Pinterest Board: Serenity Now!

I’ve done some rejiggering of my Pinterest board as I realized my Nerd Love board was getting a bit cluttered with all my different fandoms. So I separated out a few of them, like my Firefly/Serenity board called Serenity Now! Check it out as I’ve found some cool fa art and the like. Or check out a few of the links below.

Jayne and Vera fan art on DeviantArt.

Firefly and X-Files mash-up poster. I may have posted this before. But it always makes me smile.

Firefly cookie cutters, which I want. Like yesterday.

Serenity friendship necklaces on Etsy. Ah Wash, I miss you.

And this cool set of dishes. Serenity and the bot from Farscape, if I’m not mistaken.

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: Stand Up Girls

Stand Up Girls was created by Amy K. Green & Blair Skinner. Stand Up Girls  is a “scripted series about stand up female comedians and their horribly, misguided views on life.” Jenna Brister (Harper), Stephanie Kornick (Ursula), and Hollie Lee (Dolores) are all real life stand up comedians, bringing a unique perspective to this webseries.

I watched all eight episodes of the first season which is available on line. Production is decent, though attempts to create a bunch of different apartments was maybe a bit ambitious, and I suspect a bookcase was used in two different sets. Each episode is about five minutes long and full of awkward, agonizingly so, hilariously so, moments. My favorite line was: “But then I thawed out and became a woman again.”Some of the stand up was not my favorite, some of it made me guffaw. I liked the interweaving of stand up to real life, because that is where  the good stand ups get their material, and it seemed more realistic and made it all a bit funnier.

Reminiscent of Awkward Embraces, Stand Up Girls will add a few chuckles to your day and make you glad your problems don’t include homeless squatters, a magician as an employer, or a mic in front of you every night.

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.