The Guild

So I’m sitting at Comic-Con singing along to Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog and loving Felicia Day in spite of her questionable singing ability and thinking “How the hell have I not blogged about The Guild“? (Felicia even stopped by to say hi and thank the fans–she’s adorable.)

In case you’re not familiar, The Guild is a web series that’s been running since 2007, about a group on online gamers. It was created by Felicia Day, previously known in the Whedonverse as Vi on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

We meet our heroine as she’s having a bad Friday night. She’s sitting at home alone, unemployed, and having not left the house in a week and recently dumped by her therapist. What we quickly realize, though is this is pretty much a normal Friday night for her.

In this 4-minute episode, titled Wake-Up Call, we have just brief introductions to protagonist Codex and the other players in her guild. We flash back to the phone conversation Codex had wherein her therapist dumped her. As the therapist accuses her of lacking motivation to conquer her addiction, Codex fumbles with the computer, participating in a heated guild run. The game is not named but we assume it’s World of Warcraft. (It probably helps to be a gamer, but you don’t have to be one to get the show.)

Each of the other four players is seen in turn, and the show does not shy away from gamer sterotypes. There’s an overweight woman who’s neglecting her kids, an unattractive guy who eats constantly, a skeevy younger guy who weaves sexual innuendo into all conversation, and a perky Asian girl accessing the web on multiple devices at once. One guy, however, is missing, and we’re about to find out why.

It doesn’t take long to realize that this group of disparate warriors is closeknit in a way that only people who have never seen each other can be. “I hear them. It’s good enough for the blind,” Codex tells her therapist. This is the perfect example of this show’s wry style of humor.

However, the line that really sums up our heroes’ situation comes a couple of episodes later: “You can’t log off of your own life.”

The Guild, in many ways, set a precedent for web TV, employing strong writing, production values, and acting, while catering to a niche audience. Here’s an interview Felicia did about the show early in its run.

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