Unfortunate title. If I was going for a one word review, that would be it.
No, that isn’t fair. It more meh than bad. It’s supposedly by Simpson’s creator Matt Groening. But since it’s sort of funny in a few spots he couldn’t have had that much to do with it.
I suppose what I dislike about it is that I was hoping for a dungeons and dragons Futurama. Instead I got SJW Futurama. So anyway, premise: Princess Bean is a drunken slut who is unfulfilled by her life as a princess. Elfo the…elf, is the Gamma who is in love with her and will eventually win her heart through the power of One Honest Confession of True Love (bleeeech). The shadow thing is Princess Bean’s demon, Luci, who actually does look like a Matt Groening character, so I suppose he did have something to do with this.
I’m serious about the SJW politics. It pretty much permeates the show. The romance between Bean and Elfo is weak and off-putting. She is the super-strong warrior princess who doesn’t need any man and he is a Gamma Elf.
I admit freely that you had the same thing in play in between Fry and Leela but that one worked better for a number of reasons. Leela’s big flaw wasn’t alcoholism and resented white privilege, she came from a family of sewer-dwelling mutants. and despite reminding everyone of Jennifer Connelly in Career Opportunities, she had only one eye. Ultimately giving Leela a chronic status problem. Fry pretty much was the best she was ever going to do.
Bean on the other hand is a princess. Her status is built in. Also her flaws are dull and uninteresting. Honestly she comes across as an Amy Schumer wanna be right down to the hair and teeth. What I dislike about her the most is the whining entitlement and constant rejection of her White Privilege. Born rich but wants to hobnob and get wasted with the poor because Daddy Issues. Lots and lots of Daddy issues.
Elfo can’t work as well as Fry did either. Elfo left his Elfland for all the reasons that SJW protagonists leave their small-time hick towns to embrace life in the big city. The secret to Fry’s success as a character was that due to an accident, he got to leave his crappy world behind and live a Buck Rogers type existence. Yeah, you knew the guy was a loser and a schmuck but somewhere inside you envied Fry just a little.
Luci is the new Bender and he isn’t as good as Bender.
I’m not bothering with the plotline.
Anyway, it did have a few laughs, here and there but it isn’t as good as Futurama. If you want to best enjoy it, make sure you are a college student who has had too much to drink and it’s 2:00 am.
Cataline Recommends with Reservations
Dallas and Robo
Honestly, I was expecting to hate this one and I don’t.
That’s the highest flattery I know of.
If you decide to kick the tires on YouTube’s premium service, AND you thought Big Trouble in Little China would have been that much better if it had been set in space then yeah I’d say put this on the list.
Its basically a comedy version of Cowboy Bebop with space truckers instead of bounty hunters. It stars the voices of John Cena and I don’t care who else.*
Premise: Dallas Moonshiner is a Nascar driver who got in a wreck and got caught cheating. She wants back on the circuit and trucking is how she plans to pay for this. Robo was her mechanic and is an AI. Not a robot you understand but an AI, he is very clear on that point. In their world there was a cull of AIs because they were given to homicidal dementia. Robo was a rare one that kept his marbles.
They have various redneck adventures in space overlain with sci-fi tropes. I enjoyed pretty much all of them…except the first episode. I’d start at episode 2 and if you stick around as far as episode 5, I’d say go back and watch episode 1 then.
John Cena has some very good (and underrated) chops as a comedic actor, probably better than the Rock (the comparison is what it is). He is also playing against type here as Robo is given to quoting philosophy between bouts of asskickery.
Interesting question I had to ask myself, why did I like Dallas Moonshiner and hate Princess Bean. In some ways they are quite similar they are both drunken sluts that like to spend all their free time sucking down booze at the local tavern.
It came down to the subject of SJW Privilege. Accuse Princess Bean of Privilege and no matter how drunk she was, she would look at the floor in deep shame acknowledging the truth of your accusation. Do that with Dallas Moonshiner and she would make a dick joke at your expense and then punch you in the dick for it. She knows that Privilege is a lie.
So anyway, the humor is PG-13 (and I was expecting so much worse). There was no nudity and no sex although there was one brief scene in the time travel episode where Dallas made out with herself but that clearly fell under Chekhov’s Gun so it gets a pass.
Sadly, YouTube did not order a second season of it so don’t get attached if you decide to watch it
Bottomline Cataline Recommends with confidence but YMMV
From Dead Gentlemen Productions. The makers of the finest Dungeons & Dragons humor comes Journey Quest. This is clearly meant as a YouTube series and it’s free to watch there. If you have Amazon Prime it’s available in it’s completed form there.
Unlike Gamers where you follow the lives of the players in the real world and their fantasy avatars in the game. This one is strictly fantasy.
But what makes it special are the secret tropes known only to Dungeons and Dragons gamers. The magic sword with the high Ego rating that absolutely dicks with the player who is unlucky enough to get it. The character with the sense of destiny and that Destiney is constantly being given to the other player-characters. The Fighter who approaches the game like John Cleese’s Sir Lancelot approached “the wedding.” But they also came up with a new one that I hadn’t run into before.
If that clip didn’t sell you then nothing I can say will.
Also, you are sad and I don’t want to know you.
Cataline Recommends with Confidence.
The Gamers: Hands of Fate
The Gamers: Dorkness Rising, was a comedy for everyone who refuses to admit in public that they once sat at a table with a character sheet, a pencil and a collection of strangely shaped dice. If you ever played D&D you couldn’t stop laughing at it.
The comedic stereotypes were there but not consciously known to us. They were Newbie, Douchebag, Weirdo, Oldnerd and Control Freak as DM. The production values were beyond cheap but the story and the comedy easily carried the show.
Interestingly, Gamers the Hands of Fate is easily better than the original.
Plot: This part is real. There is a card game that I was completely unaware of called Romance of the Nine Empires. It has some intriguing features, for instance Legendary cards get a one-off printing and in order to activate them you must physically destroy the card. Making some cards exceptionally rare second. And unlike Magic or Hearthstone the gamers who play it ultimately determine what direction the story is going to take. This happens each year at a major tournament at Gencon.
There was and is a faction called The Legacy that was using Starvation Decks to try and bend the plot to their will.
Now this all did happen.
While Dorkness was completely plot-driven, Hands of Fate is character-driven. Each of the characters from the Dorkness has a character arc in this movie. The principal this time is Douchebag.
Douchbag AKA Cass hates card games but is willing to learn one on the off chance he can bang Hot Gamer Chick. Cass grows in the process and becomes…less of a Douchbag.
It’s still cheap as hell but they could actors from outside their local theater group and the camera actually moves around this time instead of staying rigidly planted.
In short these guys upped their game in every possible way.
Bottomline: Cataline Recommends with Enthusiasm.
Okay, I’m done here.
* I’m lying, there isn’t anybody in the voice cast who I don’t like.