VGHS: S02E05 (2013)

Those feelings hurt.

I’m in a bit of a pickle. An inner being, psychological conflict. Let’s go through this episode, and see myself tear apart!

YES! It’s the episode that has Rocket Jump and YouTube comments up in a stir – drama! I’ve added some screen shots below, but it really amazes me in what the audience wants compared to what we have been given in the past. Fabramaster, a YouTube commenter said, “I remember when vghs had vidio games nit soap operah drama [sic]”. Right on Fabramaster, right on. I remember a time when storylines were gripping, making me want to return. But maybe that’s where we differ? Taken from your one video, you’re clearly younger than me. You were raised in the age of new media, where everything was present before you.

This isn’t a personal attack, it’s just your comment made me look back and reflect on VGHS as I have done previously. But this time a little more clarity, a refinement of what I was hoping wasn’t true. Not for you and I, but for the team behind the series.

Matthew Arnold; show runner, director, super intellectual, and what I like to see as “on my wavelength” in the views of film, television and the industry, I would like to say has the biggest influence on the season than any other (that I know of at least). He’s stated he has worked for Disney, and when you hear him talk you can imagine him as being that friendly, all round nice guy. But from what I’ve learnt of him from the series, behind the scenes, podcasts, and other dibbles of inclusion is he is really child orientated. Nothing against that, we all have our strengths, we all have our area of where pleasure meets work. Yet, the more I realise this the more I understand his editorial influence on the series is not for me.

I think we’d both agree that it is completely fine. He doesn’t have to please me, and I’m not forced to like his work – it’s how our industry works. What I struggle to grasp completely is the notion of how a series from – as my dear friend Fabramaster stated – had video games rather than child plot lines. If I wanted Disney, I’d go to Disney. I went Rocket Jump for what you guys (and gals) do best – highly engaging, immersive content.

So what the here is where the review of this episode turns. I absolutely loved this episode. There was development, characters that I actually felt for (even Calhoun played by Harley Morenstein), excellent pacing, and surprisingly no video games sequences. I love when they do video game scenes, but I love this stuff more.

Somewhere between discovering freddiew to the beginning of VGHS to now, I’ve seen a lot of their content. 99% of the time I have enjoyed it, but I feel that somewhere between season one and season two we jumped back in time in terms of audience. Am I blaming Matt (like it sounds above)? No, I actually really enjoy what he brings to the table. What I don’t like though is the way it feels that the script is catering for who they discovered to be their audience with the statistics after season one completed, where some bright young accounting lad popped up to announce, “we are now targeting twelve year olds.” Yet after four episodes of mediocre storyline, with somewhat aimless arcs they throw in this curve ball.

And that accountant that I just mentioned was misinterpreted. No, it is twelve year olds, and older males, and females, and dogs and cats, and potential aliens. Hell, they’re targeting everyone. Maybe it’s the cause of going straight to web broadcast – to maximise viewings. Plausible, but somewhere they need to let one of the parties go. Either tell me I’m not your targeted audience, or show the young kids who want to grow up to be you (it’s true) what a good story with distinctive and efficient writing is.

If you made it this far into the review (which is more an overall review than on this episode) then my opinion on the episode itself is summed in the information box to the above right. Five stars, excellent on all levels, the cinematography was exhilarating, and for the first time I felt like I had seen an episode (not moment) where my backer money had gone to.

Rest in Peace – ShotBot – 23/08/2013 – Let’s hope they save your firmware somewhere and you come back, even as a hologram.

Oh, and The Law (played by Brian Firenzi) actually had some story in this episode like he was an actual character than childish comic relief. That feeling of “every shot and second onscreen needs to be justifies or cut it out” was letting my inner child jump for joy.

Also the fact that items introduced (the friendship badge) play effect in the later part of the episode, and then are used to show what the final episode has in store makes me giddy. Ah, I’m rambling, but seriously watching this episode was worth every second. More of this, and less of what was happening.