As my more dedicated readers know, I love web series, especially ones that involve reviewers. So naturally, when I heard about the seven part Suburban Knights series I was all over it. The seventh and final part aired last night on the website thatguywiththeglasses.com. To those of you who don’t know, it’s the base website of the Nostalgia Critic and several other internet reviewers such as The Cinema Snob, Linkara and Spoony. It was something they put together for the website’s three year anniversary and seeing as how I like this kind of stuff I decided to give my thoughts on it.
The plot, (although I use that term very loosely), involves the Nostalgia Critic gathering up all, (or most of), the internet reviewers from That Guy With The Glasses to hunt for a supposed magical gauntlet. How do they do this? Well, they all have to dress up and act like fantasy characters and follow a map across Chicago that turns out to be a chain letter. All the while, they are shadowed by a strange man in black who has an extreme hatred of technology and are constantly stopped by people who can actually wield magic. It’s as stupid as it sounds, but more awesome then you would ever believe.
On the positive side, you have the opening for starters and it was fucking awesome. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t seen it but it was cool as shit to watch and surprisingly tense and nerve racking. Throughout most of each episode I couldn’t stop myself from laughing my ass off. There were just a ton of jokes and gags that were just hilarious. Most of the actors really got into their parts which made it all the more funny. As the characters they usually play, they were very realistic and as the characters they were pretending to be they were so into their parts that it was funny and almost disturbing. There were also a lot of great spoofs and parodies of famous fantasy moments such as Link’s infamous “Well excuse me, Princess” catch phrase from the 1980s Zelda cartoon and having Crom from Conan the Barbarian actually talk to one of the characters.
Surprisingly, there was also a really creative back story to the magic gauntlet. I won’t spoil it but it’s really cool and actually better than half the stuff they come out with for fantasy games, books and movies. I also couldn’t help but love the effects in this series. They looked cheep, they looked retarded but were awesome and really show that these people love what they do. I also liked the way it ended; concluding the events of this story but opened the way for another.
The guy who really stole the show, however, was the strange man in black. He was hilarious yet awesome at the same time. Whenever he was on camera, you couldn’t take your eyes off him because you never knew what the hell he was going to do and his role wasn’t revealed until later in the series.
On the negative side, they tried a little too hard to be funny at time and the result was just stupid. The best example that comes to mind is the fight in the playground. That in itself was silly and stupid enough but then they had to include a few Indiana Jones references that just felt forced. Another example is the stone “give me light” scene which started out funny but was a little too drawn out.
Another annoying thing about it was some of the camera work. To sum it up in a single sentence, the damn camera wouldn’t stop shaking whenever the characters were walking and made it painfully obvious that what I was watching was a web series. While I did love the effects if this series, some of the sound effects weren’t entirely on par with the action going on screen, (although that may have something to do with the site, my computer or internet connection).
There was also a lot of dialog that just didn’t seem right and was obviously scripted. Not to mention, there were a few too many film references that were predictable and got old very fast. There were also a couple of cast members such as The Nostalgia Chick or Hansom Tom who didn’t seem to get into their roles. While everyone else were really were into their roles, these two just didn’t seemed like they cared and were just there for a pay check. I don’t know how else to explain but it annoyed me.
The last negative thing to mention was the solution to it all. I won’t spoil it, but I felt it was annoyingly predictable.
So what are my final thoughts on Suburban Knights? Well, like I said it was stupid, retarded, but awesome and hilarious. If you’re already familiar with the Nostalgia Critic and other people on his website I absolutely recommend watching this series. It’s not quite as funny as Kickassia but is still hilarious and worth anyone’s time.
As Siskel and Ebert used to say,