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Tonight's Webseries Presentation


Starring: Jesse Keeter, Tessa Marie Archer, Conner Marx, Thomas Brophy, Curtis Eastwood, Trin Miller

Written By: Tyler J. Hill (also story), Brendan Davis (story) Directed By: Tyler J. Hill

See It Here: http://watchglitch.com

What Kind Of Cheese Is It?


The official fifth food group of gamers and nerds everywhere.  Represent!

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Micro enough to avoid being lame or hipster, macro enough to be easily found, and hey: it’s delicious.  Bonus: the bottle art is acceptably cool to gamers and nerds.

“Don’t I own a shirt without wit on it?”

Have you ever wished that your life could be like a video game?  Don’t even think about lying; of course you have.  If you’ve ever picked up a joystick or a console pad or programmed extra bizarre functions into your hyper-sensitive mouse, you have, at one time or another, wanted to trade places with that squire or maiden you’re playing on the screen.

Glitch is a webseries that takes that proposition and meets it halfway.  Instead of taking a real world character and placing him into a video game, it makes the real world he lives in operate by video game rules… specifically, buggy video game rules.

It starts when our hero, Glitch Banner (Jesse Keeter), has a bad day at DigiCorp, where he works as a game tester.  He finds himself wishing that his own lame life could be more like a video game instead.  Viewers then find themselves treated to a beautiful, old school, 8-bit white-on-blue pop-up that reads like so:

“Unbeknownst to our hero, today is a special holiday where one downtrodden nerd a year is granted a single wish.  Glitch’s wish comes true!  Unfortunately our hero is a cynic and kind of a dick, and his vague wording infects the wish and makes it more about the parts of video games that don’t work quite right.

“This is also the premise of the show.”

These self-aware pop-ups, by the way, are awesome.  They appear from time to time in Guide Text fashion, as do life meters, Boss Fight indicators, conversation indicators, quest coins, and all sorts of other video game goodies, representing all eras from the old 8-bit world to modern MMOs.  There’s also some great Nintendo-style 8-bit music serving as the show’s soundtrack, so that once things get rolling, the audience can’t help but feel totally immersed in the wonderful world of Glitch.  (Having Producer Brian Sutherland show up as a Game Guide on a regular basis doesn’t hurt, either.)

It’s not just the “living in a game” atmosphere that Glitch gets right: it also nails gamer/nerd culture.  The dialogue is utterly real even when it goes over the top; if you’ve ever been around the nerd/gamer/con-goer crowd for any length of time, you’ll recognize that much immediately.  Movie, game, and pop culture references flow fast and furious, as do overeducated laments about everything; especially fierce complaints about Trekkers and hipsters.  (If you do not recognize nerds, Trekkers, and hipsters as different groups, you can just go back to your Internet Exploder and your Bud Light and Google up a clue.)  Nerds and geeks will also have a field day with Glitch Banner’s apartment décor.  (The Lego Death Star is just the beginning!)

So, premise?  First rate.  Atmosphere?  Spot on.  Advance to next level.

Much to my delight, the cast is very much up to the task of handling the razor sharp nerdery of the script.  Each actor is totally believable as the character he or she plays; indeed, they’re so good at what they do that their performances contribute just as much to the atmosphere as all of the 8-bit stuff does.  My only complaint is that Jesse Keeter will occasionally mumble a line (including one really big line); however, I can’t really hold this against him, because that’s also true to this kind of character, and it doesn’t happen too often.  Stealing the show from our hero, though, is Tessa Marie Archer, who takes the geek girl role, nails it, and then nails it some more until she’s built a very nice cabinet that’s suitable for a Webby award.  Her rants are fantastic, and her wordless looks are just as good as her rants.  Keep an eye on this actress, folks.

Cast?  Very good.  Advance to final level.

At roughly sixteen minutes each, episodes of Glitch run longer than webseries average, but thanks to good pacing, excellent direction, sharp storytelling, and all of the great stuff mentioned above, that’s a bonus and not a curse.  Speaking of bonuses: if, after watching all of the available episodes of Glitch – which I’m recommending for you to do – you find yourself still wanting more, the creative team has been thoughtful enough to provide a generous supply of “Bonus Lives” – mini-episodes – which I also recommend that you watch.  As far as I can tell, there’s no Secret Cow Level yet, but…

Bottom line, if you’ve ever been or loved a geek, gamer, nerd, or fan convention attendee, you owe it to yourself to watch Glitch.  It’s smart, it’s fun, and it’s shamelessly nerdy.  Who could ask for anything more?  (Why yes, Trin Miller does appear on the show, now that you mention it.  Anything else?)

