Webseries Review: Kissing in the Rain

Earlier this week I reviewed a webseries about Poe writing The Raven called A Tell Tale Vlog and if you haven’t checked out either my review or the webseries you should do both. Right now.

Go. Do it.

The creators and producers of A Tell Tale Vlog have a few other webseries under their YouTube channel Shipwrecked Comedy, including two season of Kissing in the Rain. Each episode is about two minutes long. The first season is seven episodes long and the second season five.

Kissing in the Rain is the story of two actors who continuously end up starring opposite each other in different movies based on literary characters. Each movie has a scene where the actors find themselves kissing in the rain. But in spite of the onscreen chemistry the actors relationships with each other are awkward, tempestuous, and sometimes silent. Little bits of real life leak out after the director calls cut.

This series is absolutely adorbs. I mean ridiculously adorable. Sean Persaud plays romantic lead after romantic lead as a romantic lead. It’s a bit mind bendy, but in a fun way. Mary Kate Wiles plays opposite him and she has honed her craft as an actor, some of the best webseries acting I have seen. Plus, she’s so purty. Their little story has its own arc over the seven episodes, which I absolutely devoured, and their chemistry as they play actors playing parts is equally as strong as the chemistry between their characters.

It was with some trepidation that I began the second season, which stars Sinead Persaud and Sairus Graham, because I didn’t think there could be as cute of a couple as Sean and Mary Kate. However, while not quite hitting the adorbs spectrum in the same manner as the first season, Sinead and Sairus have their own chemistry as they play period scenes with each other. I like how in the second season the producers started saying which characters the actors were playing, because, while I got a few from the first season, I’m sure I missed some of the comedy from not knowing exactly who they were supposed to be.

Another interesting concept that the creators of Kissing in the Rain added to their webseries were the first seasons episodes Companion Canon Drabble written by Yulin Kuang and the Follow the Kissing in the Rain Fan Canon Experiment via tumblr. Basically:

Anything reblogged to the main Shipwrecked Comedy tumblr following the release of Episode 1 will become canonical. That means fanfiction, fanmixes, one-line headcanon, fanart of imagined scenes, and anything else our Shipsters can think of.

The goal of this experiment was to involve the audience by using Tumblr to “create a curated, community-written canonical companion work” to the first season of Kissing in the Rain. I have not delved into the Tumblr experiment, but I did reach each Companion Canon Drabble by Yuliln Kuang. While each episodes stands on its own and each season has its own tale, the writings of Yuliln do add to the experience and I recommend taking the time to read them.

Kissing in the Rain plays out literary characters literally kissing in the rain, tells its own tale of two awkward actors, and made me laugh more than once and squeal a time or two as well. If you like period pieces, awkwardly romantic moments, or watching people make out, check out the webseries Kissing in the Rain.

Webseries Review: Walking in Circles

A barbarian Prince must seek out and slay the dragon who ate his father. He enlists a band of adventurers to help him and finds that the urge to crush his friends might be more tempting than the urge to crush his enemies.

And so begins the antics of a misfit crew in Walking in Circles. The bard who sings while sneaking up on the enemy, the wizard who doesn’t have enough bat poop to throw fireballs, and a druid whose healing biscuits upset the stomach. All led by a barbarian prince with untested leadership skills and a have-hammer-will-smash attitude.

I was contacted by James Rodehaver, creator, writer, and producer of the series with a teaser trailer for season 2. While season 1 is still available on YouTube, it appears they have not yet been picked up to fully produce season 2. Though filmed, the second season is in need of patronage before it can be released. You can check out the teaser trailer for season 2 on YouTube, it looks exciting!

Walking in Circles is a clever concept. The creators wanted to “bring the magic of tabletop RPG’s to the screen.” It is definitely an ambitious undertaking. I watched the first four episodes and each of the characters have some great moments that are fun and sometimes hilarious. I laughed out loud on more than one occasion. Markus, the wizard, is my favorite. He made me laugh the most with his excellent comedic timing. I loved, “My mom named me to get back at my dad for having such a boring last name. Or” a beat,  “she was high. I don’t know. “

While I enjoyed the characters talking to a camera crew, because I think that’s a fun notion, I wish they had taken the concept of  tabletop RPG to screen a bit further. Perhaps tabletop players could talk about their characters to the camera and then we see the characters as the adventuring misfit crew. This could help explain how the characters are rather modern in speech pattern, interrelationship dramatics, and attempted democratic voting. It would also explain Krag rolling his eyes when his misfit crew does their own thing instead of aiding him. I live with a Viking (close enough to a barbarian prince). Vikings do not role their eyes when disobeyed by the people they are in charge of.

