Anthony "The Obscure" Sotelo is a New-Age Retro Hippie
that reviews—well, the obscure. Specifically, obscure bits of cinema, books, candy, as long as it's buried somewhere in your—well, his—memory, hence why his show's called "Memory Lane." His style is—interesting, to say the least, being more like a documentary than a review series at times. The videos combine the humour standard to the Video Review Show
, but are peppered with trivia knowledge concern the contexts and creation of the items and a deep analysis as to how it pertains to then and now. To experience his work, you can find it here
This review series contains examples of:
- Acting for Two: The Obscure plays himself and his drug dealer regularly, as well as cameo appearances by the talking beam and Slenderman.
- Added Alliterative Appeal:
- In the Letter People review, keeping up with the animated segment he showed:
The Obscure: Abracadabra! *a coat appears on him* Alpaca! *achoo* Allergies...
- The blurb for his Power Rangers review calls the video "a manic monologue about those Mighty Morphin So Cal Spandex Sentai Sensations".
- Anime Hair: The Obscure combines white hair—with a brown goatee.
- Bait and Switch: Introduces a video released in October about how we all celebrate that one holiday in that month...mouldy cheese day! He takes the opportunity to discuss The Stinky Cheese Man.
- Blinding Bangs: One of his eyes is always covered by his bangs.
- Brick Joke: At the beginning of "Impure Moods", its noted that the disc can be made into Kambucha tea. At the end, it is.
- Call Back: The Dino-man from "Top 10 Inadvertent Nightmare Stuff" reappears in the Dinotopia.
- The Cameo: Appeared in the Film/Fargo episode of The Quest For Geekdom. The Horror Guru also appeared in his "Top 10 Inadvertent Nightmare Stuff".
- Christmas Episode: "A Very Virtuous Christmas".
- Comically Missing the Point: When images were floating around of The Nostalgia Critic and The Angry Video Game Nerd appearing in an anime, The Obscure made a video about it—and proceeded to say that one of the bystanders looked like him. It gets better—afterwards, he pointed out the aforementioned AVGN and TGWTG cameos and accused his audience of "seeing things that weren't really there."
- Cool Shades: Always wearing them.
- Crossover: Has one for his one-year anniversary...with himself.
- Distaff Counterpart: Savannah the 90s coffee house girl.
- Does Not Like Being Touched: The Obscure. It's examined in "The Shrugga Bunch".
- Dutch Angle: During The Obscure and Savannah's viewing of The Hugga Bunch.
- Epic Rap Battles of History: Parodied—The Obscure had an epic RASP battle with Tom Waits.
- Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: Claims the genesis story in Mind's Eye is much better than the book because it has dinosaurs, and that the flight simulation in the same film would benefit from adding dinosaurs.
- Eyeless Face: The talking beam in his "Beamland" episode.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus: Several appear in his "Top 10 Inadvertent Nightmare Stuff" video. They are: "Send reinforcements we're going to advance", "Send three and four pence we're going to a dance", "The gum you like is going to come back in style" and "Thanks for watching".
- Hostile Show Takeover: By Slenderman in "A Very Virtuous Christmas". He attempts to read the screenplay to Christmas with The Kranks before The Obscure takes the show back.
- Insane Troll Logic:According to The Obscure, morals lead to responsibility lead to personal safety lead to bicycle helmets lead to helmet hair lead to a Zombie Apocalypse. Somehow.
- Limited Wardrobe: Lampshaded in his one-year anniversary episode.
- Mood Whiplash: The show can veer very quickly from the ridiculous to the profound, and back again just as fast.
- New-Age Retro Hippie: The Obscure is one—despite the white hair and sunglasses, his raspy, beatnik-like voice, flow, laid-back attitude, and the fact that he's a stoner cement him as one.
- New Media Are Evil: Parodied—in his Adventures from the Book of Virtues review, he apparently was trying to convince his audience that virtues were evil so he could lead them in a crusade against them, if only to get more famous.
- Nostalgia Filter: Savannah has fond memories of The Hugga Bunch movie, but realizes how unintentionally terrifying it is now that she's older.
- Or So I Heard: From "The Flying House Always Wins":
: Ow, burns like a venereal disease! Not that I'd know what that feels like...*Aside Glance*
- Precision F-Strike: A rather memorable one in his "Sweet, Sweet Sucrose" episode:
The Obscure You got chocolate in my peanut butter! You got fuck in my yeah—FUCK YEAH!
- Running Gag: In the Hugga Bunch movie.
The Obscure and Savannah: Thaaaaaaaat's a penis.
The Obscure and Savannah: Thaaaat's a euphemism for a penis! *glancing at each other*
- Sexophone: Savannah points it out in the final track ("Lily was Here") in "Impure Moods".
- The Obscure states in "Yelp of the Dead" that he'd visit one of the last remaining Howard Johnson restaurants in Lake Placid...as long as he doesn't get eaten by an alligator.
- The series contains several shout outs to Twin Peaks.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: Pointed out in Part 2 of his review of Flying House.
*happy flute music*
The Obscure: "Episode 40: The Crown of Thorns!" Listen to that happy music - nothing bad can happen here!
- Spell My Name with a "The": He claims in his I Spy review that his name is The Obscure, and if you leave out the "The" it's somebody else.
- The Stinger: Most videos feature one, either a strange clip from the subject material that he didn't get a chance to show, or a final joke.
- The Stoner: The character is, at least—in fact, there's a recurring character who serves as his drug dealer.
- Sunglasses at Night: And in the daytime as well. In general, his real eyes are never seen.
- Take That: Apparently one of his stated goals is delivering a Take That to every state eventually. He's well on his way there.
- They Walk Among Us: Quetzalcoatl (in sock-puppet form) is a recurring character.
- Title Drop:
: Man, I haven't listened to this album in years. This'll be like a walk down memory lane. The Obscure
: Hey, she said the title!
- Again in "Sweet Sweet Sucrose".
: it appear I am on a lane made of memories. We are on...Retrospective Street
what that's not the name of my show...Memory Lane! Man I really like the title "Retrospective Street". Should've named the show that. Shit.
- Wacky Cravings: Compares the menu of Howard Johnson's to a list of things a pregnant woman would want: fired clams, baked bean, hamburgers, chicken pot pie and ice cream.
- We Are Experiencing Technical Difficulties: Happens several times in the Mind's Eye review, changing from "Please Stand By" to "Please Stand Cy" to "Please Stand Pie".
- Yet Another Christmas Carol: "A Very Virtuous Christmas".
- You Keep Using That Word: He points out that Liquid Sky uses "punk" to describe what is actually glam rock.