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Wednesday, 27 February 2013

That Guy With The Glasses Tetrology

I figured for my 30th post onward I should get started on the New Media genre. So I figured what better place to start than with Channel Aweseome and That Guy With The Glasses.  I first caught a glimpse of Channel Awesome during The Nostalgia Critic and Angry Video Game Nerd Feud.  The Angry Video Game Nerd was the very first Internet review show I ever watched but I'll get to that one next time.  As for Channel Awesome it opened my eyes for the first time and was one of the things that inspired me to do this blog.  I have the utmost respect for Doug and Rob Walker, as well as Lewis Lovhaug and the rest of the team for all that they do for new media entertainment.  However the main focus isn't on the numerous shows that are on that site.  My main focus is on the anniversary specials and the videos leading up to it.

This one will be different while at the same time share the same ideals of fictionalization, but first the story. Since I am going through a lot for this, there may be spoilers.

It all started with The Nostalgia Critic, a reviewer that made it his life's mission to seek out any and all nostalgic movies and rip them apart figuratively and sometimes literally.  His trademark appearence included a hat, suit jacket and a tie worn over casual clothes, whilst his trademark formula included the following:

1. Watching the movie and analyzing the pros and cons.
2. Going insane over every inconsistency.
3. Sometimes taking it out on others in the most comically violent ways imaginable.

And boy did it have dire consequences.

The first anniversary started with hate comments.  That's right, something bad turned into something good.  See what happened was as Nostalgia Critic became popular, most AVGN fans accused The Critc of copycatting.  So he made a series of videos to challenge the nerd in many ways imaginable.  None of them worked and the Nerd bested him with hidden retaliations such as sending hidden insults, reviewing The Wizard before him and sending a challenge video of his own.  Critic decided go to Clifton New Jersey to challenge the Nerd into reviewing a horrible nostalgic movie.  The Nerd accepted on the condition that Critic plays a bad video game. Critic refused and they fought with Captain S (The Now Retired Hero Of Video Game Land) mediating between the two.  They eventually called a truce and reviewed each others respective mediums.  Nostalgia Critic reviewing Babe's Kids: The Game and AVGN reviewing Ricky 1, a poorly done parody of Rocky.  The result cost them both their sanity.  Critic was to announce that the feud was far from over when to his surprise, Nerd hijacks his video feed to apologize.  However he stealthy insulted him in the process culminating in another fight this time at the Nerd's own home.  This became a battle of geeky proportions as every fight scene was parodied in the process. The Nerd won in the end but that wasn't the last of the Nostalgia Critic.  Now onto the first Anniversary.  Critic was singing about Chicago when he and the Nerd cross paths once again.  The fight was taken all over Chicago and ended up in a Holiday Inn. Here all of Channel Awesome joined the fray and for the first time ever, they were in a crossover of epic proportions.  We have Nostalgia Chick (Who started out reviewing female appealing nostalgic movies but escalated into a Nostalgia Critic herself much to the original's protest.)  Linkara (A comic book reviewer/part time superhero.)  Handsome Tom and 8-Bit Mickey (ScrewAttack's most well known game reviewers save for the Nerd.)  TheSpoonyOne (A former TGWTG member who is determined to beat every Final Fantasy, and has a psychotic alter ego in the form of Doctor Insano.)  Marzgurl (An anime reviewer.) HopeWithinChaos (A reviewer who considers bad fictional mediums to be an Epic Fail.) Paw (A music Critic) On the Critic's team.  Whilst Kyle Justin (A musician and writer of the AVGN theme.) Benzaie (A french game critic that specializes in games not available in North America.) Little Miss Gamer (A game reviewer from the same company as Captain S.)  ThatAussieGuy (Another former TGWTG member)  ThatChickWithTheGoggles (A game critic that specializes on her own personal nostalgia.) Lee (A reviewer whose recurring gag is he uses still photos rather than live video.) Bennett The Sage (A Fan Fiction Reviewer, who specializes in scaring the daylights out of his fellow cast mates.) AngryJoe (A game reviewer obsessed with guns and Chic-Fil-A) and Ma-Ti (A former Captain Planet Planeteer, who just wanted to belong. His ability was the Power of Heart.)  The fight rages on with even wrestler style commentary from TransmissionAwesome as well as shout outs to comedic and action movies.  However the fight ends when ThatGuyWithTheGlasses, (Walker's other alter ego who is mostly known for answering submitted questions in the most dark and disturbing fashions.) breaks it up and tells them to use their crossover time to get along and hate everything else.  The once feuding group gets along and has done crossover reviews following the fight.  The most well known being Critic and Nerd's review of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Coming Out of Their Shells Tour.  The review took most of their sanity away and they continued fighting each other out of boredom.