Production value on Walking in Circles is of decent caliber. The background noise and music aided in the story telling and did not detract. The white washing cinematography used was not my favorite, but a choice that I can respect. The acting was also decent, occasionally everyone talking over each other got a bit muddled, but for the most part the scenes play out well. Each episode is about 9 or 10 minutes long and while there is a greater story arc each episode did have its own purposeful story as well.

If you like high fantasy, play a lot of tabletop RPGs, or find misfit crews endearing, check out Walking in Circles. Slayings, demons, and more grace the computer screen as Krag and his crew try to find a common goal in their adventuring.

Webseries Review: A Tell Tale Vlog

I was contacted a while ago (::coughlasthalloweencough::), by Yulin Kuang to view the YouTube channel Shipwrecked Comedy. Created by Yulin Kuang, Sinead Persaud, & Sean Persaud, Shipwrecked is a sketch comedy channel that is “[h]ere to fulfill all your historical literary comedy webseries needs.” One of the series on Shipwrecked is, A Tell Tale Vlog, the vlog of Edgar Allan Poe with commentary by Lenore, the beleaguered spirit.

Summary:

 “You’re not the only ghost in town.” Edgar Allan Poe attempts to record a writing vlog while the lady ghost Lenore haunts his study.

A new mini-webseries by Shipwrecked, loosely adapted from “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe.

Each of the 8 episodes of A Tell Tale Vlog is about two minutes long and follows the awkward ramblings of Poe, played by Sean, and his “Poe-em,” The Raven. Poe’s fake mustache is to die for. If you need a little giggle, watch the first episode below and check it out! Lenore, played by Sinead, pops up several times per episode with her own sighings about life as a ghost. My favorite lines from her are “Such a ghost whore,” and “Next time you see me, I might not be here.”

This channel is full of comedy gold. I laughed every episode, some of them several times. I enjoyed how the series uses technology to add to the story rather than interfere with it. Poe’s written pleas that pop up on his videos are quite amusing and I thought a genius way to give him dialogue without making the sketches longer. For example, as he is signing off of one episode more of his thoughts pop up on the screen, “Lend me your thoughts on my new poem ‘The Raven’ in the comments below.” A beat and then, “If you don’t like it, I can write you another.”

This is one of the best webseries I’ve seen in a while, and each sketch well written. The acting is excellent, the sound engineering great, and the wit of the writers will make you laugh.

Webseries Review: The Court Supreme

I was contacted by, Arik Sternberg, the writer and produce of The Court Supreme who thought I might be interested in viewing it and sharing it with you all. I was not compensated for this review. He told me:

 It’s a surreal legal comedy about the highest Court of Law in the Universe, where pop-culture characters and comic book stereotypes are put on trial.

Pilot Episode: Blood-Knight vs The Blade of Doom

Summary from The Court Supreme

When a BLOOD-KNIGHT from the proud Berserker clan wants to start a new life and leave all the blood and gore behind, he finds out that the cursed blade that served him dutifully during his many battles, is not willing to let him go so easily, especially not when she finds out that she is going to be replaced by a woman.

 

Left with no other choice, the BLOOD-KNIGHT calls upon the eternal justice of THE COURT SUPREME to release him from his Curse and/or Contract.

While obviously a pilot webisode, there are a few excellent moments in the Blood-Knight vs The Blade of Doom. The concept of stereotypical comic book characters on trial or in front of a judge was quite intriguing to me. I like watching people verbally spar, and enjoy doing it myself, to the chagrin of my friends. There is no actual fighting, but I was prepared for it, and since I went in with only an expectation of verbal debate, wasn’t disappointed. In fact, the website explains the webseries is for a specific audience.

So if you read too many books, love language and its rhetorical pitfalls, are fascinated by legal maneuvers, enjoy cultural stereotypes & archetypes, and don’t mind getting into a good argument from time to time – then this web series is for you. 

I liked the question of standing and mootness, though not called by those in the webisode. Basically the lawyers argue whether the Berserker can even bring a case if there is no one to bring the case against. Once that is hammered out, the next question is what is the cause of action, and here the episode took a twist that actually surprised me, The Blood Knight wishes to divorce his Lady Blade of Doom, because he cannot claim it is a defective product, rather that his his contract with the blade is more akin to an accidental marriage. I admit this tickled my fancy and I chuckled a time or two. 

But, I do have a few objections. I have some legal objections, claiming to be a court of equality the judge wants to split everything in half, whereas, here in the states many courts look more at an equitable division in divorces or under the public policy of what is just and right for any particular divorce. This is because the courts have figured out that often one spouse will stay home and not make a lot of money while supporting the other person, loosing job and business opportunities and so an equitably division is often more favorable than an equal fifty/fifty split. But perhaps I dig too deep legally in a comic book setting and perhaps the courts in Canada, where this series is based, have a different public policy around divorce which fed into this universes policies around divorce.

