December 22, 2010


(In the spirit of full disclosure, I happen to know Edgar, the webmaster for this web series. However, most of my viewing of this series comes through DVDs rented through Netflix)

Geek and nerd based humor, if not done right, can either be one of two variations: either comedy focused primarily on various obscure references and stereotypes (think The Big Bang Theory) or basic snark at how extreme nerds can get (or Nerds Suck - I'm thinking of a particular blog, but do not want to be accused of link trolling)

But after viewing the first three
seasons of The Guild (available on DVD), it strikes me that writer/creator Felicia Day - and the rest of the cast - have done something unique: they've managed to create a wholly unique style of geek humor.

The premise of the series is simple - a slightly neurotic gamer (played players in a World-of-Warcraft type video game. However, the genius of the series is that, rather than see these characters as stereotypes, they're treated more like archetypes...and are given a little bit more room to breathe emotionally. What could have easily been a series of one note characters (or even overdrawn portraits) become...well, people. Much of the humor is gently goofy, and the webisodes flow naturally into one another when viewed in succession.

(In many ways, this reminds me of a show from the 1980s called Dear John, which followed a similar pattern. Only - let's face it - Felicia Day is much better looking than Judd Hirsch. But then again, who isn't?)

But The Guild is one of those rare treasures - a pleasant comedy that will, at times, make you grin uncontrollably. All three seasons are available on DVD (and are relatively inexpensive, meaning you should let your aunt Myrna know to get a gift receipt so you can return that godawful necktie she will purchase for you for Christmas and use the money to buy the DVDs) and through Netflix Watch Instantly. Believe me, it's the kind of show that really justifies the existence of the Internet - charming, quirky, absurd, entertaining, and above all, intelligent. And the cast makes it look incredibly easy.

Season 4 just ended online, but I'll be the first in line to catch the DVD upon release.

This is mandatory viewing, folks. It won't change your life necessarily, but it will make you feel better.

And in the end, that's all that matters.

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