Felicia Day’s other online series has been recently guaranteed a third season. Should that be a surprise?

Cast and Crew Information

Vincent Caso as Bladezz, the Rogue/Thief
Felicia Day as Codex, the Healer
Jeff Lewis as Vork, the Guildmaster
Amy Okuda as Tinkerballa, the Ranger
Sandeep Parikh as Zaboo, the Warlock
Robin Thorsen as Clara, the Mage

Written by Felicia Day
Directed by Sean Becker

Availability Information

The series can be viewed at its official site, or purchased on DVD through this Amazon.com exclusive. You can also track it down through XBox 360 Live and MSN Video.

Premise

Codex is having trouble coping in real life, but finds a level of social satisfaction though online gaming. This system collapses when a member of her guild overemphasizes a semicolon or two, and arrives on her doorstep, ready to move in.

High Point

Alternative uses for an ethernet cable.

Low Point

When watched in one continuous sitting, the theme music gets a bit monotonous.

The Review

This is a pretty original series. Geek humour can be found in a lot of places, but this pulls off the humour while still respecting the geeks involved to some degree. I give it 4 out of 6.

The effects were pretty much nonexistant. The only effects involved come in the last few minutes, and those don’t need to be terribly convincing, as they are all in the heads of the characters rather than a physical representation. I give it 5 out of 6.

The story works really well. It’s a serial structure rather than the classic three or four act structures, which is actually refreshing, as it loses the predictability by outright feel. The social group involved is quite plausible, and the story beats and Codex gains the social aspect of her life that she’s craved works very well. I give it 5 out of 6.

The acting is very nice. Part of this is due to Felicia Day writing some roles for friends of hers, but some of the other roles were filled with open casting. If I hadn’t read that on the website after the fact, I never would have known which roles were which. Everyone fits their role like it was made for them. I give it 5 out of 6.

The production was well done. It’s clearly location shooting, likely as a result of the budget, so there are limits to lighting and set consistency. The nature of the project allows them to do a lot of it as though filmed through a webcam, so that sets the expectations well enough to mask the budget concerns in many cases. I give it 4 out of 6.

The emotional response is excellent. After the positive feedback posted in the May 19 DVD release column, I tracked it down online with the intentions of watching an episode or two to see if the DVD was worth picking up. Five minutes into the season (which lasts about an hour; “five minutes in” means the middle of episode two) I knew I’d be watching the full season for an immediate review, and I paused at the end of the episode to head over to Amazon and pick up copies for myself and others. (Expect a season two review shortly after the mail arrives.) This is funnier than most of the shows that get major network pickups. I give it 6 out of 6.

Overall, this is a series I’d recommend to anyone with even a peripheral awareness of online gaming, whether they’ve actually played the games themselves or just know people who do. Alternatively, anyone with no knowledge at all of online gaming, but who has ever known someone who doesn’t recognize when a relationship is over (or never going to start) will also appreciate much of the humour. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t fit at least one of these descriptions, which is especially true of those reading reviews on Bureau 42. I give it 6 out of 6.

In total, The Guild: Season One receives 35 out of 42.