Late to the Party: Felicia Day's The Guild

Late to the Party: The Guild

We all love reviews- they give you an early sense of a game, comic, movie, or tv show, and let you know if it’s worth your time and hard earned money. Most reviews are for products that have just come out. What if you missed it, though? What if, like everyone sometimes, you were late to the party? This column is for you. For the gamer that’s still interested in that game from a year ago, you just never got around to picking it up. Maybe it’s in the bargain bin now, or a “greatest hit” that can be found at a reduced price or maybe you can get it on the cheap used at your local Gamestop. However you go looking for it, we’ll get you up-to-date right here. This time, we have something a little different in store for you. It’s still game related, and it’s free!   Everyone’s talking about the online sensation, the indie bringing the funny, Felicia Day’s masterpiece: The Guild. Or, at least they were a few months ago when Season 1 was actually airing. I was late to this party, as I just heard about and watched this raucous web comedy for the first time this past weekend. Hot diggity was I missing out.   Felicia Day recently caught attention for her role in a different web based comedy, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. She was also one of the potential slayers in the final season of Joss Whedon’s neo-classic Buffy the Vampire Slayer. For The Guild, Day continues her presence in front of the camera, but also steps behind it. Felicia Day is listed as Writer, Producer, and Actor for the show. She largely writes every episode herself, allowing for some improvisation by the other actors as is called for. The show is very independent- episodes are funded entirely by donation, although Season 2 will now also be funded by Season 1 DVD sales. Enough backstory, on with the show.   The show features a main cast of six. The characters are all gamers, particularly obsessed with a fantasy-based Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG). The game is never named, but events pretty clearly point to World of Warcraft. Really, though, the game takes a backseat to the real life interactions that the Guild members are dragged into. Episodes are between 4 and 7 minutes long, with some scenes being primarily individuals talking into the camera (and their headsets), and some being the whole cast together.   All this adds up to utter hilarity. From the cheesy intro, you really have no idea what to expect. By the end of all ten episodes, your head will be filled with so much quotable material, you’ll forget other words. Day shows she can carry a show here, with her quirky cuteness and her character’s naiveté. The rest of the cast is a nice cross-section of gamer types. It’s cool to see such a wide range of people, and accurate, as WoW has over 10 million users. No one else here is very recognizable (unless you’re a fan of Reelz Channel’s “Movie Mob”), but they are absolutely the right choices. Having 6 completely ego free actors come together and create a show like this is exactly what Youtube should be for.   Having a continuous plot basically makes this one long episode of TV, but it never gets stale or feels dragged out. There are laugh out loud moments in every episode. The series is definitely great for gamers, but not exclusive to them- even if you only know a gamer, you’ll get the majority of the jokes, and still have a fun time watching the show. Really, with its confessional-style tactics, its jokes that aren’t forced, and its straight forward approach to the source material, this is the Gamer’s The Office.   Season one won all sorts of awards, so I’m likely not telling you anything new. However, if you’re one of the few like me, this is one show absolutely worth checking out.   The Guild Season 2 starts this fall, boasting longer episodes and increased production quality. Season 1 is available now on DVD at www.watchtheguild.com

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