Also, I would have had several objections to lines of questioning in terms of relevance, but there were no objections entered into between the two arguers. I found that surprising, but perhaps this court does not allow objections or such objections are entered into later in the series. 

My other major objection is the sound quality. Understandably, a self financed and produced series isn’t going to have access to amazing sets or cinematography, but using what appears to be a big theater was perhaps not the best choice for picking up sound without echoing. Because the whole episode is just people talking, the quality of sound was a tad of an issue. Not horrible, but not the greatest. 

I did like the ending and the sentencing was not what I expected, and that was a pleasant surprise. The acting was decent and believable as people who like to argue some rather strange cases. The episodes do run a tad longer than some webseries, the first episode was over 15 minutes long. I liked that there was depth to the arguing, but it could have been tightened up a bit as well. 

 I enjoyed the first episode enough to start the second and may see myself finishing the other three as well. This series is exactly what it advertises, interesting rhetoric about comic book stereotypical characters and the problems they face, in the court room.

Week of Webisodes 2014

I did a week of webseries review in 2013 and have decided to do another round. I have a list of them growing in my email as I haven’t had much time for webseries reviews for a few months now… or the past year. ::cough:: But eventually I do get around to them and now I have a whole pile I’ve been meaning to watch and review, so lucky you!

week of webseries reviews 2014

Nodds & Nends: Ballerina Hulk, Podcasts, and It’s OK to be Smart

Check out this cutesy quiz about science and learn that it’s OK to be smart. ;) I did OK, not perfectly. But at the time I took it I was really sick from un-diagnosed strep throat, so my brain was a little fuzzy.

SF Signal asked their readers to name their favorite SF websites, podcasts, publishers, book bloggers, and comics. Elizabeth Campbell mentioned Book Store Book Blogger Connection which was founded by Little Red Reviewer and which I have participated in. She lists those some bloggers who participate in Book Store Book Blogger Connection and during the podcast episode, SF Signal mentions Absurdly Nerdly at 47:40, though he totally butchers the name of my blog the first time. Also mentioned are Books Without any PicturesNashville Bookworm and The Book Smugglers, some book bloggers I follow because they have excellent reviews.

Want to see a ballerina Hulk? Of course you do.

So apparently, there is a series about WereHEDGEHOGS!!! I think I may have to see if I can track one down and read it. Because, What. The What?

Did you know that some background, distracting, noise can actually up creativity? I think it’s because the brain has to concentrate on ignoring it and that takes up the thinking-about-cats-on-the-internets part of the brain. You can now listen to a rainy cafe to help get you in the mood to concentrate, create, write, or blog. I think it is awesome!

Remember my review of that webseries Jane Eyre? Well, I’m obsessed with it. I think it is well written, quirky, and a delight. Plus, the creators are really cool and they’ve actually made a website for their fictional Thornfield Aluminum Exports company. Jane also has a twitter account and a tumblr. Totally cool.

A new Piano Cosplay has popped up. This time it’s all Batman and she is in a Catwoman costume. And looking mighty fine. You are welcome.

Webseries Review: Hitman 101

A while ago, Scott from Bad Guy Films contacted to tell me about a new webseries he created, Hitman 101. Basically he just wanted to let me know it existed if I wanted to check it out. It took overly long for me to do so, and for that I do apologize, to Scott and you all, because it is an engaging, excellent webseries about the life of a Hitman that I do think some of my readers will quite enjoy.

I like the main actor a lot. Georgie Daburas plays the Hitman. He is really good and I like that he doesn’t overplay his role or tap into stereotypes of “Bad Guys.” When he meets a girl at a coffee shop and starts to like her, his face softens and goes all cute and vulnerable. A very sweet and entrancing moment to watch. It doesn’t hurt that he’s quite a cutie. The rest of the characters are also well written, though some of the other actors do seem to play the stereotype rather than the “real” person. Perhaps that is the direction the show was going for, and it works OK as he plays the “Straight Man” Hitman to their caricature of people from that world. I thought the production value was fairly decent, though some of the night shooting turned kind of green from the lights near where they were filming. I really liked that there were a lot of different locations, that doesn’t happen very often with webseries.

I’ve seen four episodes so far and enjoyed them all. The first two are basic set up for the series and character, but the third one is when the action really starts. Including some fighting. I liked the different fighting styles that were portrayed and the different moves executed. However, pretty sure in a real fight they would all have ganged up on him at once and not taken him on one-by-one. But that tends to happen a lot of in visual story telling. Still, a really cool scene.

I also enjoyed the simplicity of the plot. Hitman 101. It’s all in the title. The life of a Hitman, and what he goes through when things do not go as planned. Of course there has to be drama, of course things go wrong, but he’s a smart and engaging character and it is definitely a fun series. Do check it out.