"Remember: you just may win!
— MAEWIN motto
is a webseries
hosted on YouTube
. It started airing in April of 2012 and is ongoing. The series revolves around a Hunger Games
-esque program called MAEWIN note
where college graduates fight to the death from nine to five to prove their worth to employers and eventually be placed in a job. While the premise sounds horrible, it's actually a comedy that makes fun of many of the tropes and cliches of similar dramas.
The series has five main characters who form a shaky alliance that develops into something like friendship
- Max has been in the arena for just about forever. He seems to genuinely enjoy killing, and when he's not in the arena, he can usually be found playing violent video games.
- Tiffany has been in the safe house for a while and serves as its one-person welcoming committee, but she doesn't seem to grasp the idea that when you're killing everyone, you can't be friends. She buys into the whole MAEWIN ideal and actually wants to become the announcer someday.
- Paige is a photographer and, though brash and snarky, peaceful at heart. Used to taking photos in nature, she's very good at just hiding and waiting, which is mostly why she hasn't been killed yet. Her entire family has died in the arena, so she's willing to take absolutely any job she’s offered to get out of here.
- Devon is the youngest of a long line of doctors with the weight of his family’s considerable expectations behind him. The problem is that despite years of study, he remains utterly incompetent as a medic and his other apparent option is death, either by arena combat or by those who would do anything to protect the family reputation.
- Avery is a former pop star who grew up expecting to be exempt from arena combat. Unfortunately, she's washed up and went in as a publicity stunt, only to get stuck when her contract was cancelled. Though a loyal friend, she is trusting and woefully naïve, and is shocked to learn that people “actually die" in the arena.
Tropes associated with Job Hunters:
- Accidental Murder: Devon, all the time. Apparently, he's killed sixty people, all of whom he was trying to save.
Devon: “It’s not my fault! It was an infected bone saw.”
Dr. Monroe: “Six of them were from using a bone saw at all! Amputation is not a remedy I usually prescribe for head injuries.”
- And there’s the first season finale in which Avery shoots Tiffany after being startled awake after the house combat session.
- The Ace: Max is one of these as a job hunter, so much so that he’s repeatedly offered a very high-level job (which he always turns down, for as-yet unrevealed reasons).
- Action Girl: Most of the female combatants, obviously. Paige is shown to be a capable fighter in later episodes, and Tiffany describes stabbing people as “cathartic”, though we never actually see her harm anyone.
- Air-Vent Passageway: Paige crawls through one to break into the medical office in episode 3 of season 2.
- Arranged Marriage: Devon and Lynette, though it never gets past the engagement stage and even that doesn’t last long (from the viewer’s perspective).
- Artificial Human / Younger Than They Look: Tiffany is revealed in season two to be a “synth” note who is only a little over three years old despite appearing in her early twenties.
- Ax-Crazy: The guy who's after Max.
- Back from the Dead: Tiffany, in the season two premiere.
- Because I'm Good at It: Not stated, but this seems to be the reason that Max is still in the arena.
- Big Brother Is Watching: And Big Brother doesn't like it when you try to kill someone "off the clock."
- Black Sheep: The Monroe family has a few. Specifically, “two lawyers”. Devon is starting to edge this way, too, as he is continually tarnishing the Family Honor with his tendency towards Accidental Murder.
- Book Dumb: Avery. When looking for a new job, she decides that she should try something close to pop star, since that's what she has experience in. She promptly starts listing off things alphabetically close to pop star, such as podiatrist and pope. She also believes she may be a synth because she can’t remember being born.
- Brought Down to Normal: Avery’s backstory is a version of this. She always expected to live the high life as a talented and beloved pop star, never having to enter the arena to find a job, but when her popularity waned, her contract was dropped and she now has to go through the job hunt like everyone else.
- Camera Fiend: Paige is never without her camera. In the arena, she spends more time taking pictures than taking lives.
- The Caper: Episode 3 of season 2, aptly titled “The Heist”, in which the heroes enact a plan to break into the safe house’s super-secure medical office and reboot Tiffany, who had her memories wiped when she was repaired after being shot in season 1.
