continue the evolution of Hermione’s character through her relationships with other characters. Hermione gets jealous of Harry’s success in Potions and is trying to figure boys out. We see this when she gets jealous of Ron and Lavender. She is also finally seen as an “equal” to Ron since Harry starts to side with her during their arguments in the sixth book. The plot developments of book sixth allow Hermione to be even more fully realized as a character in the world of Harry Potter.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows tests out Hermione’s strength, as she is forced to give up the man she loves for the good of the mission. Her biggest character achievement is finally accepting the unknown, that there is more illogical magic (the Deathly Hallows). She also gains new respect due to her blood status and continues advocacy for House-elf rights.


Hermione Granger was the Nerdy Girl who Helped Save the World

by Lauren McEwen, Social Media Manager for "Hermione Granger and the Quarter Life Crisis" 

It took me awhile to get into the first Harry Potter book. I’m not sure what it was about it that I didn’t like in the beginning, but I didn’t get past the first chapter until I was forced to sit in the beauty salon’s waiting area during my cousin’s hair appointment and had nothing to do besides reading this book my fourth grade teacher had recommended. (The fact that I fell in love with Harry Potter while waiting for my cousin to get a touch up on her perm is something I jokingly use to certify my black girl nerd cred. The smell of relaxer and the image of McGonagall sitting outside of the Dursleys’ house disguised as a cat will forever be linked in my mind.)

I was a bookworm because of my upbringing and as a means of survival. My mother has always gobbled up books hungrily, and she worked to instill that same love of reading in me. Once I got to elementary school, books were like life preservers. I was bullied between kindergarten and fourth grade, and before I figured out how to stand up for myself, I would frequently request a library pass to escape during downtimes in the classroom schedule. Refusing to let my bullies see me cry, I would hold back my tears until I got into the stacks and then, once I was done, I would browse around for a new book.

My fourth-grade teacher noticed how much I loved books, and would occasionally let me be the first to read new books she was adding to our classroom library. I will forever be grateful to her for handing me that copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. I was intrigued by the boy wizard and his lightning bolt scar, loved hating his awful Muggle family, and was mystified by everything about the Wizarding World -- but it wasn’t until Harry and Ron befriended Hermione Granger that my heart became truly invested in the story.

Here was a girl who loved reading as much as I did, who had a head of big, rebellious hair like mine, and who always knew the answer in class. However, unlike me, she was never too worried about being teased or standing out in class to pretend like she didn’t want to raise her hand. Like Ron and Harry, I respected her smarts, but more so, I was in awe of the way that she never held back academically in order to fit in. She loved school and studied voraciously (something you would expect of more students who were studying at a freaking school of witchcraft and wizardry) without fear of being noticed.

For years, I worried that I talked too much in class, tried my hardest not to be the first one to hand in my test paper, and would never share my grades with anyone else. A few of my primary bullies seemed to resent the fact that my teachers singled me out because of my grades, and I refused to add fuel to that fire, even if it meant that I enjoyed school a little less as a result.

Hermione didn’t care about any of that. She cared about learning as much as she could about this wondrous new world around her. She took school seriously and liked to follow the rules -- but was always willing to break them if the mission at hand was important enough. Hermione’s code of ethics and love of learning spoke to me on a level that no other character had since Ramona Quimby. I loved Harry for his kindness, bravery and occasional sass, and (before his terrible behavior in the first half of The Goblet of Fire) appreciated Ron’s sense of humor and loyalty, but I always wanted the best for Hermione.

It wasn’t just that she was the main girl in the story, or that she called Ron and Harry out when they were being ridiculous or annoying. She was a girl who didn’t completely fit in but stayed true to herself. I loved when she stood up for herself when she was able to put together clues that went over everyone else’s heads, and most of all, whenever she showed up to save the day using one of the most underappreciated resources in the fantasy novels: research.

Hermione Jean Granger was the nerdy girl who helped save the world, and for that, I will forever love her.  

HGQLC is Headed to LeakyCon 2017!

One of the biggest Harry Potter conventions in the world, LeakyCon 2017, is fast approaching, and the Sunshine Moxie team is prepping for our trip to Dublin to represent “Hermione Granger and the Quarter Life Crisis” and hang with fellow Potterheads.

It’s our second year at LeakyCon (we had a panel about HGQLC during LeakyCon 2016) and we are more than excited for all of the cool stuff we’ve got planned. Here’s our entire LeakyCon schedule, so if you’re going to make it out to Ireland at the end of this month, be sure to check out our panels, stop by our booth at the Fandom Expo, or just say hi.


Friday, Sept. 1.

3 p.m.: The Official “Hermione Granger and the Quarter Life Crisis” Panel.

