Friday, June 29, 2012

The Sci Fi Web: The Guild

Status: Five Seasons Completed Totaling 58 Episodes  
Credits: Felicia Day (Creator/Writer/Star – Codex), Sandeep Parikh (Zaboo), Jeff Lewis (Vork), Vincent Caso (Bladezz), Robin Thorsen (Clara), Amy Okuda (Tinkerballa), Wil Wheaton (Fawkes)
Winner IAWTV Awards: Best Comedy Web Series, Best Writing (Comedy), Best Directing (Comedy), Best Female Performance (Comedy), Best Web Site Design. Also Nominated for Best Male Performance (Comedy), Best Costume Design, Best Makeup/Special Effects

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Synopsis: Felicia Day plays Cyd Sherman who is a concert violinist (and former child prodigy) and also a rather introverted, socially stunted young woman who has few close friends and who rarely ventures from her apartment. She is also an addicted gamer who spends the majority of her time playing an MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game) as a member of the online guild called the “Knights of Good”. The series follows their gaming antics online as well as their awkward (and hilarious) interactions both in person and through online chats.

Review/Commentary: This series is not sci fi/fantasy per se, but like the CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory, it has immense appeal to genre fans because we can easily identify with the characters and situations. The Guild will have the highest appeal to online gamers, especially those wrapped up in the many MMORPG s out there, but old D&D veterans (like myself) and anybody who has spent a fair amount of their spare time gaming will definitely appreciate it. And apart from the show’s genre ties, it’s just a funny romp with its dysfunctional characters trying to overcome their own (many-faceted) character flaws and learn how to work together for the common cause: killing other people and creatures in the game and gaining loot.

Felicia Day, herself a confessed online gaming addict, originally conceived of the series as a sitcom, but it was later suggested that the concept would work better as a web-series. She decided to go that route with it, and The Guild first appeared online in 2007. It has since turned into an online phenomena running for five seasons (with more potentially on the way) and is now available on Hulu, Xbox Live, Zune, Netflix and more. The entire series through Season 5 has been released on DVD and has also had a comic book spin-off from Dark Horse and the cast even put together a promotional music video for the series.

I have watched it through Season 3 thus far (and plan on watching the next two seasons soon), and have found it to be great fun, especially once Wil Wheaton comes onboard in its third season as the leader of a rival gaming guild, the “Axis of Anarchy”. The series, deservedly, walked away with five wins at the recent IAWTV awards and had four more nominations beyond that (two in the Best Male Performance Comedy category for Sandeep Parikh and Jeff Lewis). And it would not surprise me if this one were to take the leap from web-series to sitcom at some point, though I think its web format suits it better and it might run out of steam rather quickly on television. In any case, this is a great place to get started with web series as it has a professional feel to it and great acting (highlighted by the incomparable Felicia Day), and it’s just plain fun.

Links/More Information: The show’s main website has more information on the series as well as links to its blog and a forum where you can join in on discussions with other fans. Also, you can watch all five seasons of the show from the website. If you have the Netflix streaming service, you can also watch all five seasons there with each season combined together without the opening and closing segments between  episodes. This is a more streamlined way of watching the seasons and they run from 45 minutes to about an hour and a half. There is also a YouTube Channel for the show, though it only has up to the first episode of Season 4 available for viewing. And over on Hulu, you can currently watch up through the end of Season 4.

The Guild’s Main Web Page:

The Guild’s YouTube Channel:

The Guild at
Buy The Guild on DVD from

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