- Can't Stand Them, Can't Live Without Them: Max is frequently shown to be annoyed with the other main characters, but he won't hurt any of them (even the easy targets), protects Avery, and is shown to be genuinely upset when Avery shoots Tiffany.
- Children Forced To Kill: Well, they're all in their early twenties, but this is one of the few times that you'll see this played for laughs.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: Lynette, Devon’s very possessive fiancée.
- Conditioned to Accept Horror: And accept it they do. Murder and mayhem genuinely doesn't bother anyone.
- Conflicting Loyalty: Several characters suffer from this at various points in the series. Most notable is Paige at the end of season one, when she is caught between her friendship/budding romance with Devon, and the deal she made with Dr. Monroe to kill him for a job.
- Coordinated Clothes: During Lynette’s brief stint in the show as Devon’s fiancée, the two of them wear color-coordinated outfits. Word of God says this was intentionally invoked by Lynette, who is so possessive of her man that she’s been choosing his outfits to match hers.
- Day in the Limelight: The sixth “trainisode”, which, in the absence of the main characters (who were trapped in the arena at the end of the previous episode), stars two unnamed members of the safe house who parody the heroes and inadvertently play into one of the show's [[Running Gag]]s, giving the viewers an idea of what the central drama looks like from an outside perspective.
- Deadpan Snarker: Paige, though sometimes she comes off as snarky when she doesn't mean to be.
- Disproportionate Retribution: The reason Max gives for killing Phil in episode one is Phil’s hatred of “tiny marshmallows” in his hot chocolate.
- Dystopia: Because of overpopulation, everyone has to go through MAEWIN. Only 20% survive.
- Encyclopedic Knowledge: Tiffany—although no one realizes it until the second season, mostly because, as she puts it, they never asked.
- Even Evil Has Standards: If you try to kill someone in the safe house or when arena combat is over, you will be shot with tranquilizer darts. MAEWIN doesn't want senseless butchering of people who don't expect to have to defend themselves.
- Evil Uncle: Devon has one of these, who’s also an Evil Redhead.
- Family Honor: Why Devon has to be a doctor—his family consists entirely of twenty-two doctors (and two lawyers). By extension, this trope is also why Dr. Monroe plots Devon’s murder, because he’s spectacularly failing to uphold the family reputation.
- Fantastic Drug: Devon managed to synthesize something like LSD while trying to make an injection to improve his eyesight.
- Five-Man Band: Something of a parody
- The Hero: Max. He's actually more anti-heroic, but he's the only one who ever gets anything done.
- The Lancer: Tiffany. She's the only other one who really has a handle on the situation, but she acts like it's a big game.
- The Smart Guy: Paige. She's the first to figure out that hiding keeps you from being killed and that Max isn't planning on killing any of them.
- The Big Guy: Devon, the biggest parody of them all. He doesn't mean to be a brutish oaf, but he keeps killing people out of incompetence.
- The Chick: Avery. Her fighting strategy is mostly to hide behind Max.
- Funny Background Event: The majority of the episode "Friendly Fire." While people have perfectly normal conversations, positively hilarious fights go on in the background.
- In the episode “Dead Weight”, if you look closely at the other housemates receiving job offers, you can see that one of them has received the offer of “Pope”, which Avery was angling for after giving up on resurrecting her pop career in season one.
- Gallows Humor: The entire show runs on it.
- Genki Girl: Tiffany. Everyone's dying, but that's no excuse not to be happy and friendly!
- Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: Epically averted. Both sexes are absolutely brutal in combat. Also, the deadliest arena combatant, Max, likes shooting people with a revolver, while Paige, who's not a bad fighter herself, prefers a hatchet.
- Ignore the Fanservice: Max is too busy bemoaning the lack of people to kill to notice that Tiffany is half-naked.
- I'm Not Here to Make Friends: Phil. Max, too, initially, but he quickly gets over it.
- I'm Your Biggest Fan: Tiffany upon meeting “THE Avery!”. Her room is liberally splashed with posters of Avery, and she defends Avery’s music when another character bashes it.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: Max has a habit of shooting people or throwing knives into them without much apparent effort putting into aiming. Sometimes he doesn't even look. He still manages to kill everyone he wants to.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Max.