Location: TBD

HGQLC actors Ashley Romans (who plays Hermione Granger) and Stephanie Ezekiel (Juniper Dias) discuss the web series.

5 p.m.: “From Fandom to Creator” Panel.

Location: TBD

Saturday, Sept. 2

5 p.m.: "An Original LeakyCon Creation.”

Location: Newcastle Suite (Citywest Hotel Leisure Centre)

Megan Grogan, Alice Pearce and Eliyannah Amirah Yisrael of HGQLC host a workshop that "build[s] a premise for an original Harry Potter story to be created by any and all of the participants using their gifts and interests."

8:30 p.m.: “Hermione Granger and the Quarter Life Crisis” Screening

Location: CityWest Suite 1

Sunday, Sept. 3

11 a.m.: "19 Years Later: The Heroines Who Followed Hermione,"  

Location: Newcastle Suite (Citywest Hotel Leisure Centre)

Eliyannah, Megan, Ashley Romans (HGQLC's very own Hermione Jean Granger) and Alice Pearce will be speaking on a panel about the strong, dynamic female literary heroines that were written after Hermione Granger, as well as the authors who were inspired by J.K. Rowling's work.

HGQLC at San Diego Comic-Con (RECAP)

San Diego Comic-Con was, to say the least, amazing. It was so great to connect with so many people and get to talk Harry Potter, HGQLC, fandom and all things nerdy. We were sure to take a ton of photos and video because the show's first SDCC is definitely one we want to remember forever. 


Check out our IG feed for more fun updates from SDCC! 

A Letter from the HGQLC Team

Those who are into “Hermione Granger and the Quarter Life Crisis” might have noticed that it has taken us awhile to roll out the second episode. The first episode aired on Monday, January 16. It picked up eight years after the Battle of Hogwarts, with an unhappy Hermione Apparating to L.A. on a whim, fed up with her life in London, her relationship with her first love, Ron Weasley, and her budding career at the Ministry of Magic. And the response from viewers was overwhelmingly positive. Every day, we watched the views climb on YouTube, connected with viewers on Twitter and Facebook and even received press!

It was amazing to see the reception “ASIB” received. We were so excited to allow Hermione, a character whose ending in the “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” epilogue was incredibly polarizing for many fans, to write her own ending. To choose a path that seemed a little more satisfying to fans of the brightest witch of her age, the brains of the Golden Trio, the girl who helped bring down Voldemort through books and cleverness and trademark Gryffindor bravery.

In the midst of all of this, we began losing key crew members, including our editor and all three of our producers, at a disheartening rate. It probably comes as no surprise to anyone who has ever worked on a fan project, but we are essentially all working for free. And even if some of our former teammates love HGQLC and want to see it succeed, dedicating a significant amount of one’s free time and talents to a pursuit that is not going to help your personal bottom line can prove challenging, to say the least.

We were content to soldier on, trying to find replacements for the crew members we’d lost, roll out the next episode, and continue to develop buzz for the show. And then, we hit an old and familiar problem: a lack of funds. Eliyannah Amirah Yisrael, the show’s creator, director and showrunner, was committed to funding the majority of the project herself (and we also received some donations after our LeakyCon panel in August), but her own source of income fell through. In the end, the combination of a dwindling crew and budget have us in a bind.

We need to finish shooting and editing future episodes, and recruit several new crew members. Which is why we are asking for your help. We work with a strict budget of $1,000 per episode. Though it is a tiny amount for the work that we’re doing, it gives us the opportunity to pay for the things we can’t make the show without: including equipment, food, locations and props/design.

HGQLC is a passion project for the entire team, but especially for Eliyannah, who was originally inspired to create the show during a life crisis of her own. Not only was it an opportunity to reimagine Hermione’s path, but also a chance to show others that you don’t have to have all of the answers. That taking a leap is sometimes less difficult than standing still. That even our heroes can get a little lost -- and come out stronger in the end.

We want to continue Hermione’s story, introduce the world to Juniper and Tae Joon and LaQuita and Ben, show everyone exactly how much of a badass Parvati really is, and dive into the complicated character that is a post-Death Eaters Malfoy.

And so, we are asking for your help. If you like where HGQLC is going and want to help us complete this journey, you can do so in a few different ways. First, please donate, if you can.  Second, if you know anyone in the LA area who would be a great fit for our team, please have them email their resumes to hermioneseries@gmail.com. Last, spread the word -- about our need for funding, as well as the show.

Your excitement and support have been tremendous and heartwarming and affirming and any other multisyllabic word for awesome that comes to mind. From the bottom of our hearts, we appreciate everyone who has been supportive of the show. Thank you for all that you have done and continue to do. And most of all, thank you for being willing to go on this adventure with us.