The Second Anniversary was different for rather than just senseless violence for the sake of comedy, it became the very first Story Arc for ThatGuyWithTheGlasses.  They even gave it a title: Kickassia.

The story takes place in Molossia, a Micronation in Nevada owned by Kevin Baugh and his family.  The Nostalgia Critic wants the land for himself.  At first he tries to intimidate Baugh into giving it to him.  Baugh on the otherhand is unfazed.  So the Critic rallies up members of TGWTG old and new, including Filmbrain (A film critic that specializes in recent bad movies.) Cinema Snob (A Z grade movie reviewer) LordKat (Who specializes in games he is determined to beat.) and JewWario (A reviewer who also specializes in games that are not normally sold in North America.)  and Phelous (A movie reviewer that specializes in Meta: Pointing out that he himself is in a video.).  Much to their reluctance they take over Molossia.  However not all is well, for many of the members are sick of the Critic's laziness and Spoony is struggling with his Doctor Insano persona.  To make matters worse, Baugh in is Fritz Von Baugh Persona, plants seeds of rebellion within the group.

The third Anniversary had a darker turn than the second as much of it was a balance of comedy and drama.

Suburban Knights starts out with Angry Joe waltzing down the road in a good mood.  Why? Because he won a free car. However he finds out that he has been deceived by the Nostalgia Critic along with other reviewers new and old including Obscurus Lupa (Who specializes in Z grade movies.) ToddInTheShadows (Who reviews modern music. His trademark is never showing his face.) and Luke Mochrie (Who specializes in using Split Personalities to comment on the good and bad side of movies. You may also know his father Colin Mochrie a famous comedian and regular on Who's Line Is It Anyway?).  For he has found a map and clues to an ancient magical artifact known as Malachites Hand.  However it is not that simple, for they have to participate in a LARP (Live Action Role Play.) in order to decipher the clues to get it.  To make matters worse they are pursued by both the obstacles defending the Hand and Malachite himself, an evil technophobic wizard who created the hand.

Their Fourth and final anniversary was a big one for both the cast and the fans. For it put Nostalgia Critic in temporary hiatus.  It also burned out most members who either left or decided not to participate in anymore anniversaries.

The story picks up where Suburban Knights leaves off.  The Critic is under house arrest for his numerous crimes in the previous anniversaries.  To make matters worse a hole in the sky is getting bigger to the point where it could spell disaster for the universe as we know it.  So he rallies the crew up one final time to go to space and stop it.  However there are villains who want to use the hole for their own diabolical ends as well as a traitor of the crew.

Now this entire series has had a lot of things that seem impossible however there are two things I found out about it that may seem plausible.  Could It Exist In Real Life?

The first thing is  the hole in space. It is known as a plot hole a wormhole that causes nonsensical plot devices and mistakes to occur. Take the Black/White hole theory out of it and this phenomena does still exist.  For as every great fictional medium goes along there are a ton of bad ones that follow.  From Games that have terrible glitches, to movies with bad story structure in favor of "Great Effects" What if there is in actuality a phenomena that compels all the bad in fiction history to create their horrible art.  As sort of a way to balance it out with the good art in the world.  Maybe people like Michael Bay and Stephanie Meyer are simply doing bad in order to keep the scales from toppling.  Think of how many good mediums in your life and how many bad ones come. Normally one overshadows the other whilst other times there is a perfect balance.  For every Batman and Robin there is an X-Men or Blade. For every Tron Legacy there is a Transformers 3.  For every failed attempt at a Justice League, there is a successful avengers.  All mediums both good and bad, perceived or not have a place in the world. Some of which teach us great values whilst others show us what not to do.

The Second thing is a lot more crucial.  The Character.  In To Boldly Flee, Nostalgia Critic meets his creator Doug Walker.  Walker explains to him that it started out as him writing the character, but later said character takes on a life of their own and telling the creator what to write.  As crazy as it sounds it makes perfect sense.  Think of all the many poor received sequels as well as comics that have been contraversal.  The reason being is that their creators as well as future contributors fail to realize that their creations have a life of their own and that instead of listening to them, they try to take control which in turn screws their comic up and ticks off the fan base they are trying to appeal to.  A big example would be Roy Harper aka Arsenal.  As Linkara once pointed out what made this character unique, was that he was the first member of the Titans to be a single father.  However Cry for Justice, decided to take that away by killing his daughter.  This was a big result of the writers taking control of the story and screwing it up for the sake of shock value. Its one thing to kill a character off when it works, but its another if someone just does it on a whim especially if said character had no importance to the main story.  To make matters worse they take a unique character like Roy Harper and turn him from a lovable character to a downward spiraling unsympathetic asshole that lashes out on his friends and loved ones and becomes a villain.  If that is not an example of not listening to your characters then I don't know what is.

As usual debate, argue and let me know what I missed. Stay tuned for more.

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