- Lethal Chef: Avery. She makes a smoothie using dirt because "we were out of fruit", and prepares a picnic that includes raw meat topped with sugar.
- Locked in a Room / Ten Minutes in the Closet: In the season two premiere, Avery traps Devon and Paige on the roof and won’t let them back into the house “until they’re friends again”.
- Man on Fire: In a nod to The Hunger Games, there is a girl near the end of episode six who flails, burning, across the screen. She's even credited as Girl On Fire.
- The Medic: Devon tries to be this, as he is pursuing placement in the workforce as a doctor, but he constantly either misdiagnoses his patients or is confused about what medication to apply, making him hopelessly incompetent.
- Morality Kitchen Sink: Kind of unavoidable in a show like this.
- Morality Pet: It's hard to tell, but one theory is that Max keeps the others around as Morality Pets of sorts.
- Ms. Fanservice: Tiffany decides to spend one day in the arena sunbathing in her bikini.
- Mushroom Samba: Cornelius the Arena Unicorn. Devon should not be allowed to create his own injections.
Max: "I'm pretty sure that Devon is doing drugs."
Tiffany: "What makes you so sure?"
Max: "I saw Devon doing drugs."
- And let’s not forget about the shark Max keeps seeing from the corner of his eye thanks to Devon’a attempts to "medicate” him.
- Mysterious Past: Max has one, and the clues (and ensuing questions) just keep piling upnote
- No Blood Ties: Paige, whose entire family died in the arena. And it’s a pretty touchy subject, once played (sort of) for comedy when Devon offends her by telling her she’s lucky that her family is dead because she doesn’t have to deal with the pressure of their expectations.
Devon: “What am I supposed to say? How was I supposed to know your family’s a sore subject just because they’re dead? I hate my family!
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: What ensues when the restrictions on the Safe House are lifted. Subverted hilariously when Tiffany decides to act as an announcer and sends a combatant to the "penalty box" (i.e., three steps away in the corner) for an illegal “Canadian ear gouge”, where he sulks while she interviews the other combatant.
- No New Fashions in the Future: At least partially because of Job Hunters' budget, all the clothes look more or less like what people today would wear.
- Omniglot: Tiffany.
- Protagonist-Centered Morality: All of the main characters kill others, but when someone tries to kill them, that's horrible. Mostly Played for Laughs.
- Ray Gun: The gun Paige gets seems to be one of these.
- Room Full of Crazy: The guy who is out to kill Max has decorated his walls with red paint, spelling out things like "Kill Max" and "Make him bleed."
- Ship Tease: In season one, Max is teased with both Tiffany and Avery, and Devon and Paige's relationship moves through the tease stages and heads toward full-fledged canon.
- Shout-Out: Several to The Hunger Games, which is where the idea came from.
- In the second season, there are also shout-outs and Homages to classic film genres, with whole episodes being made in the style of horror and heist films.
- Show Some Leg: In “The Heist”, Avery distracts Dr. Monroe from the heroes’ caper by flirting with—and eventually kissing—him.
- True Companions: They don't always get along, but the main characters always have each others' backs.
- Wham Episode: Despite small escalations, the plot was still largely comedy-driven until the season one finale when Avery accidentally shot Tiffany.
- And then it veered into full-on Science Fiction territory (the first “futuristic” element we really see from the show aside from two or three minor tech-y trappings) two episodes later, when Tiffany comes Back from the Dead and is revealed to be an Artificial Human.
- The Worf Effect: Phil was set up to be a tough-as-nails killer who states that "It's stupid to be friends when half of us will be dead tomorrow." Max kills him in the first episode because the guy doesn't like tiny marshmallows, effectively setting up himself as the most dangerous guy around.
- Would Hit a Girl: And for good reason. Most of the girls hit, too. Hard.
- You Didn't Ask: After the revelations about Tiffany being a synth come out in season two, and she tells the heroes she would have gladly told them if they’d only asked, Avery is determined to avert this trope ever happening again and can periodically be seen quizzing Tiffany about all kinds of details, from her eidetic memory, to what languages she speaks, to the difference between fuschia and off-purple.