The Guild

Category: , By Rev/Views

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Felicia Day as "Codex"
Sandeep Parikh as "Zaboo"
Jeff Lewis as "Vork"
Amy Okuda as "Tinkerballa"
Robin Thorsen as "Clara"
Vincent Caso as "Bladezz"

The Guild is a collection of that short web-isodes that have been out for a while and focus on a small group of dysfunctional individuals who draw their entire social support system from each other, via the medium of an online guild in an undisclosed game (but most likely World of Warcraft).

Now this show is about a subject that I have a rather; intense dislike of. I really don't approve of MMOs as a whole, especially the latest batch headed up by World of Warcraft. Originally I wasn't that bothered about them, but having lived with people who became complete WoW-Heads and as such totally obnoxious losers who lived strange hours, smelt bad and talked in complete net-speak gibberish I'm not too well disposed towards them any more.

Note: I'm sure there are well balanced individuals who treat MMOs as occasional bursts of enjoyment out there. But I can't understand how people can spend hours sat in front of what is essentially a very bad movie without getting bored. Still people are free to spend their lives as they wish and it doesn't harm me so enjoy!

Felicia Day (who recently shot to fame as Penny in Doctor Horrible's Sing-Along-Blog and previously appeared on shows like Buffy) stars in and writes this off beat comedy about a young lass who's entire life is currently lived on the Internet as part of a tiny group of fellow addicts loosely called 'The Guild'. Her life is disrupted when 'Zaboo' turns up uninvited on her doorstep and starts proclaiming his undying love for her. This, combined with an "in-game" issue with Bladezz spamming 'fag' galvanizes her into arranging a face to face meeting with the other members of the guild. Who all live locally but have never met before...

It's not a bad little diversion to watch in an evening, each episode is approximately five minutes long and it's quite funny at times. Felicia is very likable and amusing as Codex and performances from the rest of the cast are equally strong, Jeff Lewis (Vork) and Vincent Caso (Bladezz) in particular are great, but I also enjoyed Amy Okuda's disinterested put-downs thrown at various times. You're left wondering why on earth she bothers with them because she seems to do nothing but insult the others and play on her DS. Which I found very amusing.

But it's not all perfection, parts of the dialog I found just too dorky for my stomach to handle, especially the stuff in the final episode which had me cringing when the guild members use in game terms while confronting Zaboo's mother in a restaurant - treating the whole thing like a "boss battle". I'm sure MMO users will find that part very funny, but I didn't like it.

Additionally, I just could not stand Zaboo from the very first moment he turned up; this was intentional as he's an unwelcome guest in Codex's house and she's too passive to properly drive him out. But I found myself getting irritated at him every time he opened his mouth. This isn't to say everything that he does is annoying and unfunny. The photo shopped picture of himself and Codex was amusing and the Ethernet cable incident made me laugh. But on the whole he was the weakest part of the series and for me this was a shame because most of the story revolves around him. Also, and I know this is entirely superficial, but I hate his eyebrows - man they are annoying.

Last of all, I could not stand the 'theme music' they've chosen to use; please - if you ever read this guys - switch it up next season and use something that sounds less like fairies taking a whizz on bells. I found myself skipping past it every single episode and it's only a few seconds long.

Still, negative feelings about Zaboo and the extreme, cringe worthy level of dorkiness (both of which are in the same area of comedy as "The Office" and "Fawlty Towers" so they're still quite acceptable) it's a great little series that should appeal to computer people (ooh you computer people with your computer stuff and your computer lingo, you scare me!). I guess I'm not part of the target demographic but I still enjoyed it once I gave it a chance.

I'll give it a 3/5 (which is pretty good for an independent, free, net web-isode thing) and I look forward to the next 'season'.


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