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Season One | Six Episodes, 16 – 22.75 minutes each, + Bonus Lives (Really)

Episode 1: “OMG Pilot OMG” – Wherein we meet our main character, Glitch Banner, and discover what the story’s about.  Highlight #1: Excuses to ignore the alarm and avoid work.  (“I have the Mutaba virus” = great reference, even if the movie sucked.)  Highlight #2: “You know guys fall over girl characters in game but they’re so threatened by them in real life.”  Highlight #3: Carmina Burana.  Highlight#4:  The Trekker rip-fest.  Highlight #5:  “You’re in.  Here’s your shot.  Don’t blow it.”  (Except that it’s never that easy.)  Highlight #6: “I just learned to let go.  The rest followed.  Let whatever happens happen.” (Okay, it really is that complex.)  Ouch: Our hero mumbles the most important line of the entire show: the wish that kicks off the series.  (I gave up trying to understand after ten replays at double normal volume.  I get the gist, but still.)  Spoiler lament:  No, Trin!  Come baaaack…

Episode 2: “Game Night” – Wherein Glitch accepts that his life is now a video game, and decides to attend a LAN party to take down his Nerdesis.  Highlight #1: “I’d better not have to fight a ninja!”  Highlight #2: “Part of being a nerd is hating being a nerd.” / “But it did give us Batman the right way.”  Highlight #3: “If Buddha were here, he would definitely game.”  Now that’s deep.  Seriously.  Highlight #4:  Epic Wyatt montage.  Highlight #5:  “You’re projecting so hard, I bet if we shoved a blu ray up your ass we could watch it on Imax.”  Highlight #6: “It’s okay.  I have nice boobs.”

Episode 3: “The Day of Fail” – Wherein Glitch discovers that living an existence that is inclusive of item drop time limits sucks.  Highlight #1: “If any of you took my ticket, I’m going to burn this place to the ground!”  Highlight #2:  Just enough of a PAX montage to scare the crap out of non-geeks.  Highlight #3: “Don’t you quote Episode I to me!  Never again! Never!”  Highlight#4: “No.  I have the internet.  I can see all the boobs.  This isn’t 1985.”  Highlight #5:  Fangirl nerd-out.  Highlight #6: “Why do I try so hard?”  Why yes, there is drama to the comedy.

Episode 4: “Nerd Lent” – Wherein Glitch and friends challenge themselves to a week without video games.  Highlight #1: “Civ V?  11:30?  I’ve got time for a couple of turns.”  Oh, yes.  I have been there, bro.  And that’s not really Sid Meier, but that guy sure looks like he could be a Merry Man!  Highlight #2: “When we wanted equality, we didn’t mean ‘the same.’”  I’m marking it as highlight dialogue, but I’m not touching any other implications with a twenty meter cattleprod.  Highlight #3:  “I’m fine.  I’m fine.  Fine.”  Nice BSG notes in this segment, by the way.  Highlight #4: “We’re ordering another pizza!”  Holy Makeup and ‘Can’t Show the Logo’ Starbucks Cups, Batman!  Highlight #5: “There are monkeys where you work?”  That the lady doesn’t catch his reference is way deeper a thing than surface logic might first suggest.  Nice.  Highlight #6: CLIPPY!  (Clippy trumps Ninjas and Zombies.  Sorry.)  This episode is a true test of “getting it” as a viewer.  If you don’t, it’s nerds being silly about staying away from their toys.  If you do get it, though… there’s not just drama here, folks.  It’s touching.

Episode 5: “The Crazy One” – Wherein Glitch enters a Mirror Universe!  By literally falling through a mirror!  For a show that likes to poke fun at Trekkers, that is one awesome “Star Trek” send-up.  Beard, anyone?  Highlight #1: “Ha ha! Glitch made another wish!”  Highlight #2: The atmosphere rocks.  The music.  The uniforms.  Even the Exit sign is backward!  And so much more than “Trek,” too… Westerns, mob stuff, “Star Wars”…  “Outstanding” doesn’t even begin to describe how amazingly well done this is.  Highlight #3: Likin’ the new look, Mr. Sutherland!  Highlight #4: “I’d be willing to bet William Shatner exists in every dimension.”  Highlight #5:  BOSS FIGHT!  Highlight #6:  Game screen!  Bonus: Stay past the credits.  Having once played Shatner for several days, I can attest to the cool.  (No, I will not explain that.)

Episode 6: “The One Where Everybody Loses Their Job” – Wherein, well, everybody loses their jobs.  I try not to spoil season finales, but hey; it’s the title, right?  I will say, though, that I like how Glitch is adapting to his “affliction,” and that the acting across the board is just wonderful.  And that this episode’s got it goin’ on like Donkey Kong.  (Yes, I know what I just quoted; hush.)  And that I literally cheered out loud several times.  No metaphor; real cheering.  Okay, one big spoiler, even though it’s the season finale: TRIN IS BACK! YAY!

And YES, I do want everyone to press “CONTINUE”!

Bonus Lives:  Along with the regular episodes, the people behind Glitch have thoughtfully provided viewers with Bonus Lives.  These are short pieces ranging in length from under a minute to just around three, and are not integral to the major arc of the show.  They do, however, provide some really fun moments with the characters, so if you like the show (as I do), I strongly suggest you take the time to play every Bonus you find.

- Reviewed by Ziggy Berkeley, September, 2012

Updated as new episodes are released

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