Weird how that worked out.
- Obviously, the big news is the premiere of Strip Search, with episode 1 gathering the dozen Artists and ending weeks of pure agony on my part. Take away the intro with Mike and Jerry that takes up 45 seconds or so at the beginning, start with the theme music and smiling Nick on a gorgeous lakeside setting — that was start of the footage that Robert Khoo showed me last month, which he cut just as the scene switched to the hotel about two minutes later. He is a cruel, cruel man.
From my recollection, very little has changed from the rough cut — a more subdued narration is the thing that I really noticed — which makes me think that the production was more polished a month ago than I figured it would be. Naturally, questions abound in my brain at this time and spoilers ahoy if you haven’t seen it yet:
- Were the Artists permitted to speak during the drive from hotel to house?
- What kind of looping, circuitous route was taken to help lend a sense of distance from the real world?
- How much of the booze on the counter was consumed by the end of the first day?
- What does that yellow note by the front door say?
- Can the producers confirm or deny that there were, in fact, traps in the house?¹
There will be a no-doubt thriving discussion of the show over at the Strip Search site, and I’ll do my best to overdose you here. In the interests of full disclosure with respect to my future writings about Strip Search, I consider Erika Moen a personal friend and I am totally rooting for her, but I’m also convinced that it’s anybody’s competition to win.
- Let’s stay in the Penny Arcade milieu for a moment, as I point you towards a video from NPR’s Science Friday featuring the PA Rapper Laureate MC Frontalot. In fact, you can hear Mr Alot in the first hour of today’s broadcast of Science Friday (check for your local NPR affiliate and tune in 2:00-4:00pm EST), or via the SciFri website at your convenience after the feed has gone out.
- Hey, know where Penny Arcade is headquartered? Seattle. Know what else is happening in Seattle? EmCity kicks off in about four hours, but also David Malki ! waited until he got there before recording the latest Machine of Death card game Kickstarter video update. But there is a SCANDAL regarding this campaign that I must reveal.
Note the background in the video, and the fact that Malki ! has apparently injured a finger on his right had which he has covered with with an adhesive bandage. Note the state of beard grooming and the shirt he’s wearing as well:
Now in that video he finally tells us about the mysterious Kickstarter stretch goal known as FATE BLITZ, which turns out to be a series of videos that were recorded with Kris Straub prior to the Kickstarter launching in anticipation of various outcomes — raising $100, raising $200, sneaking through to meet the goal with less than a day left, etc. You can watch the first Fate Blitz video here, which was recorded in Los Angeles last Fall.
But! Note the background, the injured finger, the shirt, and the state of beard grooming!
They are identical to the Seattle video. There is, sadly, only one conclusion to this remarkable visual match between videos made yesterday in Seattle and months ago in LA, and that is David Malki ! is lying to you. The “Seattle” video was clearly recorded months ago and the entire Kickstarter campaign since has been an elaborate Potemkin village constructed for show. In fact, no stretch goals have been met, no prototypes have been produced, and David Malki ! is not in Seattle but rather absconding towards the Mexican border with Kris Straub and all their ill-gotten Kickstarter gains in bags stuffed full of money. The “David Malki !” or “Kris Straub” that you may encounter this weekend at the EmCity show are imposters, duplicates to throw you off the scent; should you meet them at the show, be sure to tell them you’re onto their little game and they won’t get away with it².
- After all that deception and chicanery, you’ll no doubt want to cleanse your mental palette. Allow me to point you towards an extended Achewood test clip, featuring Chris Onstad in the role of Roast Beef. The comments³ seem to consistently contain complaints that the characters don’t sound right, with the general exception that Onstad’s voicing of Beef is pretty okay.
Of course the voices don’t sound like they do in your head; they don’t sound like they do in my head either, but since Onstad was involved in the production, it’s pretty clear that they sound like the voices as he imagined them, and that’s pretty much as close to definitively correct as you can get. I can’t wait until we get a clip with Todd voiced and people complain that he doesn’t sound like they think a tweaking, multiply-dead squirrel should sound.
Actually, no, I can completely wait for that. What I can’t wait for is to see Achewood get picked up in an Adult Swim-like presentation, 11 minute episodes, with the season climax being a hour-long spectacular adaptation of The Great Outdoor Fight. I will commit to buying that sumbitch at whatever inflated price Onstad wants, right now. In the meantime, I am obsessively running a non-stop loop of Ray exlaiming, Kiss my ass, bitch! I’ll be at Duane’s! with an occasional interruption of You wanna go on a little mini-vacation to Paradise? Come look in my toilet, dude. just for variety.
- Finally, not quite video, but close enough: check out the latest Octopus Pie if you haven’t already. Either Hanna’s upping the octane in her snacks or something weird is going on; at this point, I wouldn’t rule out either possibility.
¹ My theory is that at some point near the end of production, Mike and Jerry will tell the Artists that The Trap was their feelings for each other. Group hug, awwww.
² Please don’t actually do that.
³ Never read the comments, especially not at YouTube.