Gamer Cinema: Video Game High School, Season 2
Yup, season 2! I wasn't a huge fan of the first season of VGHS. It had good action scenes and production values, but buckled under horrible characters and bad writing and acting. That being said, I did point out that I though the series still had potential, and so I decided to give season 2 a shot since it was up on Netflix. What's changed? Well the 6 episode season is significantly longer, with each episode closing in around the 40 minute mark, allowing for more fleshed out arcs. There's also a wider variety of genres shown. Season One was almost all FPS scenes. In season two you get rts, fighting, mmo and a whole lot of driving, but at least there's more variety. Things also get changed up. Main villain/major jackass "The Law" is now Brian D & Ted's roomie (huh?) Ki becomes an RA, and Jenny's Mom is the new varsity coach. Oh and Brian loses his scholarship and has to work as the school janitor.
So do all these changes make for a better show? Only slightly. For instance, "The Law" was framed for cheating and is on a quest to prove his innocence, but he's a irredeemable douchebag, why do we care? And a large majority of the plots and jokes are still stolen straight out of the Disney tween show playbook. The only real highlight of the season is "Double XP Weekend", where Jenny has to write a speech about her mom, who she has an extremely strained relationship with. That episode came off as decently written and heartfelt. and it almost felt out of place with the rest of the season's Saved By The Bell level plots. Overall the real star remains the surprisingly high production values and action sequences. But they are only surprisingly good because it's still a crowd-funded youtube show, it's not like it's up there with anything you'd see on an actual network sci-fi or action show with a real budget. So you need to have good characters and writing to support that, and for the most part this still doesn't have that. Again, you take away the video game aspect and it's pretty much on the on par with shows like Even Stevens. Even the opening makes me feel like I'm watching something sandwiched in between Good Luck Charlie & Wizards of Waverly Place. But I'm guessing because it features high schoolers fake shooting each other it's a little too violent for the likes of the Disney Channel. That being said, there's still incremental improvement here, everything is just a small step up from season one. I'm planning on watching the almost assured season 3 with cautious optimism, but that might be the last chance I give this series (unless I just really run out of stuff to review anyways).
That's all for today, look for another post up in a few days.