Gamer Cinema: Video Game High School, Season One

Wouldn't it be cool if high school was all about video games? In VGHS, it is. The best up and coming players in the world are invited to the competitive Video Game High School, which is currently dominated by the famous "The Law". Brian D, a complete nobody gets the chance of a lifetime when by pure luck he embarrasses Law by beating him on live TV and therefore gets a chance to attend the prestigious VGHS. But of course The Law is also there and is determined to show that not only was Brian D lucky, but that he doesn't even belong at the school.

Developed by competitive gaming celebrity Freddie Wong, VGHS is a web series (that is conveniently condensed into a movie on Netflix) that was funded through kickstarter for it's first season and the seeing as the second season starts up this week, I thought it would be a good idea to check out the first season.

For a web series, VGHS has pretty good production values, like those you'd see on cable. The highlight is easily the gaming sequences, as those are exciting and well-directed. It's outside of the gaming that it all falls apart. I don't really think this is a fault of the actors as they do a decent enough job in the roles, but if the show was a little tamer I'd swear it belonged with any of those garbage "comedies" for tweeners that you see on the Disney Channel. A perfect example is that at one point Brian D is expelled from the school and hours later he is running an arcade. There is no explanation for this, and the characters even say it's only been 24 hours since he was expelled, but that whole wink at the audience falls completely flat. The season is just loaded with rapid-fire jokes that all fall flat. It also can't seem to decide whether Brian D is actually any good or not. At times he seems confident in his abilities and others claims he's not very good and then claims he's only good with his love interest. It's a pretty annoying inconsistency.

Despite all this I do see potential in the series, and many great series have a pretty underwhelming first season. The premise does work really well and as I said before the action scenes are well-executed and exciting. I'm certainly willing to give it at least a few episodes of the second season before completely writing it off.

That's all for today, I should have a new post up tomorrow or Saturday.

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