There's so much TV on TV these days -- not to mention TV-esque shows that are available online-only(*) -- that there's only so much I can do to keep up with things that might be interesting. I missed "The Guild" when it ran online, and then Upfront Week got in the way of me doing a proper write-up of last week's DVD release. Fortunately, I had a little bit of spare time over the last couple of days to watch both discs, and I liked what I saw.
(*) Yesterday was the deadline for nominations for the Television Critics Association Awards, and there was quite a bit of discussion (sparked by James Poniewozik) on our e-mail list about whether a web-only series like "Dr. Horrible" -- conveniently co-starring Felicia Day of "The Guild" -- should be eligible for our awards. The group consensus wound up being that, if enough people voted for it, it'd be eligible. So we'll find out when the nominations are announced, I guess.
Anyway, "The Guild." In case you missed it the first (or second, or in the case of the DVDs, third) time around, it's a web comedy series about a group of online gamers who work as a team in a "World of Warcraft"-style game -- and who, with the possible exception of Codex (played by "Guild" creator Day), seem woefully ill-equipped to deal with the world outside their computer windows.
The press notes and other descriptions of the series boast that it "is written for gamers, about gamers by a gamer." Now, I'm not a gamer of any stripe(**), but I enjoyed the heck out of "The Guild."
(**) The last game console of any kind I've owned was a ColecoVision, though I've played with more new-fangled gaming tech over the years, and the only thing keeping me from getting a Wii is that it would likely end my career and/or marriage.
While I'm sure I'm missing a ton of jokes about helms and gold and whatnot, I could very easily relate to the larger jokes about how all the characters (even Codex) have turned the virtual world into a substitute for the real one. Lord knows there are times when I've gotten too sucked into this blog, and other online communities I hang out in, and so I laughed/winced knowingly when wife and mom Clara (Robin Thorsen) tried to ignore her kids so she could focus on the game, or when Zaboo (Sandeep Parikh) or Vork (Jeff Lewis) tried to act as if the rules of the game applied to the world outside it, or at the awkwardness when Codex (trying to kick lovestruck stalker Zaboo to the curb) initiated the Guild's first in-person meeting.
"With just a few of us," she insists, "we can take down a 10-man dungeon. Real life can't be that much harder."
It's a funny show, and it works just fine on a bigger screen, with the episodes watched all together. I'm glad I finally got to watch it.
The DVD sets contain the 12 episodes of seasons one and two, and include DVD-only bonus features like audio commentaries, script files, and interviews with the cast and crew.
You can buy "The Guild" season one and season two at Amazon.com