VGHS: S02E03 (2013)

When VGHS does something right they do it darn good. This is one of those brilliant pieces of the series that makes you go, “this is worth television air time.” And that’s not some cop out flattery line, that’s a genuine really good storytelling.

Which you should be able to tell – even in the description below the video – that this is one of the few episodes with minimal high frame rate scenes. What we are tending to see more often than not in western community films, web series, and television shows is the good guy always wins. Even when he might be at the lowest time in his life, there is always a glimmer of hope for your fantasy to make them live happily ever after.

This episode, though I didn’t find pulling me to the edge of my seat screaming, “YOU CAN’T LEAVE KI!” it did have me sitting there thinking that the lack of video games to propel the story (Field of Fire and its count down timer) made it a helluva more interesting to watch what characters at VGHS do other than game. Personally, without this episode, this glorious moment of character development, I would continually watch this series with the back thought of Harry Potter. Harry Potter similarities everywhere.

The turning point of this episode falls down to the moment Jenny (played by Johanna Braddy) and Brian (played by Josh Blaylock) wake up together. There was something that despite the fact I knew the set layout, and it’s complete fabrication, it seemed real. Maybe not the waking up, which as Johanna said in a recent podcast, was to physically fall asleep and wake up to portray the best real version of the script.

What I find most interesting about this episode is the the arc between Jenny and her mother (Mary Matrix, played by Cynthia Watros), and the arc of The Law (played by Brian Firenzi).

The first arc I was finding very repetitive. Mother and daughter relationship not strong – there were issues. One has to like the other to benefit the whole team and the school (and maybe their careers). But it was undoubtably stale. It was as if I had entered a time warp to the 80s and Italian Spiderman was just surprised. There was all this hate, but no real why this understanding as a viewer, on a personal, emotional level, how these two characters came to be this way. If we were to favour one over the other, or really want to have them work as a team we needed to know what encounters the two were going to have to face so potential collaboration could happen. And this episode did just that.

The second arc of The Law. I was getting worried of how he was going to even have a role in this season. He had been defeated, he was now Brian’s roommate, and now he’s just running amuck. What purpose does he have to this story? Why is screen time used on him? Are we just seeing a great case of Brian adfadfaerf not wanting his character to disappear so he just writes himself in? Okay, maybe definitely not the last one, but you have to think why is there all this emphasis on a character that’s not doing anything. I’m just waiting for him to take over the school, hold everyone hostage and varsity has to take him down alla “Community and paintball”.

But what I’m taking from this episode, half way through this season, is that we’ve done the building up, and now we are going to have the first understanding of the big issue in the next episode. Followed by preparation, and ending with the all out battle. That’s my expectation at least, but maybe this team is forging a new story arc for web series? A potential docudrama style piece where there’s no climax only facts? Hopefully not.

On a final note, the VFX were awesome as usual – the card game was mind blowing more than last episodes. Also love me a bit of 8-bit (pun intended).